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Congress warns of mission creep in Syria

Lawmakers ripped into Pentagon officials after the Trump administration suggested it would keep US troops in Syria to counter Iran’s presence in the war-torn country.
U.S. forces set up a new base in Manbij, Syria May 8, 2018. Picture Taken May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Rodi Said - RC172453D3E0

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle called into question America's military role in Syria at a House hearing today, following comments from national security adviser John Bolton that US troops would stay in the war-torn country until Iran left.

The two Defense Department officials called to testify before the House Armed Services Committee's oversight panel, Assistant Secretary Robert Karem and Brig. Gen. Scott Benedict, said the United States was not conducting direct military operations against Iran. But they said diminishing the influence of Iran-backed groups active in Syria, such as Lebanese Hezbollah and the expeditionary Quds Force, remained a “primary objective” of the 2,200 US troops serving there.

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