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US plays down talk of imminent pullout of forces from Syria

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is playing down talk of an imminent pullout of American forces from Syria, pledging the “U.S. will remain in Syria” until the “enduring defeat” of the Islamic State group.

That’s according to U.S. special representative for Syria, James Jeffrey. He also said the U.S. is demanding a complete withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syrian territory.

President Donald Trump has previously expressed a desire to get the U.S. out of Syria. There are roughly 2,000 U.S. troops deployed there.

Jeffrey spoke to reporters Thursday about U.S. policy toward the war-torn nation.

Russian forces are preparing for an assault on Syria’s Idlib province, a move the U.S. has repeatedly warned would likely result in a bloodbath the scale of which has not been seen in Syria’s seven-year war.