Coalition Commander Refuses to Reveal Number of US Troops in Syria to Conceal Capabilities

© AP Photo / Baderkhan AhmadFILE - This Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 file photo, Turkish and American armored vehicles patrol as they conduct joint ground patrol in the so-called "safe zone" on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near the town of Tal Abyad, northeastern Syria
FILE - This Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 file photo, Turkish and American armored vehicles patrol as they conduct joint ground patrol in the so-called safe zone on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near the town of Tal Abyad, northeastern Syria - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve Deputy Commander Kenneth Ekman refused during a press briefing on Wednesday to provide the number of US troops in Syria in order to protect any insight on the their capabilities in that country.
"The numbers in Syria tend to point to specific capabilities, we're careful about how specifically we cite them just given our limited footprint there," Ekman said.

Ekman pointed out the United States is trying to ensure it has a sufficient force in Syria that is enough to achieve the US objectives in the country.

The deputy commander noted the coalition's focus in Syria is to address the threat of the Daesh* terror group. Ekman said there is a residual presences of Islamic State forces in Syria, but the coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces have been quite successful eliminating them.

The US-led coalition of more than 60 nations has been carrying out airstrikes and other operations against Daesh in Iraq since August 2014 and in Syria since September 2014. However, the coalition has acted in Syria without the approval of the Syrian government or the UN Security Council.

* Daesh (aka ISIS/ISIL/IS/Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries

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