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    Armed men in uniform identified by Syrian Democratic forces as US special operations forces ride in the back of a pickup truck in the village of Fatisah in the northern Syrian province of Raqa on May 25, 2016

    Pentagon to Reveal Official Number of US Troops in Syria - Reports

    © AFP 2017/ DELIL SOULEIMAN
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    The US Defense Department (DoD) is now ready to openly discuss the number of US troops in Syria because the coalition has gained ground in its counter-terrorism operations against Daesh in Syria, US media reports said on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Department of Defense has announced that it currently has about 2,000 troops stationed in Syria, after long insisting that only around 500 soldiers were deployed in the country. The personnel belong mainly to special operations forces, CNN has reported, citing Pentagon officials.

    When contacted by Sputnik and asked to confirm the report, a Pentagon official said, "We have nothing to add."

    According to reports, US defense officials stuck to the figure of 500 personnel in Syria for so long because showing the more or less real figures had in recent months and years been a highly sensitive issue for the Pentagon due to security reasons.

    However, the confusion about the actual US military presence in the country still exists, as even US DoD officials emphasize the incompleteness of the recent report because it does not list soldiers who are on short term missions on the ground or are about to leave the country, US media said.

    In addition, the Pentagon is also concerned about unveiling the precise data of its present forces in Iraq, as the US military command believes that the public disclosure will likely put imminent pressure on the country's government.

    The US-led coalition of more than 70 members has been conducting airstrikes, and ground-based and rocket-propelled artillery fire against the Daesh terrorist group in Syria and Iraq since 2014.

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    Tags:
    manpower report, figures, troop numbers, accuracy, troops, security, Pentagon, Syria, United States
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