NBC news reported, citing a senior US official, that some US troops could stay behind at the key At Tanf base in southern Syria after American forces leave the country.
On December 5, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, said that Russia had suggested to the United States to eliminate the military base in At Tanf and to establish joint Russian-US control over the zone instead. According to Gerasimov, Washington has not provided an answer. The general also stressed that the United States justified the reasonability of its presence in At Tanf by the necessity to counter Iran, allegedly transporting weapons and military equipment to Syria.
US President Donald Trump surprised his allies last month when he announced a prompt withdrawal of some 2,000 troops from Syria. Following a backlash, he reconsidered the timeline and slowed down the pullout.