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Pentagon: About 2,000 US Troops in Syria

FILE - This Tuesday, March 7, 2017 file frame grab from video provided by Arab 24 network, shows fighters from the Syrian Democratic forces standing near U.S military vehicles on the outskirts of the Syrian town of Manbij. (Arab 24 network, via AP, File)
FILE - This Tuesday, March 7, 2017 file frame grab from video provided by Arab 24 network, shows fighters from the Syrian Democratic forces standing near U.S military vehicles on the outskirts of the Syrian town of Manbij. (Arab 24 network, via AP, File)

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon says there are about 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria. That is four times as many as officials had publicly acknowledged as recently as last month.

The new total does not mean additional troops have been deploying to Syria. It's merely a long-delayed confirmation that the troop numbers the Pentagon had been citing were inaccurate. In fact, the Pentagon spokesman who announced the new number, Army Col. Rob Manning, said Wednesday that troop numbers are now declining in Syria.

Manning also said there are about 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq. That number also is trending downward, he said, as the U.S.-led coalition in both Iraq and Syria transition from supporting offensive combat operations against Islamic State fighters to supporting local security efforts to prevent a reemergence of IS.

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