File - This Wednesday, July 26, 2017 file photo, Syrian citizens ride their motorcycle past U.S. armored vehicles, on a road that links to Raqqa city, northeast Syria. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)
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thousands of foreign troops in Syria leave?Syria's long-running civil war may be winding down slowly, but the country is awash in weapons and a confounding array of local militias and thousands of foreign troops, some of which may never leave. The fight against Daesh (ISIS), which proliferated soon after the conflict began in 2011, has provided a convenient justification for foreign troops to be deployed in Syria with the pretext of fighting the extremists. THE AMERICANSThe presence of U.S. troops in northern Syria was initially meant to help train and support Kurdish-dominated local forces fighting Daesh.The end of the fight against Daesh takes away any legal justification for the presence of U.S. troops in Syria, but U.S. officials are now suggesting they plan to maintain a U.S. troop presence in the north until an overall settlement for the war is found.The chief of the Russian military general staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, said last week that Russia will "significantly" reduce its military foothold in Syria as the campaign nears its end.It has deployed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard in Syria as well as Iranian officers who provide military and political support.
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