President Donald Trump has stated that the US will pull its troops from the battlefield of Syria very soon without giving any further details. Trump stated that the US spends trillions on Middle-east every year while it gets nothing conclusive in return. There was no specific mention about putting an end to US air operations against the ISIL fighters in Syria.
Trump sounded upbeat about the US victory over the ISIL and stated that 100 percent of the Caliphate will be taken back from the control of ISIL. US troops are primarily stationed in the north-western part of Syria and they have been fighting alongside the Kurdish faction of YPG against the ISIL. Turkey a main NATO ally of US considers YPG as an offshoot of the banned PKK outfit and maintains it is a terrorist outfit. It has raised strong objections to US support and backing of YPG in the area. It has also asked US troops to stay out of its offensive against the Kurdish fighters in Manbij.
Turkish decision to advance on Manbij had raised speculations about a possible confrontation with US troops stationed in the area.
US Presence in Syria
The US intervened in the civil war in Syria by giving support to Syrian opposition and Federation of Northern Syria. The active involvement of US troops on Syrian soils began with the US action against the fighters of al-Nusra Front and the fighters of ISIL starting in 2014. The role which began with the supply of non-lethal aid to the Free Syrian Army in form of food and pick-up trucks gradually morphed into imparting training, intelligence and also funding selected Syrian commanders. There were majorly two missions to support the Syrian rebels one was to completely train and equip about 15000 Syrian rebels which were later suspended and other was a hidden program of $1 billion of CIA.
Direct US military intervention is defined by the US surveillance missions on ISIL positions in Syria in 2014. Additionally, coalition forces comprising US, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia attacked the ISIL bases, the Khorasan group in Idlib and the al-Nusra Front in Raqqa in Syria in September 2015. Other contributing nations were Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands and Turkey. It was in 2017 when US forces conducted a direct missile attack on the Shayrat airbase thus starting direct military action against the Syrian government forces.