Syrian Kurdish Commander Wants US to Halt Pullout, Keep 1,500 Troops in Syria

Says Trump must 'live up to his word' in protecting Kurds

In comments to reporters on Monday, Kurdish commander Mazloum Kobani, the leader of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), called on the United States to completely halt plans to withdraw from Syria, saying he needs an “enduring” presence from the US-led coalition.

Kobani not only says he wants air support from the US, but a “force on the ground to coordinate with us.” That ground force, according to the commander, should include between 1,000 and 1,500 international forces.

This would be expected to be overwhelmingly US troops, of course. There are an estimated 2,000 US troops in Syria, and a few hundred others from the coalition, mostly French and British. Kobani’s preference seems to be that they be Americans.

Saying that Trump has promised to protect the Kurds, he says he expects the president to “live up to his word,” and as far as he is concerned, that means continuing the US military presence indefinitely.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of