A State Department spokesperson told the Kurdish news outlet Rudaw that the Biden administration will continue supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The State Department official said the SDF has “done the lion’s share of the fighting against ISIS on the ground” and that the group “remains a capable and committed military partner.”
The US supported the SDF with air power in fights against ISIS, most notably in the 2017 battle of Raqqa when US airstrikes killed thousands of civilians in the Syrian city.
“The United States remains in close coordination with local partners in northeast Syria, including the SDF, the humanitarian community, and civil society groups,” the State Department spokesperson said.
President Biden inherited a small occupation force in northeast Syria from the Trump administration. After backing down on a full withdrawal in 2019, President Trump said he would stay in Syria to “secure” the oil.
It’s not clear exactly how many US troops are currently in Syria. US officials have admitted to hiding the real number of soldiers stationed in the country. In September, the Trump administration sent an additional 100 troops to Syria along with Bradley Fighting Vehicles to reinforce the estimated 500 soldiers that the military said were already there.