CNN has learned that the US military has been working on plans to send dozens of additional US troops to northern Syria, according to several US defense and administration officials. The officials say the plans have been under discussion for several days and were first considered before President Donald Trump’s remarks last Thursday that the US would “be coming out of Syria like very soon.”
CNN previously reported that Trump’s remarks puzzled many at the Pentagon. A National Security Council meeting is set for Tuesday to discuss the administration’s plan for battling ISIS in Syria and the some 2,000 US troops in the war-torn country.
It’s not clear how the President’s remarks could affect the chances of the plan to send additional troops getting final approval. Sources say they would focus on providing force protection for US forces already in the country.
Trump’s remarks also came the same day as US and British soldiers were killed in a IED blast in Manbij, Syria. The soldiers killed were on a classified mission to “kill or capture a known ISIS member” according to Pentagon spokesman Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway. The US military is releasing few details about the mission that killed Master Sgt. Jonathan J. Dunbar and UK soldier Sgt. Matt Tonroe.
They were killed and five other troops were wounded in a March 30 IED blast. The US military has not said if the IED was in a building, a vehicle or buried in the road. The troops were out of their vehicles at the time of the explosion, according to a US official. There is also no word on whether the target was found and captured or killed.