By Lolita C. Baldor / Associated Press
BRUSSELS — Pentagon chief Mark Esper says the United States is considering sending American troops and armored vehicles to help protect oil fields in northeastern Syria controlled by U.S.-allied Syrian Kurds.
Esper says at a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels that the U.S. wants to ensure that Islamic State militants don’t get access to the oil. That could allow the insurgent group to obtain resources to rebuild.
Esper says the U.S. is considering repositioning American troops and mechanized forces, which include armored vehicles, into the area around the oil fields. He’s not providing any details about the possible number of troops, except to say that the U.S. will maintain a “reduced presence” in the war-torn country.
Just last week, President Donald Trump was insisting all U.S. forces would leave Syria.