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US President Donald Trump speaks during the 2019 Young Black Leadership Summit in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on October 4, 2019. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)

WASHINGTON D.C. —  President Donald Trump says the roughly 1,000 U.S. troops he has ordered to leave Syria will remain in the Middle East to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State threat.

In a written statement Monday announcing his authorization of economic sanctions on Turkey, Trump made clear that the withdrawing troops will leave Syria entirely.

He said the troops will “redeploy and remain in the region.” He described their mission as “monitoring the situation” and preventing a “repeat of 2014,” when IS fighters who had organized in Syria as a fighting force swept into neighboring Iraq and took control of Iraq’s north and west.

Trump confirmed that the small number of U.S. troops at a base in southern Syria will remain there.

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