Trump gives Pentagon power to decide about US troops limits in Iraq, Syria
US President Donald Trump has given the Pentagon authority to decide about limits to American forces in Iraq and Syria.
The Pentagon affirmed Wednesday that it has not made any changes to what Reuters described as “a confusing system of troop limits” in the war-ravaged countries.
The Pentagon also asserted that the United States’ stated priority of fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorists has not shifted.
“But the shift on troop limits was another sign of the greater authority Trump appears comfortable giving his military commanders to make battlefield decisions and could allow for more rapid increases in troop levels in the future,” said the news agency in its report.
Now Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is the one that should make decisions about the so-called Force Management Level, according to Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White.
Earlier in the day, the White House tried to tone down the significance of the move via a statement.
"We want our reporting to Congress and to the public to be more easily and clearly understood," it said. "We will conduct a review to ensure that the numbers we provide to Congress and to the public accurately reflect the facts on the ground. This is about transparency."
The US has been heading a coalition of allies to allegedly target Daesh (ISIL) militants in the two Muslim countries.
ISIL terrorists, who are believed to have been initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control parts of Syria and Iraq, where they have been engaged in crimes against humanity.