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US would 'probably regret' not keeping holding force in Syria: Mattis

Reuters , Thursday 26 Apr 2018
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis
File Photo: Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis (Reuters)
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US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Thursday the United States would "probably regret" not keeping a holding force in Syria to ensure that Islamic State militants did not re-emerge and that any withdrawal of US forces was based on conditions.

"We have to create local forces that can keep the pressure on any attempt by ISIS to try to (re-emerge)," Mattis told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, using an acronym for Islamic State group.

When asked whether it would be risky to have local holding partners without US forces, Mattis said: " I am confident that we would probably regret it."

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