The Defense Department has said the number of warfighters stationed in Iraq and Syria continues to trend down from current troop levels at 7,000 units, DoD News reported Wednesday.
U.S. Army Col. Robert Manning, spokesman for the Pentagon, said the numbers comply with Defense Secretary James Mattis’ push to provide American people with an understanding of U.S. forces’ commitment to supporting the region.
“We seek to inform the American public with the imperative of operational security and denying the enemy any advantage … The secretary has been clear about improving our public reporting while increasing commanders’ ability to adapt to changing battlefield conditions to counter emerging threats,” said Manning.
The colonel noted coalition forces in the two countries will begin to advise, assist and train personnel in the region and work to prevent the potential regeneration of Islamic State militant groups or the formation of similar terror organizations.
U.S. forces will also aid local forces on the stabilization of liberated territories in Syria through the restoration of services, disposal of improvised explosive devices and the delivery of humanitarian aid.