The White House announced that the US will keep around 200 troops in Syria, even though Trump announced a 'full' withdrawal from the country earlier on.

Vehicles belonging to the US military drive down a street in the frontline Syrian village of Baghuz, on February 17, 2019
Vehicles belonging to the US military drive down a street in the frontline Syrian village of Baghuz, on February 17, 2019 (AFP)

The US military will keep around 200 troops in Syria after President Donald Trump's pullout from the war-torn country, the White House said Thursday.

"A small peace-keeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

The announcement comes amid Trump's decision to withdraw America's 2,000 or so troops from Syria by end of April. Some members of the Republican Party criticised the move.

In December, Trump declared victory over Daesh in Syria, but there are reports of militants still remaining around their last holdout.

Sanders did not provide additional details, but the troops' "peace-keeping" designation could pave the way for European allies to commit forces for such a mission.

TRT World spoke to former US Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt for more.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan visited Europe last week where he attempted to convince allies to maintain a troop presence in Syria after the US pulls out. 

But he struggled to persuade other countries why they should risk their forces trying to protect the affiliate of a terrorist group with America gone.

Trump earlier Thursday spoke with Turkish President Recep Erdogan, discussing the US withdrawal in Syria and agreed to support a political resolution to the conflict.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies