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Photo: Ilhan Tanir, US State Department, August 18, 2017

US spokesperson Nauert says US is not planning to stay in Syria after defeating ISIS, contrasting SDF official

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told on Friday that US is not planning to stay in Syria after defeating ISIS.

Last week, in an interview with Reuters, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman Talal Silo told about the US: “They have a strategy policy for decades to come. There will be military, economic and political agreements in the long term between the leadership of the northern areas (of Syria) … and the U.S. administration.”

On Friday, during the press briefing spokeswoman Nauert asked about the interview. Nauert first embraced the SDF and said: ”true and tested, battle tested, battle ready” but also added that the main goal in working with that entity ”to take out ISIS from Raqqa.” Nauert said US is happy with the job they have done.

Nauert said she has seen the interview of the SDF spokesperson Silo but emphasized that US’ overall mission, whether it’s in Iraq or in Syria, ”is to defeat ISIS.” Nauert added, ”not do anything more than that.  We want Syria governed by Syrians, not by the United States, not by any other forces, but by Syrians.”

When asked if that means US is not planning to stay in Syria after defeating ISIS, Nauert affirmed: ”that is not our plan.  Our intent is to defeat ISIS, and we’re keeping our focus on that.”

Asked about long-term strategy, Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the coalition, referred to the Pentagon. He said there was “still a lot of fighting to do, even after ISIS has been defeated in Raqqa” and did not responded the question directly, earlier.

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