WASHINGTON, March 18 (KUNA) -- US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford denied late Sunday a newspaper report that the US is "crafting plans" to keep about 1,000 troops in Syria.
In a statement, Dunford said, "a claim reported this evening by a major US newspaper that the US military is developing plans to keep nearly 1,000 US troops in Syria is factually incorrect.
"There has been no change to the plan announced in February and we continue to implement the President's direction to draw down US forces to a residual presence," he affirmed.
The Wall Street Journal reported, citing US officials, that the US military "is crafting plans that could keep nearly 1,000 forces in Syria."
Yet, Dunford noted, "further, we continue to conduct detailed military planning with the Turkish General Staff to address Turkish security concerns along the Turkey-Syria border."
He continued, "planning to date has been productive and we have an initial concept that will be refined in the coming days.
"We are also conducting planning with other members of the Coalition who have indicated an intent to support the transition phase of operations into Syria," he remarked. (end)