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US to maintain Syria presence until goals accomplished: Haley

The US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley at a Security Council meeting [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 April, 2018

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The remarks contradict Trump's earlier statement that the US would withdraw from Syria "very soon".

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said on Sunday that the US would not withdraw from Syria until it accomplishes its objectives, Reuters reported. 

Speaking on Fox News, Haley outlined three goals for the US in Syria: ensuring chemical weapons are not used, the Islamic State group is defeated and containing Iran.

Haley said that it was Washington's goal to "see American troops come home, but we are not going to leave until we know we have accomplished those things".

Trump, who ordered missile strikes against three chemical weapons sites in Homs and Damascus on Friday, has previously suggested the US would withdraw from the country "very soon". 

The US president announced "mission accomplished" on Saturday after the country's brief air power intervention in Syria.

About 2,000 US troops are currently stationed in Syria as part of the coalition fighting IS. On Saturday, Trump said the US was prepared to "sustain" its military presence if the Syrian regime continues to use chemical weapons.

Haley also spoke about US-Russia relations in her interview with Fox News, calling them "very strained".

The US president has recently said Russian President Vladimir Putin shares blame for shielding its Syrian ally who has repeatedly ordered chemical weapons attacks during Syria's now-seven-year-long war. 

Agencies contributed to this report.

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