U.S. Vice President discusses Syria with Jordan king

King Abdullah meets host of top US officials on whirlwind tour of Washington

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence discussed the decision to leave a “residual U.S. presence in Syria” with Jordanian King Abdullah on Monday, according to the White House.

The leaders also discussed “opportunities to work more closely on countering terrorism in the region.”

About 400 U.S. troops are expected to remain in Syria after a pullout unexpectedly announced by President Donald Trump in December that rattled close U.S. allies abroad and Trump's closest legislative partners.

Trump conceded to allow for some U.S. troops to remain after the withdrawal to allay their concerns, and about half the force is expected to take part in what Washington is calling an international peacekeeping force in northeastern Syria while others will be used to secure a garrison in southern Syria.

Abdullah went on a whirlwind tour of Washington on Monday, and met Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

The Pentagon said Shanahan and Abdullah discussed Jordan's contributions to the U.S.-led coalition to defeat Daesh as well as other defense and security issues.

During his meeting with Abdullah, Pompeo "reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Jordan bilateral relationship and discussed several matters of mutual interest, including Jordan’s commitment to economic reform and developments in the region related to the conflict in Syria," the State Department said.


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