US President Donald Trump says that despite his demand for them to be pulled out, some American troops will remain in Syria.
He said a few would protect oil fields while others would stay close to Israel and Jordan.
Two weeks ago, his decision to withdraw US troops from the border region of Syria and Turkey drew criticism from some of his supporters.
Shortly afterwards, Turkey launched an offensive against the Kurds ‘ former US allies.
Once again, the US president defended his decision to withdraw, in the face of allegations that he betrayed Kurdish-led forces that were a major partner in the war against the Islamic State group.
“Why should we put our troops into two major groups, hundreds of thousands of potentially fighting people? I don’t think so,” he said. “I got elected on bringing our soldiers back home.”
But Mr Trump said that too. The US had been asked by Israel and Jordan to leave a small number of troops in “a totally different section of Syria”.
He said US forces were needed in another part of the country to “secure the oil.”
Around 200,000 U.S. troops are stationed around the world in conflict areas, following the pledge of Mr Trump to bring them home.
According to estimates, the number of US troops in the Gulf has risen by 14,000 since May, following attacks on Saudi oil tankers blaming Iran.
The Pentagon announced earlier this month that approximately 3,000 American troops were being sent to “enhance the defence of Saudi Arabia”.
Turkey moved in Syria against Kurdish-led forces with the intention of pushing them away from northern Syria and establishing a “safe zone” for the resettlement of up to two million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
It is estimated that up to 300,000 people have fled their homes since the fighting began.
A ceasefire is currently in place to allow Kurdish-led forces to withdraw from the area but is scheduled to expire on Tuesday at 22:00 local time (19:00 GMT).
Mr Trump did not rule out an extension possibility.
Three current and former defense officials told NBC in a separate development that the Pentagon had started drawing up plans for a rapid withdrawal of all forces from Afghanistan in the event that Mr Trump ordered an immediate withdrawal as he did with Syria.
Mr Trump’s decision to remove U.S. forces from Syria has been heavily criticized.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to condemn the move, supporting the resolution by both Democrats and fellow Republicans of Mr Trump.
Republican Mitch McConnell said it was a “strategic mistake” in an opinion piece in the Washington Post..