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PARIS — France will keep troops in northern Syria for now because Islamic State militants have not been wiped out — contrary to the view of Washington - and continue to pose a threat to French interests, officials said.
France is a leading member of the U.S.-led coalition fighting militants in Syria and Iraq and has around 1,000 troops including special forces based in the north of the country, deployed alongside local Kurdish and Arab forces.
French diplomats told Reuters on Wednesday President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw all 2,000 U.S. troops from the region had taken Paris by surprise. U.S. officials justified the decision by saying Islamic State had been entirely defeated.
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