The US has completed the process of reducing and relocating its military contingent in northeastern Syria, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday evening.

According to him, there will be a total of 600 US forces in Syria.

“It will be relatively static around that number. But if we see things happen ... I can dial up a little bit,” Esper said late on Wednesday during a flight back from the NATO summit on the outskirts of London. “The coalition is talking a lot again. We could see some allies want to volunteer troops. If an allied country, a NATO country, decided to give us 50 people, I might be able to turn off 50 people.”

US President Donald Trump has announced the withdrawal of the US military from the area of the Turkish operation in northern Syria, but said that Washington intends to maintain control of oil fields in the north-east of the Arab Republic in order to protect them from the militants of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Reuters notes that since then the number of US troops in Syria has fallen by 40% - from about 1,000 to 600.