The US military is using more than 5,500 contractors in the campaign to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq, for the first time the Pentagon revealed, in a quarterly report, the use of contractors in Syria.
The latest figures from US Central Command indicate that 5,508 US and foreign contractors are working alongside US troops in the combat zones in each of Syria and Iraq.
That’s an increase of 12% over last January’s numbers revealed in the Pentagon’s report and which did not include Syria.
The disclosure comes as President Donald Trump has signaled his desire to pull US troops out of Syria after the end of the counter-ISIS mission.
The report pointed out that the role of contractors in Syria is to provide technical and logistic support for the 2,000 US troops in Syria by delivering hot meals, gasoline and other supplies. More than 30% of them support logistics and maintenance, according to the quarterly Pentagon report, and another 27% help with support and construction of US military outposts in the region.