The number of troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria are far more than the figure given by the Pentagon, according to a report.
A quarterly report from the Defense Manpower Data Center released in September found that there were 1,720 American troops in Syria.
That figure is more than three times the 503 troops that a US military spokesman from the Pentagon shared with reporters in a quarterly report.
Numbers given by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) contradict the numbers of troops that the Pentagon claimed are in Afghanistan, Iraq (pictured) and Syria
When pressed with the DMDC numbers, the Pentagon (pictured) downplayed the figures and how official they actually were
That same report also shared that there were actually 8,992 American troops based in Iraq which is close to 3,500 more than the 5,262 number given by the Department of Defense.
When pressed with the numbers, the Pentagon downplayed the figures and how official they actually were.
‘The DMDC numbers are not the official deployment count, the numbers that we provided – the approximately 500 in Syria and approximately 5,000 in Iraq is the official deployment count,’ said Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, to ABC News.
‘There are several other things that go into those numbers, it is a snapshot in time and have to also consider that number is quarterly… our official deployment count has not changed.’
When asked about the discrepancies, Manning said: ‘We are not at a point where we can make an announcement (on troop numbers) that differs from what we have previously stated.’
However, he pledged openness going forward on how many troops are deployed, echoing a similar pledge Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made this year.
‘We are going to be as transparent as we can possibly be without telegraphing or silhouetting ourselves to the enemy and showcasing our capabilities to the bad guys.’
Mattis ordered a review of the actual number of troops serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, earlier this year.
The numbers for Afghanistan are the only ones to be publicly disclosed.
Manning added that the Pentagon is not quite at the point of releasing numbers for the other two.
‘Some of that is based on operational security, some is based on agreements with partners and allies,’ he said.
Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered a review of the actual number of troops serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, earlier this year
3,900 American troops have been authorized by President Donald Trump, in August, making the entire number for troops up to 14,000, according to the Pentagon up to two weeks ago.
That number would obviously be higher if following the DMDC’s numbers.
They’ve reported that there are 15,282 American military personnel and 1,202 Defense Department civilians in Afghanistan to date.
In June, the agency reported that there were 12,000 troops in Afghanistan, which was significantly higher than the official count of 8,400.
‘The data is meant to be just an initial estimate and starting point,’ a Pentagon official said.
‘In addition to the permanently assigned personnel in a country, the data assisted in looking at the possible number of deployed personnel in an area.’
There are some discrepancies in the DMDC’s report however.
The Pentagon accounted for 800 Americans in Niger but the DMDC report said that from March to June, the number of troops were in the low teens.
But in June, the White House’s official notification to Congress under the War Powers Resolution claimed that there were 645 in the country.