US armored vehicles were parked in the town of Tal Tamr, Syria, as Russian helicopters few over the Kurdish-controlled area, Sunday, January 26.
READ MORE: U.S. troops at military outposts in eastern Syria asked variations of the same question to their top commander Saturday: What is our future here? What are the goals we need to think about?
Gen. Frank McKenzie, the U.S Middle East commander, knows the future is not certain. But at least for today, he said, "this is an area where we made a commitment. I think we're going to be here for a while."
In an unannounced tour of five military bases in Syria stretching from the northeastern part of the country to the Middle Euphrates River Valley, McKenzie offered reassurances that the U.S. remains committed to its mission in Syria. And he said that operations against Islamic State militants are on the rise again, after the U.S. cut back due to the increased tensions with Iran and the need to concentrate on increasing security.