FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2018 file photo, National Security Advisor John Bolton unveils the Trump Administration’s Africa Strategy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. The White House has sent Bolton on a mission to allay Israel’s concerns about President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. The pullout announced before Christmas was initially expected to be completed within weeks, but the timetable has slowed as the president acceded to requests from aides, allies and members of Congress for a more orderly drawdown. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, seated front row forth from left, participates in a virtual reality demonstration at the Western Wall on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Jerusalem. U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer are sitting alongside. (AP Photo/Zeke Miller)
JERUSALEM — U.S. troops will not leave northeastern Syria until Islamic State militants are defeated and American-allied Kurdish fighters are protected, a top White House aide said Sunday, signaling a pause to a withdrawal abruptly announced last month and initially expected to be completed within weeks.