USA withdraws some military equipment from Syria

11 January, 2019, 15:36 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Turkey Stands By Deal To Buy Russian Missiles, Attack Kurds In Syria

Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman to US -led military coalition in Syria, has confirmed that that they had begun the process of withdrawing troops from Syria.

In a statement, the Pentagon said that, "Out of concern for operational security, we will not be discussing specific troop movements or timelines, but we do expect to provide a periodic update on progress regarding percentages of equipment removed from Syria".

"On Thursday, some American forces withdrew from the Rmeilan military base in Hassakeh province", said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based war monitor, which relies on reports from activists on the ground. Mr. Trump's abrupt decision in December to pull them, declaring in a tweet the defeat of ISIS, sent shockwaves across the region and led to the resignation of U.S. Defense Minister James Mattis and the top U.S. envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition.

The fate of US troops in Syria was further muddled Tuesday when Turkish President Recep Erdogan said Bolton made a "grave mistake" when he demanded Turkey pledge protection of the American supported Kurdish fighters.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been touring the Middle East this week to reassure allies of Washington's commitment to regional security, said on Thursday the withdrawal would not be scuppered despite the Turkish threats.

Even as administration officials continue to insist the United States will leave Syria, they are indicating - in part by adding conditions for withdrawal without timelines - that the American presence will continue far longer than the President's initial pledge of departure "now" or even by the 120-day deadline the White House offered later.


"These have been folks that have fought with us and it's important that we do everything we can to ensure that those folks that fought with us are protected", Pompeo said of the Kurds while visiting Irbil, the capital of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, after talks in Baghdad.

US troops have been involved in Syria's war since 2014 when the first elite force arrived in the country to advise Kurdish-led fighters who were involved in battles against the Islamic State group.

CNN reported earlier that the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) has identified ships, aircraft and ground units that will be used in the operation.

The decision has injected new uncertainties into the eight-year long Syrian war and a flurry of contacts over how a resulting security vacuum will be filled across a swathe of northern and eastern Syria where the US forces are stationed.

"President Trump has made the decision to bring our troops home from Syria". Turkey views the Kurdish YPG militia, which forms the core of the SDF force, as a national security threat.

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Americans are not serious about withdrawing from Syria. If not, the Trump administration would be accused of abandoning an ally to a grim fate.

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