United States troops begin to withdraw from Syria, report says

Clay Curtis
January 11, 2019

After days of back and forth over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pullout American troops from Syria, a U.S. military official said Friday the process of withdrawal has begun, declining to comment on specific timetables or movements.

"We can see the way statements on the decision to withdraw forces are interpreted in various authoritative structures in the USA and which signals on this issue are coming from representatives of the administration itself", Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told journalists on Wednesday, signaling that officials in Moscow are still attempting to interpret the variety of statements coming out of Washington.

"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. However, I can't imagine the US physically, fully and undisputedly withdrawing from Syria military all of a sudden in the current situation of Washington's unrestrained chase for global domination and the strive to be present everywhere and solve issues only on its terms.

There are 2,000 American troops in Syria.

President Donald Trump's announcement last month that he had chose to withdraw 2,000 us troops stunned allies that have joined Washington in the battle against Islamic State in Syria.

But the Baghdad-based official did not give details and it is unclear how many vehicles or troop units had been withdrawn.

Kurdish officials, meanwhile, have demanded clarifications from the USA over its intentions.

United States troops begin to withdraw from Syria, report says

President Donald Trump and senior defense officials met to discuss the planned Syria troop withdrawal Wednesday, as his national security team continued to send conflicting signals about the planned pullback that has roiled relations with NATO-ally Turkey.

Washington's Kurdish allies in northern Syria fear the withdrawal will open the way for Turkey to mount a long-threatened offensive against their area.

US Central Command has come up with an execution plan in order to safely withdraw troops there, officials tell CNN. Turkey views the Kurdish YPG militia, which forms the core of the SDF force, as a national security threat.

However, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the Turkish offensive would go ahead whether United States troops were in the area or not.

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton suggested on Tuesday that protecting the Kurds would be a pre-condition of the USA withdrawal, drawing a rebuke from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who called his comments "a serious mistake".

In the weeks following his announcement, Mr Trump has given differing signals over the future of U.S. involvement in the country.

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