Troop Withdrawal From Syria Has Begun, Says U.S. Military Official
Reuters / Rodi Said – 11 Januar 2019 – U.S. troops have started to withdraw from Syria, a top military official revealed early Friday, less than a month after President Donald Trump shocked allies and advisers by announcing the pullout. Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS, confirmed the U.S. has started “the process of our deliberate withdrawal” from Syria, adding: “Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations, or troop movements.” The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based watchdog that monitors the conflict, said the withdrawal began late Thursday night when a convoy of armored vehicles pulled out from Syria’s northeastern town of Rmelan into Iraq. The pullout comes after Turkey threatened to attack Syrian Kurds—who have been America’s partners in the war against ISIS—when the U.S. withdraws. There are 2,000 American troops in Syria. Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned the day after Trump’s withdrawal announcement.
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