Syria: US starts pulling equipment but not soldiers

14 January, 2019, 05:43 | Author: Carlos George
  • Turkey to attack Syrian Kurds even if US doesn't withdraw FM

President Donald trump argued that the decision by the USA victory over the militants of the terrorist organization Islamic state in Syria.

The US-led coalition in Syria has begun withdrawing its troops, a spokesman said Friday, less than a month after US President Donald Trump made his shock announcement.

Confirmation of the first withdrawals comes amid confusion over plans to implement Trump's pullout order and threats from Turkey to attack Kurdish fighters, who have been America's partners on the ground in the war against the Islamic State group in Syria.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details that have not yet been publicly announced, provided no numbers, but said the equipment withdrawal is under way and that an unspecified number of additional USA troops have been brought into Syria to assist with the withdrawal process, including troops to provide additional security.

Presumably, it removed the equipment from the Northern regions of Syria.

The CNN report added that officials it had previously spoken to said the Pentagon wants to signal to the president it is working towards his goals following his withdrawal decision last month.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict in Syria through a network of activists on the ground, said the withdrawal began Thursday night.

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"Before us we have Manbij on one side and the east of the Euphrates on the other", Akar said, underscoring the scale of a potential operation. But in a speech on the same day, he ironically added: "When America retreats, chaos often follows".

Mr Bolton's conditions for a withdrawal included the defeat of ISIS in Syria and guarantees for the safety of Washington's Kurdish allies, who have been threatened with an imminent offensive by Turkey.

Turkey regards the Kurd-dominated YPG units as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK, which Ankara considers a terrorist organization.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan labelled Mr Bolton's comments unacceptable and a "grave mistake".

Critics of Trump's decision, including within his own Republican party, have said a precipitous withdrawal would shatter U.S. policy in Syria and allow ISIS to rebuild.

Opponents of the move claim that the pullout will allow Russia, Iran and the Syrian regime to expand their influence in the region. "The Trump Administration's foreign policy is as deeply flawed in its conception as it is dangerously incompetent in its execution", Schiff, who is the chairperson of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, tweeted.

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