United States military begins withdrawal from Syria

Turkey to attack Syrian Kurds even if US doesn't withdraw FM

Turkey to attack Syrian Kurds even if US doesn't withdraw FM

The US military has begun moving non-essential gear out of Syria but is not withdrawing troops for now, defense officials said amid uncertainty over America's planned exit from the war-battered nation.

The coalition has started "the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria", Army Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the USA -led anti-Islamic State coalition, wrote in an email. He said the US will not discuss a specific timeline, locations or troop movements out of concern for operational security.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported earlier that the US-led coalition in Syria had started scaling down its presence at Rmeilan airfield in the Hasakeh province of northeastern Syria.

In his comments, Bolton had said that he, President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held the understanding that Turkey had agreed "not to harm the Kurds who had fought with us against ISIS".

Trump's decision to withdraw all of the 2,000 United States troops from the war-torn country prompted shockwaves among USA senior officials and U.S. allies in December.

"We're going to be discussing the president's decision to withdraw, but to do so from northeast Syria in a way that makes sure that ISIS is defeated and is not able to revive itself and become a threat again", Bolton said when meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

There are 2,000 US troops in Syria and while the military has orders to follow the president's decision to withdraw, they have no timelines attached for how long it will take.

"Obviously when there is a political solution, we will withdraw", he said without elaborating.

19 announcement that he was moving to disentangle USA troops from Syria's complex battlefield sparked fears that the move might undo efforts to defeat the Islamic State's final remnant in Syria.

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The official also would not say what part of Syria the equipment was in, although it's widely expected the drawdown will begin in northern Syria. "And we're hoping those discussions, which will continue next week, will produce results that are acceptable on both sides", he said in an interview with Hugh Hewitt, according to a transcript.

Pompeo suggested on Monday that Erdogan and Trump had a firm agreement about the Kurds, telling CNBC that "the Turks would ensure that the folks that we'd fought with, that had assisted us in the counter-ISIS campaign would be protected".

"For this reason we have said repeatedly that we would like to have an insight into the (U.S) strategy".

A senior Kurdish politician says the Kurds are aware of the US beginning to withdraw from Syria, describing it as "America's decision".

On Sunday, National Security Adviser John Bolton set out stringent conditions for the proposed withdrawal, saying the defense of allies must first be assured.

"When the time and place comes, the terrorists here will be buried in the ditches they have dug, as was done in previous operations", Akar told the Turkish troops.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow Friday, she said it appears to Moscow that the U.S.

Russian Federation said it was beginning to suspect the U.S. did not actually want to leave.

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