Led coalition says Syria withdrawal has begun

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"CJTF-OIR has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria", said Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the anti-ISIS coalition, citing the Department of Defense.

The withdrawal began Thursday night, according to the UK-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It said a convoy of about 10 armored vehicles, in addition to some trucks, pulled out from Syria's northeastern town of Rmeilan into Iraq. Trump's decision drew intense criticism that the USA was abandoning its local Kurdish allies and led to the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis and Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS.

National Security Advisor John Bolton appeared to contradict the White House Sunday when he said the USA withdrawal from Syria would not be immediate, but the Pentagon announced Thursday that without receiving any new direction, it's moving forward with the mission.

Ironically, troops that are designated to help with the eventual withdrawal already are in the area, adding more more troops in the vicinity now than before President Donald Trump announced the Syria withdrawal in December.


Residents near border-crossing points typically used by US forces moving in and out of Syria from Iraq told Reuters they had seen no obvious or large-scale movements following Friday's announcement.

A convoy of USA military vehicles rides in Syria's northern city of Manbij.

America's operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the country were to continue during the withdrawal process.

The military would not give any detail of the overall timetable for the American withdrawal nor which positions United States troops had begun pulling back from.


While speaking to reporters Friday, a spokesperson for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said establishing dialogue is vital to maintaining peace.The spokesperson also urged the U.S.to hand over its territory to Assad amid threats from Turkey of a possible attack on Kurds in the region. The latter will no doubt prove the more hard objective to meet.

Turkey views the USA -backed YPG Syrian Kurdish militia as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a 34-year insurgency in Turkey for Kurdish political and cultural rights, mostly in southeastern areas near Syria. Turkey views the Kurdish YPG militia, which forms the core of the SDF force, as a national security threat.

Now, America's allies on the ground are turning to Washington's rivals for protection.

Friday's announcement signalled the first such withdrawal since the president's announcement, Rahman said.


"It's clear that the administration has no real plan", said Sen.

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