U.S. official says troop withdrawal from Syria has started

The U.S. -led coalition against Islamic State has begun the process of withdrawing from Syria, a spokesman said on Friday, indicating the start of a U.S. pullout that has been clouded by mixed messages from Washington.

Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the US -coalition fighting ISIS, says the USA started 'the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria'.

"Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troops movements", he said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.

In the past 24 hours, US forces have withdrawn 10 vehicles and 150 personnel from the Rmelan military base, one of the first installations the USA -led coalition established in Syria in 2014, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It said a convoy of about 10 armoured vehicles, in addition to some trucks, pulled out from Syria's northeastern town of Rmeilan into Iraq.

Earlier this week, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton's calls for the protection of the YPG Syrian Kurdish militia as a pre-condition to a U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria angered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, causing the president to refuse to meet with the U.S. official.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is now on a Middle East tour to reassure allies about US plans to withdraw troops from 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.

While the USA military pullout is now officially underway it has made a slow start.

While he didn't release details, a US military official recently said equipment is being removed from the region.

US troops have been involved in the Syrian conflict since 2014.

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Americans are not serious about withdrawing from Syria. It also led to major criticism that the US was abandoning its local Kurdish allies amid Turkish threats of an imminent attack.

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".

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

But the Baghdad-based official did not give details and it is unclear how many vehicles or troop units had been withdrawn. The first of those criteria is unmet, but feasible, as the terror group now holds only a small patch of land in Syria.

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

Turkey was a rare ally that lauded Trump's momentous decision on Syria, a country where it will now have a freer rein to target US-allied Kurdish fighters who have played a major role in the war against IS but are deemed terrorists by Ankara.

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


Popular
  • Walton: Lakers needs 'more passion' from Ball, Ingram

    Walton: Lakers needs 'more passion' from Ball, Ingram

    The Los Angeles Lakers are allowing 34.7 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 46.8 rebounds per game. He is averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 34.6 minutes per game this season.
    Pochettino demands consistency from title-chasing Spurs

    Pochettino demands consistency from title-chasing Spurs

    Cardiff entered the contest in confident mood after four points from festive fixtures at Crystal Palace and Leicester had moved them three clear of the relegation zone.
    Brazil's Bolsonaro to take power amid high hopes and fears

    Brazil's Bolsonaro to take power amid high hopes and fears

    But many citizens blame the Workers' Party for a devastating recession from which Brazil is only now emerging. Bolsonaro and his wife, Michelle, stood up in an open-top Rolls-Royce and waved to thousands of onlookers.
  • North Korean leader in China to meet with Xi

    North Korean leader in China to meet with Xi

    Mr Kim will be in the country 7-10 January with his wife Ri Sol-ju, North Korean news agency KCNA said. According to media reports , official North Korean calendars even marked Tuesday as a normal workday.
    Erdogan and Putin to meet over USA  pullout from Syria

    Erdogan and Putin to meet over USA pullout from Syria

    The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces are dominated by the PYD/YPG, which is nothing but an extension of the terrorist PKK. Cavusoglu will travel to Russian Federation to discuss the process of the US withdrawal in the coming days, CNN Turk said.
    Trump Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq, His First to a Combat Zone

    Trump Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq, His First to a Combat Zone

    There were speculations about what the president was up to after reports of Air Force One being spotted flying over Europe. Talking to reporters, Trump defended his Syria decision and said people were going to eventually understand his reasoning.
  • US Golden Globe Awards provide golden showcase for Asians

    US Golden Globe Awards provide golden showcase for Asians

    Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron's lovingly shot " Roma " is expected to win the Golden Globe for best foreign language film. She is now nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama for " Killing Eve ".
    Kim Jong-un threatens return to nuclear standoff with US

    Kim Jong-un threatens return to nuclear standoff with US

    Victor Cha, senior adviser and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, noted the timing of the speech. Since the Trump-Kim summit though, less progress has been made than at least optimists had been hoping for.
    SpaceX launches 64 small satellites in single mission

    SpaceX launches 64 small satellites in single mission

    Bad weather forced the fourth cancellation of a SpaceX launch Saturday from Florida, with the next liftoff scheduled for Sunday. The very next year Musk's company secured an $83 million Air Force contract to launch the GPS III satellite.
  • Turkish leader blasts USA  on bid to shield Syrian Kurds

    Turkish leader blasts USA on bid to shield Syrian Kurds

    Still, Pompeo defended Trump's decision on Thursday, telling reporters the "decision to withdraw our troops has been made". Trump initially said it would be immediate, which alarmed his advisors and drove Secretary of Defense James N.
    911 service disrupted in parts of US

    911 service disrupted in parts of US

    Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink didn't provide details of the problem and it didn't indicate how many customers were affected. Customers of the internet, phone and TV provider have been hit by the outage, including in Idaho , New Mexico and Minnesota .
    Redskins release D.J. Swearinger after critical comments on defensive coordinator

    Redskins release D.J. Swearinger after critical comments on defensive coordinator

    Everyone knew a contender like the Kansas City Chiefs had very little hope for actually getting to claim safety D.J. Known for his outspokenness, he offered more veiled criticism of Manusky at times earlier this season.

CONNECT