Military Going Ahead With Syria Withdrawal Plans

14 January, 2019, 04:59 | Author: Angel Logan
  • US starts withdrawal of military hardware from Syria'for security reasons

Top U.S. officials were shocked too, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who quit in protest.

The official said the movement of equipment is part of what the military calls the start of a "deliberate withdrawal" from Syria, where some 2,000 troops have been working with a coalition for Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters to defeat the remnants of the Islamic State group. Washington, however, said that it would not disclose a timeline for withdrawing its troops, and pledged that the US-led global coalition's fight against terrorism would continue.

'CJTF-OIR has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria, ' spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan said in a statement, referring to the US-led anti-jihadist force.

"We have Manbij, and the east of Euphrates ahead", Akar said, echoing threats going back months from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other Turkish officials to mount an operation in Syria against the YPG.

"We are not withdrawing troops at this stage", the official said on condition of anonymity.

Robertson, in his statement, said the coalition had carried out "logistical measures" to support a withdrawal but did not enter into details.

PKK is a Kurdish underground operating inside Turkey, YPG is a defensive army in Syria, and the Turks are not interested in these distinctions.

US National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Friday talks between the US military and its Turkish counterparts on the Kurds and Syria will continue next week, in the hopes of producing results both countries accept. The withdrawal benefits Syrian President Bashar Assad and his worldwide backers, Russian Federation and Iran, who are primed to move into the region to fill a vacuum left behind by the Americans.

American officials wanted to condition a USA troop withdrawal on a guarantee of safety for its Kurdish allies and a Turkish commitment to non-aggression, an idea President Erdogan hated so much, he refused to meet with NSA John Bolton who had flown all the way to Ankara to meet with him.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, on Thursday that America will withdraw from Syria despite criticism of the move. In response to questions, she said, "I can not share your confidence that they are leaving there because we never saw an official strategy".

Pompeo's remarks follow tensions between the U.S. and Turkey over the fate of Washington's allies in the fight against ISIS.

But, he added, "we also know that those are fighting alongside of us for all this time deserve to be protected as well".

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.

The Assad regime said it was pleased with the development.

Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters that territory previously controlled by the United States should be transferred to the Syrian government."In this regard, establishing dialog between the Kurds and Damascus takes on particular significance".

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