Trump begins to move U.S. troops out of Syria

American armoured vehicles at a US post near the town of Manbij in northern Syria. AP

American armoured vehicles at a US post near the town of Manbij in northern Syria. AP

The Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group, carrying roughly 2,000 Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), is in the Mediterranean to guard against any threats to the withdrawal. He spoke before the announcement on the USA withdrawal and did not address it.

Colonel Sean Ryan, spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State, said the process of removing troops for the country had started.

"Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troops movements", the statement added.

Damascus and Kurdish forces have reportedly stepped up their efforts to strike a longstanding political settlement following President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw United States troops from Syria.

Initial indications from the White House were that USA forces would be withdrawn from Syria in 30 days.

The US has begun its operation to pull troops out of Syria, sending naval vessels and back-up forces to the region to assist with the withdrawal. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. "Our only targets are terrorists, Daesh [Islamic State] and PKK/YPG", Akar said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he will carry out the long-planned offensive against the YPG, regardless of the USA withdrawal pace.

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

The U.S. has begun to withdraw equipment from Syria as questions about President Donald Trump's timeline and strategy for pulling troops from the eight-year conflict there continue to fuel confusion.

Most US forces are concentrated in the northeast of Syria, but soldiers also maintain a base near southern Syria in an area known as al-Tanf, on the Iraqi border.

Also heading to the region is a group of naval vessels led by the USS Kearsarge, an amphibious assault ship. "And when we partner with our enemies, they advance", he said.

Ground troops are en route to Syria to help move out some of the roughly 2,000 American service members now deployed there, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing defense officials.

Trump initially indicated that the withdrawal would be quick but has since stated that it would be "slow and coordinated" with allies. A former U.S. official told Al-Monitor that former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis "had a unique level of credibility and juice" to defy Bolton, and that few people in the Defense Department have anything good to say about Bolton.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian of France, which is part of the USA -led coalition, welcomed what he believed was a slower withdrawal by the U.S after pressure from its allies.

Of the almost 5.2 million registered refugees from the Syrian civil war, more than 3.5 million are in Turkey, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied that the administration's conditions-based approach to withdrawing from Syria undermined the intent of Trump's original order. The U.S. doesn't want these prisoners to be released once U.S. forces are gone, since they could rejoin the militant cause in Syria or elsewhere. She said Russian Federation has not seen public statements laying out the US strategy in Syria and so can not be sure that the serious about leaving.

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