US military announces start of troop withdrawal from Syria

2018 shows a line of US military vehicles in Syria's northern city of Manbij

President Donald Trump claimed in December that USA troops had defeated the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria and would now return home.

The news follows weeks of confusion over Donald Trump's plans for U.S. withdrawal from the country.

Mr Bolton later laid out several conditions for the withdrawal, which suggested that the four-month schedule agreed by Mr Trump could slip.

The US military has started moving non-essential equipment out of Syria, but it is not withdrawing troops for now, a defence official said Friday as the Pentagon sought to clarify an earlier statement.

There are some 2,000 US troops stationed across northeastern Syria.

But the Baghdad-based official did not give details and it is unclear how many vehicles or troop units had been withdrawn.

"We will confirm that there has been no redeployment of military personnel from Syria to date", said Navy Commander Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman. Pompeo said the meeting would "focus on Middle East stability and peace, freedom and security here in this region, and that includes an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence".

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

Myanmar Court Rejects Appeal by Reporters Jailed for Seven Years
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were among a group of journalists named in December as Time Magazine's "Person of the Year". The operation sent more than 730,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh , according to United Nations estimates.

The news that a withdrawal had begun was confirmed on Thursday by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in the United Kingdom, which monitors activity in the war-town country through a network of activists.

But the first defense official said this was merely part of a regular troop movement.

The US decision has injected new uncertainty into the eight-year-long Syrian war and spurred a flurry of contacts over how a resulting security vacuum will be filled across a swathe of northern and eastern Syria where the US forces are stationed.

The battle against die-hard jihadists in remote areas along the Iraqi-Syrian border and the hunt for IS supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the world's most wanted man, could last indefinitely.

The start of the drawdown coincided with a Middle East tour by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who insisted in Cairo on Thursday that the withdrawal would go ahead despite widespread criticism. But in a speech on the same day, he ironically added: "When America retreats, chaos often follows". It has vowed to increase the pressure until Iran halts what USA officials describe as its "malign activities" throughout the Mideast and elsewhere, including support for rebels in Yemen, anti-Israel groups, and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"The Americans have a right to make decisions that are in their country's security and national interests", said Ilham Ahmed, who co-chairs the US-backed Syrian Democratic Council in northeastern Syria.

Operation Olive Branch was conducted by Turkish Armed Forces-backed Syrian opposition group Free Syrian Army (FSA) starting on January 20, 2018 to remove the PKK's Syrian affiliate People's Protection Unit (YPG) elements from Afrin in northwestern Syria following the first operation conducted in northern Syria in 2016, the Operation Euphrates Shield that targeted Daesh terrorists in Syria's Al-Bab and Jarablus.

Turkey, however, considers the YPG a terrorist group linked to a rebellion in Turkey.

Related News:

  • Kate Middleton Celebrates 37th Birthday as Proud Mom of 3

    Kate Middleton Celebrates 37th Birthday as Proud Mom of 3

    William, who worked as an air ambulance pilot for many years, has previously spoken about how his job impacted his mental health . Although the Duchess of Cambridge looks marvelous every time in public, there are no obvious proofs about her pregnancy .
    Trump says record-long govt shutdown could be resolved 'in 15 minutes'

    Trump says record-long govt shutdown could be resolved 'in 15 minutes'

    At least one airport planned to close a concourse as absences rose among security screeners who haven't received their wages. That ended when congressional Republicans agreed to a short-term funding bill for closed agencies that was later extended.
    Commons plot to seize control from Theresa May ahead of Brexit vote

    Commons plot to seize control from Theresa May ahead of Brexit vote

    In the event of a defeat for May, they are poised to back a plan B which would prevent Britain from signing its own trade deals. MPs are expected to vote down the deal, paving the way for further uncertainty over the process of leaving the EU.
  • Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's campaign fined for not providing workers' comp coverage

    Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's campaign fined for not providing workers' comp coverage

    According to reports , the campaign was forced to pay a $1,500 fine for not providing the required insurance. It's not the same thing, at all", she said.
    Bafana Bafana legend Phil Masinga has died

    Bafana Bafana legend Phil Masinga has died

    He scored five goals in 31 league appearances for Leeds, and will be remembered fondly by the club's fanbase. The ex-Leeds United player was admitted to hospital in December , after falling to an undisclosed illness.
    Canadian Adam Svensson shoots a stunning 61 to lead Sony Open

    Canadian Adam Svensson shoots a stunning 61 to lead Sony Open

    Putnam didn't get a practice round in before the tournament because of a bee sting, but he obviously didn't need a warm-up. Had he dropped and played the shot, it would have been a penalty.
  • Telcos promise to stop selling location data, but Congress is not satisfied

    Telcos promise to stop selling location data, but Congress is not satisfied

    That sounds a bit rich to some lawmakers, however, who extracted what appeared to be identical promises seven months ago. Motherboard also reached out to Zumigo , the company who sold T-Mobile user data to Microbilt in the first place.
    Keck Observatory captures a celestial birthing event for the first time

    Keck Observatory captures a celestial birthing event for the first time

    But The Cow was relatively naked, allowing the researchers to peer right into its "central engine" and see the black hole itself. The second paper hypothesizes that it is a supernova - a stellar explosion - that gave birth to a black hole or a neutron star.
    This is 40: Pacquiao taking it one fight at a time

    This is 40: Pacquiao taking it one fight at a time

    On that night, Mayweather emerged the victor by unanimous decision after 12 rounds that failed to live up to expectations. That led to a question about a potential fight with Mayweather. "I'm coming to take the throne from Pacquiao".
  • World Bank issues rules for selecting next president

    World Bank issues rules for selecting next president

    The US prevailed in selecting its preferred candidate over challengers from Nigeria and Colombia, but the process was grueling. Ivanka Trump is reportedly in the running as a possible candidate to take over as head of the World Bank .
    Griffin denies ignoring Clippers' Ballmer

    Griffin denies ignoring Clippers' Ballmer

    It's pretty clear that there are still some hard feelings from Blake Griffin toward the Los Angeles Clippers . Griffin claimed Saturday's run to the locker room is part of his normal pregame routine.
    NFL Prop Bets to Target for the Divisional Round

    NFL Prop Bets to Target for the Divisional Round

    The sources said that the move could happen if the Rams don't advance to the NFC Championship Game and the Chargers do advance. Coming off of a bye week, the Kansas City Chiefs and their high-powered offense are the likely favorites at home this week.


Most liked

Shawn Michaels Reveals His Favorite NXT UK Wrestlers
After a clip of that attack played and Banks entered, Devlin attacked the already-weakened New Zealander before the bell. Dave Mastiff then picked up a big win over Eddie Dennis in a No Disqualification Match.

AMD launches world's first 7nm gaming GPU Radeon VII for $699
Besides the 7nm size, the Radeon VII will also use 16GB of high-performance memory with a pretty wild claimed 1TB bandwidth. AMD Radeon VII will not probably compete with TITAN RTX, it will not probably compete with RTX 2080 Ti either.

Rams run past Cowboys, into NFC title
Dallas was held to just 50 rushing yards though, while the Rams mauled Dallas for 273 yards and three scores on the ground. Anderson's second touchdown run made it 30-15 with 7:16 remaining.

Man who killed police officer had been ordered to surrender AR-15
After firing more shots, the gunman fled, eventually barricading himself in his nearby apartment and fatally shooting himself. Slain Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona is seen in a photo posted to her Facebook page on October 21, 2016.

PA slams Israeli "apartheid road" in West Bank
He warned that this road plan could lead to the expulsion of Khan Al-Ahmar village and more than 21 other Palestinian communities. Israel says the barrier is necessary for security, but for Palestinians it has become a symbol of the occupation.

Sarri: Chelsea need to improve 'mentally and technically' despite win over Newcastle
Willian should have restored Chelsea's lead moments later, but the winger prodded nervously wide after being put through on goal. A very important player, like Pedro . [Hudson-Odoi] is becoming for us a really important player.

Federer shares shock at Murray's retirement, discusses end of his own career
It's hardly surprising that we're hearing this, when less than 3% of people shown playing sport in national newspapers are women. Yeah, I think everyone I feel like knows when it's time and when it's right. "I don't know if that's also part of the equation".

2 single screens, one multiplex stop screening 'The Accidental Prime Minister'
Anupam Kher plays the lead role in the film and has managed to emulate the mannerisms of our ex-PM pretty well. The Accidental Prime Minister film is based on the 2014 memoir of the same name by Sanjaya Baru .

Without Messi, Barcelona loses to Levante in Copa del Rey
Erick Cabaco opened the scoring for the hosts in a flash, with there being less than five minutes passed on the clock. The Brazilian star ripped the opportunity into the left side of the net, beating a diving Aitor Fernandez.

Sandgren, Norrie to meet in ASB Classic final
Both players notched two break points apiece, but Norrie edged in front 7-5 to take the first set. I was just grateful that I could be out here and could play and compete.

Three New iPhones Reported For This Year
Chatter earlier today circulated around the camera and display technology that would be used in this year's new iPhones. This rumor isn't new, but it's coupled with the idea that the iPhone XR hasn't sold as well as Apple thought it would.

Lexus clips roof off hot coupe for LC Convertible Concept
More than just a grand tourer, the strong exterior lines of the LC Convertible concept reinforce its performance pedigree. The wheels are 22-inchers, an inch larger than the biggest available for the fixed-roof vehicle .

CES 2019: Lexar Launches 1TB SD Card, Priced at $499.99
The Lexar Professional 633X 1TB SDXC card costs US$499.99 (about RM2,044) and it comes with a limited lifetime warranty. This is quite a huge leap considering Lexar had announced their first 1GB SD card about 15 years ago.

The REAL Reason Bungie Just Split With Activision
This prompted a response by Destiny director Luke Smith, who stated on Twitter that Bungie is "not disappointed with Forsaken . As Bungie takes over complete control of Destiny , Activision will increase it's focus on its other IPs.

Winter Storm Gia forecast: Monster snowstorm to span half the US
Areas further to the south will get the most snow, with parts of South Jersey and northern DE seeing as much as 3-5 inches. Light snow and some freezing rain look possible with light accumulations on the table by Sunday morning.