Saturday, January 19, 2019 | ePaper

US-led coalition starts Syria withdrawal

  • Print


A line of US military vehicles drive through a checkpoint of the Internal Security Forces in Manbij as they head to their base on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city.

Reuters, Beirut :
The U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State has begun the process of withdrawing from Syria, its spokesman said on Friday, affirming the start of a pullout that has been clouded by mixed messages from U.S. officials.
President Donald Trump announced last month the decision to withdraw 2,000 U.S. troops who have deployed to Syria in support of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia in the fight against Islamic State.
The coalition "has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria. Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troop movements," Colonel Sean Ryan said.
Washington's Kurdish allies in northern Syria fear the withdrawal will open the way for Turkey to mount a long-threatened offensive against their area. Turkey views the dominant Syrian Kurdish groups as a national security threat.
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton suggested on Tuesday that protecting the Kurds would be a pre-condition of the U.S. withdrawal, drawing a rebuke from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who called his comments "a serious mistake".
But U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday the withdrawal would not be scuppered despite the Turkish threats.
Trump's shock announcement on December 19 that he was withdrawing all 2,000 American troops from the conflict-wracked Middle Eastern country concerned allies and prompted the resignation of his then defense chief Jim Mattis.
Since then, however, administration officials appear to have walked back considerably and the current envisaged timetable is unclear.
The removal of the equipment in recent days was first reported by CNN, which quoted an administration official with direct knowledge of the operation as saying it signaled the beginning of US withdrawal from the Middle Eastern country.
The official quoted by CNN would not describe exactly what the cargo was or how it was being transported.
They also did not say what part of Syria it came from, though it is expected the drawdown would begin in the country's north.

More News For this Category

Human diet causing ‘catastrophic’ damage to planet: Study

Human diet causing ‘catastrophic’ damage to planet: Study

AFP, Paris :The way humanity produces and eats food must radically change to avoid millions of deaths and "catastrophic" damage to the planet, according to a landmark study published

Top judge sworn in as Pakistan's SC Chief Justice, pledges reform

Top judge sworn in as Pakistan's SC Chief Justice, pledges reform

AP, Islamabad  : A top Pakistani judge has been sworn in as the country's new chief justice of the Supreme Court at a ceremony attended by President Arif Alvi, Prime

Modi's pre-election handouts to cost India billions, breach fiscal targets

Modi's pre-election handouts to cost India billions, breach fiscal targets

Reuters, New Delhi :A series of vote-catching measures planned by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he braces for a difficult general election may cost more than 1 trillion

Rigging polls was at the direction of  Trump, says ex-Lawyer

Rigging polls was at the direction of Trump, says ex-Lawyer

Reuters,  Washington :Michael Cohen, US President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, said on Thursday he paid a firm to manipulate online polling data "at the direction of and for

News In Brief

Vietnam 'willing' to host Trump-Kim summitAFP, Hanoi Vietnam's premier has said his country is willing to host a much-anticipated second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean

US 'jihadist' sought to attack White House: FBI

US 'jihadist' sought to attack White House: FBI

AFP, Washington :Authorities in the US state of Georgia have arrested a 21-year-old man who sought to buy explosives and an anti-tank rocket for a "jihad" suicide attack on

Taiwan holds live-fire exercises following China threats

Taiwan holds live-fire exercises following China threats

AP, Hsinchu :Taiwan held live-fire exercises along its east coast Thursday amid renewed threats from China to bring the island under its control by force if deemed necessary.Artillery and assault

'Stupid' to suggest Trump a Russian agent: Putin's top aide

'Stupid' to suggest Trump a Russian agent: Putin's top aide

AFP, Moscow :A top Kremlin aide on Wednesday dismissed as ridiculous claims that US President Donald Trump has acted as an agent for Russia amid mounting controversy over his alleged

Vietnam prepares for Kim Jong Un visit amid talks of second summit with Trump

Vietnam prepares for Kim Jong Un visit amid talks of second summit with Trump

Reuters, Hanoi  :Hanoi is preparing to receive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a state visit, two sources told Reuters, while officials and diplomats said Vietnam is keen to

Sudan protests rumble on as Bashir remains defiant

Sudan protests rumble on as Bashir remains defiant

AFP, Khartoum :One month after protests erupted across Sudan against rising bread prices, anti-government demonstrations have turned into daily rallies against a defiant President Omar al-Bashir who has rejected calls