Trump begins to move United States troops out of Syria

U.S. soldiers near the front line in northern Syria

U.S. soldiers near the front line in northern Syria

Later, a USA defence official said no American troops have withdrawn yet from Syria, but some military cargo has been pulled out. The U.S. has about 2,000 troops in the country.

About 10 armored vehicles in addition to some engineering machines pulled out of Rmeilan, Syria, Thursday night headed for Iraq, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian conflict.

That report could not be independently confirmed Friday morning, and it was unclear whether the movement indicated a drawdown or was just a planned rotation.

This article was updated to include comment from a Defense Department source. "Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troop movements", Colonel Sean Ryan said on Friday.

On Sunday, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said American troops would not leave northeastern Syria until ISIS is defeated and the American-allied Kurdish fighters are protected. Turkey views the dominant Syrian Kurdish groups as a national security threat.

"Although we made a clear agreement with U.S. President Trump, different voices are emerging from different parts of the administration", Erdogan said this week as Bolton wrapped up his visit. They're taking place even as Erdogan says his military is prepared for a possible operation in northern Syria. The lira fell sharply Tuesday on fears of renewed U.S.

Ankara's anger over preconditions announced by Bolton before any USA withdrawal, including security guarantees for the Kurdish militia, may have brought forward the timing of a strike against the YPG.

Turkey dismissed that condition, and Pompeo said the withdrawal would continue.

The White House may not have yet publicly altered its criteria for withdrawal, but certainly something has changed.

Both NBC and CBS point out that this appears to contradict messaging from both Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. But the peace and stability of areas US forces withdraw from "must be guaranteed", she added.

Residents near border-crossing points typically used by USA forces moving in and out of Syria from Iraq told Reuters they had seen no obvious or large-scale movements following Friday's announcement.

This lack of coherent planning continues close to a moth after the president's December 19 announcement of the withdrawal.

It also marked the culmination of years of criticism by Trump over Washington's role in foreign wars.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that the thousands of Turkish troops amassed along the Syrian border would attack whether the United States is out or not. "We remain committed to the complete dismantling of ISIS - the ISIS threat - and the ongoing fight against radical Islamism in all of its forms", he said.

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