USA pullout from Syria begins amid confusion over Pentagon timetable

PKK attack Turkish group in Germany

On Friday a spokesman said the coalition "has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria".

Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the US-led coalition said in a statement Friday that the coalition "has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria", but did not provide additional details.

On Thursday, Turkey's foreign minister said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had already made the decision to launch an offensive against the Kurds in northern Syria, and that it would go ahead regardless of the presence of American forces. "Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troop movements".

FILE - In this Wednesday, April 4, 2018 file photo, a US soldier, left, sits on an armored vehicle behind a sand barrier at a newly installed position near the front line between the U.S-backed Syrian Manbij Military Council and the Turkish-backed fighters, in Manbij, north Syria. "After all, the Kurds are an integral part of Syrian society", she said.

Concerns have been raised about the safety after the withdrawal of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), whose main component the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have been accused of being terrorists by Turkey.

Residents near Iraqi border crossings that are typically used by U.S. forces going in and out of Syria said they had seen no obvious or large-scale movement of American ground forces on Friday. "President Macron spoke to him (Trump) several times and it seems that there has been a change that I think is positive", he said in a television interview on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the USA national security adviser John Bolton said American troops will not leave northeastern Syria until IS is defeated and American-allied Kurdish fighters are protected, signaling a slowdown in Trump's initial order for a rapid withdrawal. "Trump's remarks continue to be the main point of reference for us".

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The statement appeared to contradict John Bolton, President Trump's national security advisor, who said on Monday that...

On the same day, however, Pompeo said in a speech that "when America retreats, chaos often follows". When we neglect our friends, resentment builds.

The naval group will be complemented by hundreds of US Marines, along with armed helicopters, to protect troops while they leave the country, according to the WSJ's sources.

"The good news is this: The age of self-inflicted American shame is over".

Russian Federation is mediating talks between the Syrian government and the Kurds to ensure a smooth transition when US troops leave the region. As the campaign progressed, the United States set up a ground base in southern Syria near the border with Jordan and Iraq, where it engaged in the retraining of anti-government militants.

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 United States withdrawal from the Middle Eastern country.

"The US is not withdrawing from the base at al-Tanf at this time", it quoted a Turkish official, citing a document which was presented in Ankara by Bolton early this week.

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