U.S. Troops Are Leaving Syria, Here’s What It Looks Like | NYT News
The Pentagon stressed that it is situational and does not provide for; arbitrary timing of the withdrawal of troops
WASHINGTON – US troops in Syria have a plan to leave the country, although the military is unlikely to stop fighting the Islamic State terrorist group anytime soon.
The 2,000 US troops in Syria fighting the Islamic State have received “an approved framework for withdrawal,” Pentagon spokesman Commander Sean Robertson said, adding that commanders are now “in the process of implementing this withdrawal.”.
“This framework is situational and will not involve an arbitrary withdrawal of troops,” Robertson said..
A military spokesman noted that the Pentagon will not discuss the details for security reasons, but added that the rate of return of the military home will depend on a number of factors, including the weather..
He also said that the Pentagon will “periodically provide information on how the withdrawal is taking place, reporting the percentage of equipment withdrawn from Syria.”.
The posting of the approved withdrawal framework came just hours after President Donald Trump tweeted criticizing the media for their coverage of his December decision to immediately begin the withdrawal of American troops from Syria – a decision that led to resignation of former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.
“Our boys, our young women, our men – they all come back and come back now,” Trump said in a video posted to his Twitter on December 19..
At the time, administration officials predicted that the withdrawal would take about 30 days. But since then, high-ranking diplomatic and military officials began to gradually shift these dates..
Last Friday, a senior State Department official said there was no timetable for the withdrawal of troops..
Meanwhile, the New York Times published an article by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he praised Trump for “the correct call for leaving Syria.”.
The article was published the day before Erdogan’s scheduled meeting with Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton..
At the same time, Erdogan also warned that Turkey will continue to fight all terrorist groups, including the People’s Self-Defense Forces..
“Turkey will continue to do what it must do to ensure its own security and the well-being of the international community,” Erdogan wrote..
“Under Turkey, the Syrian territories, which are under the control of the People’s Self-Defense Forces or the so-called Islamic State, will be governed by councils elected by the population,” he added. “Individuals not associated with terrorist groups will have the right to represent their communities in local government.”.