The United States-led coalition against ISIS has started the process of withdrawing from Syria, its spokesperson has said. According to the US President’s order signed last month, the withdrawal of 2,000 US troops from Syria should be ended in 2019, Guardian reported.
The US-led coalition announced in its statement that out of concern for operational security, it will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troop movements. The coalition against ISIS includes countries such as France and Britain, was formed in mid-2014 to counter ISIS’s expansion. The coalition supported the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against self-proclaimed caliphate.
“On Thursday, some American forces withdrew from the Rmeilan military base in Hasakeh province,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based monitoring organisation The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The scaling down of the US-led coalition’s presence at Rmeilan airfield in the northeastern province of Hasakeh will definitely change the overall situation. Meantime, the first such pullout of American forces since Trump’s December announcement also coincided with a trip to the Middle East by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to reassure allies about the US plans to withdraw troops from Syria’s territory.
Mike Pompeo hailed the start of the US troops withdrawal from Syria
Mike Pompeo described the United States as a “force for good” in Syria, in his speech at the American University in Cairo on Thursday, Mr Pompeo added the US remained committed to the “complete dismantling” of the threat posed by the ISIS in the Middle Eastern region.
However, Turkish President was criticised even within his own camp and is already having major repercussions on the civil war in Syria. Washington-back Kurds in northern Syria fear the withdrawal will open the way for Turkey to mount a long-threatened offensive against their area.
According to the US National Security Adviser John Bolton, protecting the Kurds would be a pre-condition of the US withdrawal, drawing a rebuke from Erdogan who tagged Bolton’s comments “a serious mistake”.