US withdrawal from Syria has begun, defense official says

U.S. position installed near the front line between the U.S-backed Syrian Manbij Military Council and the Turkish-backed fighters in Manbij north Syria. An American military official said Friday Ja

"Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troops movements", Ryan said.

Representatives of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a military coalition dominated by Kurdish fighters, declined to comment Friday, suggesting instead that the USA military should explain its plans.

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

It said a convoy of about 10 armored vehicles, in addition to some trucks, pulled out from Syria's northeastern town of Rmeilan into Iraq.

Foreign allies, including the Kurdish-led force that has spearheaded Washington's fight against the Islamic State, say they had not received warning about the withdrawal announcement, and administration officials initially offered differing timetables for its completion. "Iran is pulling people out of Syria, but they can frankly do whatever they want there", the US president said. On Thursday, Pompeo declared that the U.S.is a "force for good" in the Middle East. This, she said, includes putting an end to the Turkish threats and fully eradicating the Islamic State group and its sleeper cells.

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Any Turkish assault on the Kurdish-held territories in Syria liberated from the Islamic State while American forces are still there may entail a potential conflict between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

While speaking to reporters Friday, a spokesperson for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said establishing dialogue is vital to maintaining peace.The spokesperson also urged the U.S.to hand over its territory to Assad amid threats from Turkey of a possible attack on Kurds in the region.

But the USA pullout risks leaving the Kurds at the mercy of Turkey, which views the fighters as terrorists.

"It is important that we do everything we can to make sure that those folks that fought with us are protected and Erdogan has made commitments, he understands that", Pompeo said during a Wednesday visit to the Kurdistan Region capital Erbil.

Critics of Trump's decision, including within his own Republican camp, have said that a precipitous withdrawal would shatter United States policy in Syria and allow ISIS to rebuild. Once the troops are gone, the US will have ended three years of organizing, arming, advising and providing air cover for Syrian, Kurdish and Arab fighters in an open-ended campaign devised by the Obama administration to deal the IS group a lasting defeat.

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The withdrawal comes amid a escalating tensions between the Syrian Kurds and the Turkish government, which has promised an imminent attack.

Opponents of the move claim that the pullout will allow Russia, Iran and the Syrian regime to expand their influence in the region.

Turkey considers America's Kurdish allies of the YPG militia - who were vital in the ground war against ISIS - a terrorist group.

In Moscow on Friday, Maria Zakharova, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, expressed doubt that the USA would continue with its withdrawal, according to Russia's Interfax news agency.

Sean Robertson, said in a statement, "We will confirm that there has been no redeployment of military personnel from Syria to date".

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On Friday, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said those talks will continue into next week. She said Russian Federation has not seen public statements laying out the USA strategy in Syria and so can not be sure that the U.S.is serious about leaving. Also, U.S. troops are among 200 to 300 coalition troops at a garrison in southern Syria known as al-Tanf, where they train and accompany local Syrian opposition forces on patrols to counter the IS group.

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