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An American military official said Friday, Jan. 11, 2019 that the USA -led military coalition has begun the process of withdrawing troops from Syria.

A spokesman for the coalition said it "has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria".

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist group reported that the coalition had started scaling down its presence at Rmeilan airfield in the northeastern province of Hasakeh.

The US-led coalition has several other bases across northeastern Syria, as well as in neighboring Iraq, where Trump has said American forces will remain.

United States troops have begun withdrawing from Syria, compounding weeks of confusion over Donald Trump's policy in the Middle East and raising fears over the fate of America's Kurdish allies.

But following a backlash from Republicans and Democrats in Congress and the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Trump said the troops would be withdrawn "slowly".

"We're going to be discussing the president's decision to withdraw, but to do so from northeast Syria in a way that makes sure that ISIS is defeated and is not able to revive itself and become a threat again", Bolton said when meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Speaking in Egypt Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed the troop pullout from Syria would go ahead as he urged Middle East nations to forge a common stand against Tehran.

The first USA military ground equipment has been withdrawn from Syria in recent days, signaling the beginning of the drawdown ordered by President Donald Trump, according to an administration official with direct knowledge of the operation.

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Trump begins to move US troops out of Syria

Ahmed spoke to The Associated Press Friday hours after an American official said the process of withdrawing American equipment from Syria has begun.

The movement is part of the eventual withdrawal of American troops from Syria, ordered abruptly last month by President Donald Trump.

U.S. defense officials said the withdrawal was only of certain types of gear, and not troops.

The withdrawal, Robertson said, "is based on operational conditions on the ground, including conversation with our allies and partners, and is not [to] be [the] subject to an arbitrary timeline".

Pompeo's remarks in Cairo also appeared to contradict Trump's announcement, drawing immediate criticism from Middle East experts as well as officials who served under former United States president Barack Obama.

"These have been folks that have fought with us and it's important that we do everything we can to ensure that those folks that fought with us are protected", Pompeo said of the Kurds while visiting Erbil, the capital of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, after talks in Baghdad.

"When the time and place comes, the terrorists here will be buried in the ditches they have dug, as was done in previous operations", Akar told the Turkish troops.

Uncertainty over the timing and terms of the Syria pullout have raised questions about the Trump administration's broader strategy for fighting Islamic extremism, including Trump's stated intention to reduce US forces in Afghanistan this summer.


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