ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – US-led coalition troops in Syria have begun to withdrawing from the war-torn country, a spokesperson announced on Friday.
“CJTF-OIR has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria,” spokesperson Col. Sean Ryan told AFP, referring to the US-led anti-Islamic State force.
“Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troop movements,” Ryan said.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that the coalition has started to evacuate Rmeilan airfield in the Syrian Kurdish province of Hasakah, located in the northeastern of the country.
“On Thursday, some American forces withdrew from the Rmeilan military base in Hasakeh province,” the monitoring organization said.
“This is the first such pullout of American forces since the US president's announcement” of a full troop withdrawal from Syria last month, the organization added.
On Dec. 19, the US President Donald Trump stated that he had ordered the withdrawal of all US forces in Syria, which is estimated to be around 2,000 troops.
The decision sparked heavy criticisms from inside and outside of the US, but US senior officials, including Trump, have stated that they will protect the Kurds in the country, whom Washington has been supporting in the fight against the Islamic State in the past few years as the Kurdish forces expressed fears that instability could return to liberated areas.
Editing by Nadia Riva