Led coalition has started Syria withdrawal

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The US-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) confirmed on Friday that the military had started the "deliberate withdrawal" of the roughly 2,000 American troops in Syria.

In his comments, Bolton had said that he, President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held the understanding that Turkey had agreed "not to harm the Kurds who had fought with us against ISIS".

The coalition "has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria". 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.

In a statement emailed to The Associated Press on Friday, he declined to discuss specific timelines or locations or troops movements out of concern for operational security.

This is a developing story.

The USS Kearsarge amphibious assault ship is now in the region and could provide troops and equipment to support the withdrawal.

Apart from the U.S., the UK, Germany, Turkey, and Russian Federation also have troops in Syria. On Thursday, Pompeo declared that the U.S.is a "force for good" in the Middle East.

Both had declared that the United States would not leave unless ISIS was entirely defeated and Turkey agreed not to attack Syrian Kurds.

Following the announcement, Defense Secretary James Mattis submitted his resignation letter.

"OIR [Operation Inherent Resolve] has an approved framework for the withdrawal of forces from Syria, and is now engaged in executing that withdrawal", Pentagon spokesman Commander Sean Robertson said earlier this week.

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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.

She charged that the USA appeared to be "looking for a reason to stay" in Syria.

Turkey considers the People's Protection Units (YPG) militia to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that has waged a decades-long insurgency against Ankara.

"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.

"President Trump has made the decision to bring our troops home from Syria".

US national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday American troops will not leave northeastern Syria until ISIS is defeated and USA -backed Kurds were protected.

"Let me be clear: America will not retreat until the terror fight is over", Pompeo said.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu went so far on Wednesday as to say that if the USA withdrawal from Syria was delayed, "then we will put this decision into practice", suggesting Turkey could go after the Kurds in short order.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday that the thousands of Turkish troops amassed along the Syrian border would attack whether the U.S. is out or not.

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