United States troops begin to withdraw from Syria, report says

1 2018 Turkish and U.S. troops conduct joint patrols around the Syrian town of Manbij as part of an agreement that aimed to ease tensions between the two NATO allies

1 2018 Turkish and U.S. troops conduct joint patrols around the Syrian town of Manbij as part of an agreement that aimed to ease tensions between the two NATO allies

Freelance governing: "Like so often in the Trump presidency, it seems that members of the administration are taking what should be said with their inside voice and saying it with their outside voice", Frances Brown, a former National Security Council official during the Obama and Trump administrations, told Al-Monitor.

The Pentagon says USA military personnel in Syria are moving ahead with President Trump's order to pull out of the war-torn country.

Kurdish officials, meanwhile, have demanded clarifications from the USA over its intentions.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian of France, which is part of the US -led coalition, welcomed what he believed was a slower withdrawal by the U.S after pressure from its allies.

Giving a subsequent speech about broader USA policy in the Middle East at the American University in Cairo, Pompeo said "now is the time" to bring America's forces out of Syria.

In addition, US warplanes from the aircraft carrier Stennis, patrolling the Persian Gulf, were flying missions over Syria and Iraq, Stars & Stripes reported from aboard the Stennis. Troops work mostly out of small camps in remote parts of the country's northeast.

In recent weeks, delegations from the Kurdish-led administration and the SDF have met Russian officials in Moscow and at the Hmeimim military base in Syria in attempts to head off a Turkish attack and to reach an agreement with Damascus on local self-rule.

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

Hours earlier, Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the USA -led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, said "the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria" has started. These include troops to provide additional security. The full withdrawal is expected to take several months.

Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar reviews an honor guard as he arrives for a meeting with the commanders of military units on Syrian border in Sanliurfa, southeastern Turkey, Jan. 11, 2019.

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.

Another complication is the fate of hundreds of foreign IS fighters being held in Syria.

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

Earlier this week, the US national security adviser John Bolton said American troops will not leave northeastern Syria until IS is defeated and American-allied Kurdish fighters are protected, signaling a slowdown in Trump's initial order for a rapid withdrawal.

However, with many of Trump's hawkish security and defence advisers opposed to the move, the United States president could renege on his promise to end America's military presence in Syria, as he abruptly did past year.

The reference was to Bolton's remarks this week the United States would not exit Syria until Turkey promised not to target U.S. Kurdish partners. He has, however, asserted that the US must bring an end to the Mideast wars that began after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.