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US troops begins Syria withdrawal

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Addis Ababa, January 11, 2019 (FBC) – The United States-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) has started the process of withdrawing from Syria, its spokesperson has said.

The coalition “has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria”, Colonel Sean Ryan said on Friday.

“Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troop movements.”

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

“On Thursday, some American forces withdrew from the Rmeilan military base in Hasakeh province,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain-based monitoring organisation.

“This is the first such pullout of American forces since the US president’s announcement” of a full troop withdrawal from Syria last month, he said.

The withdrawal of troops also coincided with a trip to the Middle East by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to reassure allies about the US plans to withdraw troops from Syria.