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International News

Dec 20, 2018
8:40AM

US starts withdrawing troops from Syria

File Pic:PTI
United States has started to withdraw its troops from Syria. President Donald Trump in a tweet said they have defeated Islamic State group in Syria.


Soon after his tweet, the White House announced that the US troops have started returning from Syria. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that five years ago, IS was a very powerful and dangerous force in the Middle East, and now the US has defeated its territorial caliphate.


However, she said these victories over IS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign.


The Pentagon declined to give any comment immediately. Several US lawmakers warned the Trump Administration that this was a grave error. SenatorJeanne Shaheen said the President's tweet is dangerous, premature and wholly inconsistent with the facts on the ground in Syria and the military's advice.


US troops have largely been stationed in the Kurdish region in northern Syria. A partnership with an alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, is credited with playing a major role in the virtual elimination of the Islamic State terror group.


The group overran large swathes of Syria four years ago, imposing brutal rule on almost eight million people in the country and neighbouring Iraq. However, the terror group has not disappeared entirely.


A recent US report said, there were still as many as 14,000 Islamic State terrorists in Syria and even more in Iraq - and there is fear that they will shift to guerrilla tactics in an attempt to rebuild their network.


United States has about 2,000 troops on the ground in Syria.

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