No Syria-type pullout planned for Afghanistan: Pentagon chief

No Syria-type pullout planned for Afghanistan: Pentagon chief

The withdrawing convoy crossed the Tigris River at the Fishkhabur border post near the Turkish frontier, en route to Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan Region, where there is a United States base.

Angry residents in a Kurdish-controlled Syrian city pelted departing USA armored vehicles with potatoes and other refuse, videos on social media show.

Some of the residents there were heard - in English - shouting "No America" and "America liar", the Associated Press reported.

"Like rats, America is running away", one man shouted in Arabic.

"We are allocating some ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) assets to monitor, as best we can, specific areas of the new safety zone, if you will, to monitor to the best we can the ceasefire", Esper said.

Trump ordered the bulk of the approximately 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria to withdraw after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made it clear in a phone call that his forces were about to invade Syria to push back Kurdish forces that Turkey considers terrorists. After the assault began October 9, Trump ordered a general withdrawal from Syria.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted about the US troops who were close to the oil fields. Syrian and Russian forces, invited by Kurdish authorities, last week entered the two border cities of Manbij and Kobani vacated by US troops.

Turkey's defense ministry later confirmed the pull-out.

The US withdrawal from northern Syria paved the way for a Turkish military offensive against Kurdish fighters.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the Pentagon was considering keeping some US troops near oil fields in northeastern Syria alongside Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to help deny oil to Islamic State terrorists.

Speaking during a visit to Kabul, he said he has not made a final decision on that option and has not yet presented it to Trump. The main goal would be to prevent the Islamic State from re-establishing all or parts of its religious state, or caliphate, in Syria and neighboring Iraq. The withdrawal could take weeks, he said, and troops around the town of Kobani on the border with Turkey are the first leaving.

On Sunday, the SDF said they had withdrawn from the border town of Ras al-Ain under the US-brokered ceasefire deal, but a spokesman for Turkish-backed Syrian rebels said the withdrawal was not yet complete. Under the deal, the Kurds are to withdraw from a stretch of territory 75 miles along the border and 19 miles deep.

I'm the one who did the capturing.

Between 160,000 and 300,000 people have reportedly fled their homes since the offensive started 10 days ago. About 70,000 of those are children, the global aid group Save the Children said Monday.

He said that a total of 765 YPG/PKK terrorists, including seniors, were neutralized as part of the country's counter-terrorism campaign in northern Syria.

Pence said the United States would lift all of the sanctions, including those slapped on Turkish ministers, following the withdrawal and a complete end to Turkey's military operation.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted as saying that 12 Syrian prisons holding foreign militants as well as eight refugee camps had been left unguarded as a result of Turkey's military operation.

Turkish security sources yesterday said Kurdish YPG forces were advancing towards Al Hasakah, which is south of the proposed safe zone, adding that some 125 vehicles had already left.

"The American guarantor remains weak in its position in deterring the Turkish violations", he said. On Saturday he said that if those talks did not produce a solution, Turkey would "implement its own plans".



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