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US begins withdrawing some military equipment from Syria


Washington/Damascus, Jan 11 (IANS): The first US military ground equipment has been withdrawn from Syria, signaling the beginning of the drawdown ordered by President Donald Trump, according to an administration official.

"Some cargo has already moved," the official told CNN on Friday.

Due to security concerns, the official would not describe exactly what the cargo was or whether it had been moved out by aircraft or ground vehicles.

The official also declined to say what part of Syria the equipment was in.

The announcement comes after Trump said that the US troops would be withdrawing from Syria "over a period of time," dismissing the previously reported four-month exit plan.

But White House National Security Adviser John Bolton on Sunday contradicted Trump's decision, saying said that American forces would remain in Syria until the last remnants of the Islamic State (IS) were defeated and Turkey provided guarantees that it would not strike Kurdish forces allied with the US.

He also acknowledged that pockets of the IS remained undefeated and that a quick US pullout could endanger US partners and allies in the region, as well as American forces themselves.

Currently, there are more than 2,000 US soldiers deployed in Syria.


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