Syria withdrawal already under way

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There are 2,000 USA troops in Syria and while the military has orders to follow the president's decision to withdraw, they have no timelines attached for how long it will take.

The official quoted by CNN would not describe exactly what the cargo was or how it was being transported.

Maria Zakharova, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said it was important for Syrian Kurds and the Syrian government to start talking to each other in light of the USA withdrawal plans.

A US defense official told Fox News on Friday that the USA -led military coalition in Syria started the process of removing troops from the region, but wouldn't confirm further details for security purposes.

He said the USA would not discuss a specific timeline, locations or troop movements out of concern for operational security.

Witnesses on the ground told the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights they saw 10 armored vehicles, and other equipment, roll out from a USA base in Rmeilan in Hassakeh province and head toward neighboring Iraq. Turkey, however, considers the YPG a terrorist group linked to a rebellion in Turkey.

But the Baghdad-based official did not give details and it is unclear how many vehicles or troop units had been withdrawn. "Our preparation continues intensely", the Turkish defense minister said Friday.

The reports could not be independently confirmed.

The announcement of a pullout is fueling concern about how quickly the USA will abandon its Kurdish allies, amid contradictory statements recently by Trump administration officials on an exit timetable.

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The U.S. decision to withdraw its forces from Syria, first announced by President Donald Trump last month, has caused confusion among U.S. allies and partners in the fight against Islamic State militants.

In tweets, Trump claimed that "Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term USA policy of destroying ISIS in Syria". But that time frame has since been extended several times.

"CJTF-OIR has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria", said Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the anti-ISIS coalition, citing the Department of Defense. "That framework is conditions-based and will not subject troop withdrawal to an arbitrary timeline".

The two sides are trying to reach agreement about Kurdish fighters allied with the United States against Islamic State forces in Syria.

But even as the SDF advance, there are growing concerns about their safety.

The official provided no numbers, but said the equipment withdrawal is under way and that an unspecified number of additional U.S. troops have been brought into Syria to assist with the process, including by providing additional security.

Turkish forces have been deploying for weeks along the Syrian border.

Akar said Turkey was determined to end terrorism wherever it may be, which never means Hamas terrorism - it's just code for killing a lot of Kurds.

Mr Erdogan told MPs from his governing Justice and Development Party that the U.S. did not know who the various Kurdish groups were, adding: "If the USA evaluates them as "Kurdish brothers" then they are in a serious delusion".

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