US military begins withdrawal from Syria

The U.S. has “begun the process” of a deliberate troop withdrawal from Syria, according to a statement Friday from a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad.

The surprise move comes amid conflicting statements over when a withdrawal would begin and at what pace since President Donald Trump abruptly announced the U.S. would leave last month.

A U.S. official told ABC News that in recent days military equipment has been moved out of Syria into Iraq.

Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images
U.S. forces’ vehicles and structures are seen on the outskirts of the northern Syrian town of Manbij on Dec. 26, 2018.

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

There are 2,000 U.S. 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.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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