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International News

Jan 11, 2019
2:07PM

US military removes some equipment from Syria

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The US military has removed some equipment from Syria, a defence official confirmed it on Thursday following a report that the drawdown ordered by President Donald Trump is now underway. 


News agency ANI reports that President Trump's shock announcement on December 19 that he was withdrawing all 2,000 American troops from the conflict-wracked West Asian country concerned allies and prompted the resignation of his then defence chief Jim Mattis. 


The removal of the equipment in recent days was first reported by CNN, which quoted an administration official with direct knowledge of the operation as saying it signalled the beginning of US withdrawal from the West Asian country.


Though the removal of troops is not on the cards immediately, withdrawing equipment is a means of showing progress towards this goal.


On Sunday, National Security Adviser John Bolton set out stringent conditions for the proposed withdrawal, saying the defence of allies must first be assured.


Speaking in Egypt on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed the troop pullout from Syria would go ahead as he urged West Asian nations to forge a common stand against Tehran.

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