US-led coalition says Syria withdrawal has begun


BEIRUT: The US-led military coalition in Syria has begun pulling out troops, a spokesman said yesterday without elaborating on locations or timetables. “Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria,” spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan told media in a statement, referring to the US-led force in Syria. “Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troops movements,” he said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the coalition had started scaling down its presence at Rmeilan airfield in the notheastern province of Hasakeh. “On Thursday, some American forces withdrew from the Rmeilan military base in Hasakeh province,” Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based monitoring organisation, said. “This is the first such pullout of American forces since the US president’s announcement” of a full troop withdrawal from Syria last month, he said. —Agencies


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