BEIRUT — The U.S. military said Friday it has begun withdrawing troops from Syria, initiating a drawdown that has blindsided allies and sparked a scramble for control of the areas that American troops will leave.
U.S. forces have “begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria,” read a statement from the U.S.-led coalition. “Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troop movements.”
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President Trump’s Dec. 19 announcement that he was moving to disentangle some 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria’s complex battlefield sparked fears that the move might undo efforts to defeat the Islamic State’s final remnants in Syria.
It also marked the culmination of years of criticism by Trump over Washington’s role in foreign wars. In public statements, he had repeatedly suggested that he wanted to bring American troops back home.
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