Pentagon comments on withdrawal from Syria
US soldiers will remain "temporarily" in Iraq, at the same time assured the US Minister of Defense, Mark Esper.
"We are carrying out a staged withdrawal from northeastern Syria," said the Pentagon chief. "We will temporarily reposition ourselves in Iraq before repatriating the troops. They will go home. "
Asked about the words of Donald Trump, who spoke about keeping a small number of US soldiers in Syria to secure the oil fields, the defense minister said the project was still under discussion: "The President has not not yet approved this. I need to present him options. "
He also justified the abandonment of Kurdish fighters, to whom the Westerners have joined forces to fight the Daesh group *. "We will not go to war with an ally of NATO, and certainly not (…) for a border that we have never committed to protect," he said.
Beginning of the American withdrawal
Following the launch of the Turkish military operation Source de paix, US forces have left their bases in Syria.
The United States currently has 5,200 troops in Iraq deployed as part of Washington's international coalition. Their presence on several bases in the country is debated in Iraq. In Syria, coalition forces operate without the approval of Damascus, which considers their presence as occupation.
In December 2018, Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw American troops from Syrian territory without, however, specifying the deadlines for withdrawal.
* Terrorist organization banned in Russia