Withdrawing US troops cross into Iraq from Syria
search

Withdrawing US troops cross into Iraq from Syria

Convoy crosses Tigris River en route to Arbil, capital of the autonomous Kurdistan Region; NYT reports Trump leaning toward keeping contingent of about 200 troops in eastern Syria

US military vehicles drive on a road in the town of Tal Tamr on October 20, 2019, after pulling out of their base (Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP)
US military vehicles drive on a road in the town of Tal Tamr on October 20, 2019, after pulling out of their base (Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP)

ARBIL, Iraq — Dozens of US armored vehicles with American soldiers aboard crossed into Iraqi Kurdistan from Syria on Monday.

The withdrawing convoy crossed the Tigris River at the Fishkhabur border post near the Turkish frontier, en route to Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan Region, where there is a US base.

The United States announced the withdrawal of 1,000 American soldiers deployed in northeast Syria on October 13, the fifth day of Turkey’s offensive against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara considers a terrorist group.

However, The New York Times reported Monday that US President Donald Trump was leaning toward keeping a contingent of around 200 troops in eastern Syria.

A soldier wearing the Syrian Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) badge sits on top of a US military vehicle on a road in the town of Tal Tamr on October 20, 2019, after pulling out of their largest base in northern Syria (Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP)

On October 7, US soldiers withdrew from the Turkish border in northern Syria on orders of Trump, opening the way for Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish forces.

The offensive was paused on Thursday by a fragile ceasefire negotiated by Washington.

On Sunday, an AFP correspondent saw more than a convoy of 70 armored vehicles flying the American flag and escorted by helicopters drive past the Syrian town of Tal Tamr carrying military equipment.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the convoy was evacuating the military base of Sarrin, south of the border town of Kobani, and appeared to be heading east to Hasakeh province.

In the past week, US forces have withdrawn from three other bases in Syria, including from the key town of Manbij and another close to Kobani close to the Turkish border.

The United States currently has 5,200 troops posted in Iraq, deployed as part of a Washington-led coalition against the Islamic State group.

The US presence at several bases across Iraq is controversial, with numerous political groups and pro-Iran Shiite armed groups demanding their expulsion.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments