The US-led coalition in Syria has begun withdrawing its troops, a spokesman said Friday, less than a month after US President Donald Trump made his shock announcement.
“CJTF-OIR has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria,” spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan told AFP in a statement, referring to the so-called ‘US-led anti-jihadist force.’
“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 Hasakeh province in northeastern Syria.
“On Thursday, some American forces withdrew from the Rmeilan military base,” Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based monitoring organization, said.
“This is the first such pullout of American forces since the US president’s announcement” of a military withdrawal from Syria last month, he said.
The US-led coalition has several other bases across northeastern Syria, as well as in neighboring Iraq, where Trump has said his forces would remain.
A US defense official in Washington had earlier confirmed to AFP that equipment was being removed from Syria.
Trump claimed last month that the ISIL terror group had been defeated and that US troops could therefore come home.