Trump's Syria pullout shakes up US Mideast policy

Donald Trump 'orders immediate and full withdrawal of US troops from Syria'

ISIS has executed 700 Syrian prisoners in the past two months, says human rights group

Even though the U.S. will continue to maintain troops in Iraq with the capability of launching strikes into Syria, a USA withdrawal of ground forces would fulfill a major goal of Syria, Iran and Russian Federation and risks diminishing United States influence in the region.

US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that ISIS has been defeated in Syria, adding that this was the sole reason of American military presence in the country.

Planning for the pullout has begun and troops will begin leaving as soon as possible, said the official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss military planning and spoke on condition of anonymity.

It could also undercut U.S. leverage in the region and undermine diplomatic efforts to end a civil war in Syria that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced around half of the country's pre-war 22 million population.

President Trump's declaration Wednesday that there was no need for USA troops to remain in Syria and the White House's announcement that withdrawal was imminent prompted an outcry from even some of his political allies.

"I want to start rebuilding our nation", Trump said, noting the US has spent $7 trillion in the Middle East over the last 17 years.

DoD officials say that the troop withdrawal will betray Kurdish allies fighting alongside United States troops in Syria and Iraq.

The administration reportedly is in the planning stages to remove all of the 2,000 American forces now stationed in inside Syria, which has been devastated by a yearslong civil war and has become ground zero in a broad proxy war involving Israel, Iran, Turkey, Russia and other actors.

"Even if this does get overturned or significantly revised, it does undermine the already limited leverage the U.S. has in Syria", Frances Brown, a former National Security Council director under both President Barack Obama and Trump, told Al-Monitor.

The Pentagon declined to comment, saying only that it continued to work with partners in the region.

The State Department is evacuating all of its personnel from Syria within 24 hours, a US official told Reuters. U.S. forces have also made a show of stationing themselves between their Kurdish partners and their North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey, conducting patrols around flashpoint Manbij and establishing observation posts along the Syria-Turkey border.

Donald Trump 'orders immediate and full withdrawal of US troops from Syria'

The UK-based war monitoring group said the executed were among 1,350 civilians and fighters that the jihadists had been holding in territory near the Iraqi border.

Reports of an abrupt withdrawal drew quick criticism from US Congress.

Behind the scenes, Israel has supported a continuing US presence, arguing that it helps counter pro-Iranian forces such as Hezbollah.

The troop pullout, which American officials earlier said they were considering, ends assumptions about the USA staying in the war-ravaged nation on a long-term basis.

The US State Department is evacuating all of its personnel from Syria within 24 hours, a US official told Reuters.

Islamic State declared its so-called "caliphate" in 2014 after seizing large swathes of Syria and Iraq.

While the YPG has spearheaded Washington's fight against IS, US support has strained relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

A White Official said the decision came after a phone call between Mr Trump and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan on Friday.

According to U.S. estimates, the group oversaw about 100,000 sq km of territory, with about eight million people under ISIS control. "[Former President Barack] Obama got a lot of applause when he withdrew from Iraq, but I have the same feeling about this that I did in Iraq - over time, this is not going to play well", Graham said.

If the gloves come off over the Syria withdrawal, the representative from SC may find himself in need of a new golfing buddy in the near future.

Russian new military barracks in disputed Kuril islands anger Japan
The navy's two large helicopter carriers, the Izumo and Kaga , will be modified to accommodate F-35B operations, the paper said. Despite the tension over the islands , the neighbours are discussing various other issues.

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