14:03 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Members of 5th Special Forces Group (A) conducting 50. Cal Weapons training during counter ISIS operations at Al Tanf Garrison in southern Syria.

    US Starts Pulling Out Equipment, But Not Troops From Syria - Defence Official

    © CC0 / Staff Sgt. Jacob Connor / 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
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    The US has started withdrawing non-essential equipment from Syria, though military personnel remains deployed in the country, an anonymous source told AFP news agency.

    "We are not withdrawing troops at this stage," the official said.

    Earlier in the day, a US defence official said that the US had removed some military hardware from Syria.

    On 19 December, the White House announced plans to withdraw roughly 2,000 US troops from Syria within the next several months, a move that Trump claimed can be explained by the fact that American forces had implemented their task of obliterating Daesh* in the Arab country.

    The decision was slammed by some US officials and prompted two resignations: US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, who announced that his views were no longer aligned with Trump's, and Brett McGurk, special presidential envoy for the US coalition in Syria.

    *Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist group banned in Russia


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