22:07 GMT +323 May 2019
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    US Marine Corps tactical vehicles are escorted by a Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) pickup truck along a road near the town of Tal Baydar in the countryside of Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on December 21, 2018

    US Increasing Military Presence in Syria Despite Withdrawal Plans - Reports

    © AFP 2019 / Delil SOULEIMAN
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    Washington announced plans to withdraw from the war-torn country in late December, after President Trump declared victory against Daesh (ISIS) and recalled a campaign promise not to get the US stuck in wars in the Middle East.

    The United States has shored up its presence in Syria, transferring about 150 trucks and armoured vehicles and mobile generators to north-eastern parts of the country from neighbouring Iraq, Turkey's Anadolu news agency reported, citing local sources.

    According to Anadolu's sources, the vehicles made their way into Kurdish-controlled areas of north-eastern Syria on Monday night, crossing the Simelka checkpoint along the Syrian-Iraqi border, and arriving at a US military logistics centre in Syria's Kharab Ishq and Sirrin on Tuesday.

    Unverified video footage of the vehicles has been posted on social media. 

    "The US is continuing to assist the separatist terrorist PKK organisation in northern Syria. Video of the latest convoy sent. No camouflage. They're out in the open now."

    The video shows generators and construction equipment, Humvees, and Toyota pickup trucks carried by transport trucks.

    President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw the contingent of 2,000 US troops from Syria in December, citing the imminent defeat of Daesh (ISIS)* and his campaign promise to bring the US home from "endless wars" in the Middle East.

    Earlier Tuesday, Turkish President Recep tayyip Erdogan said that no satisfactory arrangement has been agreed with Washington on the creation of a safe zone in northern Syria, and warned that Turkey's patience was running out. Erdogan stressed that if the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara considers to be terrorist organisation, is not removed from Syria's Manbij in two weeks' time, Turkey would "take steps to eliminate the threats to national security."

    Last month, commenting on US-Turkish negotiations surrounding a proposed 30-kilometre "buffer zone" in Syria between Turkish and Kurdish forces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that any agreement involving Syrian territory must include agreement from Damascus. The Syrian government has rejected the safe zone proposal, accusing Ankara of turning "a blind eye to the international resolutions which have always affirmed respect for Syrian territorial integrity."

    *A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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