23:18 GMT13 May 2021
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    In December, Trump declared victory over Daesh while White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said that the United States had started to withdraw its troops from the country, adding that this development did not signal the end of the US-led coalition's campaign in Syria.

    US President Donald Trump has announced Wednesday that he wants to protect US-backed Kurdish militants in Syria even as the US troops gradually pull out from the country.

    He also said that the United States would get out from Syria "over a period of time", claiming that he never gave a four-month timetable for this withdrawal.

    Meanwhile, about 400 Syrian Kurdish YPG militants left Manbij in 30 vehicles since 1 January after reaching an agreement with Damascus to withdraw from the area, according to the Syrian Defence Ministry.

    READ MORE: 400 Kurdish YPG Militants Leave Manbij Under Deal With Damascus (VIDEO)

    The Syrian army declared on 28 December that its troops had entered Manbij after receiving an appeal from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) to take control over the city amid Turkey's plans to conduct a military operation there. On Saturday, the Kremlin confirmed that Damascus had indeed regained control over the territory.

    Ankara has been opposing the presence of Kurdish militia in Syria's northern regions, claiming that the militants posed a threat to Turkey's security. In January, Turkey even launched a military operation in city of Afrin against the US-backed YPG, which is regarded by Turkey as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara. Damascus, in turn, called the operation an aggression.

    READ MORE: Trump Defends 'Slow' Withdrawal of US Troops From Syria

    On 19 December, US President Donald Trump announced victory over Daesh* in Syria, adding that the fight against the terrorist group was the only reason the United States remained in the Arab country. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said that the United States had started to withdraw its troops from the country, but that the victory over the Daesh did not signal the end of the US-led coalition's campaign in Syria.

    *Daesh, also known as ISIS/ISIL, is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia


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    protection, troops withdrawal, US military, Donald Trump, Turkey, US, Syria
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