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.
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.
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