US to withdraw forces out of Syria as Trump declares victory over ISIL
The United States has begun withdrawing its forces from Syria, according to reports.
All US State Department personnel are being evacuated from Syria within 24 hours, an official told Reuters.
That comes after the White House said it had started withdrawing US forces from the country.
The official said US plans to pull military forces out of the country once the final stages of the last operation against so-called Islamic State (ISIL) were complete.
The time-frame for the troop pullout is expected to be between 60 and 100 days.
The decision came after a phone call between US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan on Friday.
Trump to pull troops from Syria: ‘We have defeated ISIS’
December 19, 2018
President Trump on Wednesday morning signaled that U.S. forces will soon fully withdraw from Syria, having completed their mission to defeat the Islamic State.
“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” Mr. Trump tweeted.
The administration reportedly is in the planning stages to remove all of the 2,000 American forces currently stationed 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. In addition to the limited ground presence in Syria, the U.S. also has conducted air strikes against the Islamic State since 2014; from Dec. 9 to Dec. 15, for example, the U.S.-led coalition conducted more than 200 strikes in Syria, according to the Pentagon.