Talks between US-Turkish militaries to continue next week, says Bolton

U.S. soldier left sits on an armored vehicle behind a sand barrier at a newly installed position near the front line between the U.S-backed Syrian Manbij Military Council and the Turkish-backed fight

USA out of Syria the first batch of military equipment, which indicates the beginning of the withdrawal of American troops from the country, reports CNN TV channel with reference to the representative of the presidential administration, which is aware of the operation.

Turkey's planned military operation against a Kurdish militia in Syria does not depend on an American withdrawal from the region, Ankara said on Thursday.

That the process of withdrawing from Syria involves driving into Iraq, and the United States troops are all on the side of Syria closest to the Iraq border, it once again raises questions of why the pullout is expected to take months, instead of the few hours such a trip would take. That followed by less than a month President Trump's announcement that he meant to pull out the roughly 2,000 American troops within 30 days.

"I can confirm the movement of equipment from Syria", the official told AFP.

As recently as Sunday, President Trump's national security adviser, John R. Bolton, had said that the pullout was conditional on circumstances that could leave American forces there for months or even years.

Air strikes and special forces have played key roles in efforts to claw back the territory lost to ISIS.

The US-led coalition has several other bases across northeastern Syria, as well as in neighbouring Iraq, where Mr Trump has said American forces will remain.

A Kurdish-led group, the Syrian Democratic Forces, is now flushing out the very last pockets of land controlled by the jihadists in the Euphrates River Valley.

Bolton's comments were widely seen as backtracking on Trump's announcement, including by Turkey which described them as "unacceptable".

And the Kurdish militia which has spearheaded the ground battle against the jihadist group is left exposed to a Turkish offensive by the USA withdrawal.

They also did not say what part of Syria it came from, though it is expected the drawdown would begin in the country's north.

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist movement and has repeatedly threatened to move into Syria to create a buffer zone along the border.

They have also argued that it would further allow Damascus ally Iran to extend its influence across Syria and potentially threaten Israel.

Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast.

Since Trump's announcement, senior members of his administration including Bolton and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo have frustrated Turkey by setting more specific conditions on what Trump initially suggested would be a quick withdrawal.

"The damage is done".

"The damage is done", said Fabrice Balanche, a geographer and Syria expert.

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