USA military to reportedly pull out of Syria by end of April

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Citing former and current USA officials, the newspaper reported on Thursday that unless the Trump administration changes course, the military plans to pull a significant portion of its 2,000 troops out by mid-March, with a full withdrawal coming by the end of April.

"We are not discussing the timeline of the US withdrawal from Syria", US Navy Commander Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman, told the paper. The YPG makes up more than two thirds of the SDF strength, however, and a recent report noted that without it, the SDF is unable to conduct offensive operations against the remnants of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) on the Syria-Iraq border.

On Wednesday in Washington President Trump told a meeting of 79 countries fighting Isis that he would soon declare victory.

"It should be formally announced sometime, probably next week, that we will have 100 percent of the caliphate", Mr Trump said.

USA officials have said in recent weeks that ISIS has lost 99.5 percent of its territory and is holding on to fewer than five square kilometres in Syria in the villages of the Middle Euphrates River Valley, where the bulk of the fighters are concentrated.

Moscow Talks Participant Sees Change In Taliban's Views
During his State of the Union address on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said that negotiations were progressing well. Analysts said Moscow talks will pave the way for further talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

But there are fears the impending USA pullout will imperil those gains.

USA officials were reportedly briefing other members of the anti-IS coalition this week, at a meeting hosted by the State Department in Washington, DC.

He called on coalition members to step up and do their "fair share" in the fight against terrorism.

Back in December 2018, Trump announced a plan to withdraw the US military in Syria, . a decision that unsettled its allies at the time.

A USA official confirmed the April target to Reuters, saying the withdrawal included a pull-out from the US military base at Tanf, near the Syrian border with Iraq and Jordan.

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