January 11, 2019 / 10:38 PM
US starts pulling out equipment, not troops from Syria: official

The US has started withdrawing non-essential equipment from Syria, though military personnel remains deployed in the country, an anonymous source told AFP news agency.

"We are not withdrawing troops at this stage," the official said.

Earlier in the day, a US defence official said that the US had removed some military hardware from Syria.

On 19 December, the White House announced plans to withdraw roughly 2,000 US troops from Syria within the next several months, a move that Trump claimed can be explained by the fact that American forces had implemented their task of obliterating the Islamic State in the country.

The decision was slammed by some US officials and prompted two resignations: US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, who announced that his views were no longer aligned with Trump's, and Brett McGurk, special presidential envoy for the US coalition in Syria.

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