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7 Oct, 2019 22:43

Pullout or ‘short-distance move’? Reports claim US troops hardly ‘left’ Syria & airspace still ‘under control’

Pullout or ‘short-distance move’? Reports claim US troops hardly ‘left’ Syria & airspace still ‘under control’

US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull troops out of northern Syria has polarized Washington, but according to some senior officials, it’s not the full-scale retreat ceding the territory to the Turks it’s being portrayed as.

The US has merely pulled “a very small number” of troops from northern Syria near the border of Turkey, a senior State Department official told AFP on Monday following Trump’s surprise declaration of the pullout.

“Two very small detachments” - less than 25 people - have been moved back “a very short distance,” the source continued.

Also on rt.com ‘Time to get out of these ridiculous endless wars’: Trump orders US pullback from Syrian border before Turkish operation begins

“There’s no change to our military posture in the northeast” of Syria beyond that tiny troop movement, the source insisted, adding that the US still controls the airspace in the northeast region of the country - a far cry from the wholesale abandonment of the region Washington’s hawks have been wailing about all morning. Pro-war politicians from Senator Lindsay Graham to former UN ambassador Nikki Haley slammed President Trump’s “betrayal” of the Kurds, whom the US has been backing - and bankrolling - in an effort to maintain a foothold in Syria.

Both the State Department and the Defense Department have emphasized in statements that they do not support any Turkish incursion into northern Syria “in any shape or form.” The Pentagon has warned Turkey against acting unilaterally, lest it “destabilize” the already war-torn region.

But whether the US will actually respond to Turkey pushing the Kurds, whom Ankara considers to be a terrorist group, back from the border with heavy artillery is another matter entirely.

Also on rt.com Turkey ‘launches airstrike’ against Kurds on Syria-Iraq border – reports

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