DAMASCUS – The United States has fully pulled its servicemen back from its compounds in the Syrian provinces of Aleppo and Raqqa after President Donald Trump declared that American troops stationed in the war-ravaged country would be returning home.
US troops stationed in the two provinces of Aleppo and Raqqa have completely retreated from the two regions as part of Washington’s decision to withdraw troops from northeast Syria, Al-Mayadeen television channel reported.
According to the report, the US troops have left the regions on 60 military vehicles and trucks from the Sarrin Airport in eastern Aleppo, as in recent days several hundred US troops have fled northeast Syria into Iraq.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has also confirmed the report, announcing the withdrawal of Coalition Forces from Sarrin Airport which was a military base for the Coalition in the countryside of Ein al-Arab (Kobani) city.
Al-Mayadeen also reported that US troops have burned some documents and files near the Sarrin silos before leaving the Kobani Airport.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has stated that US forces withdrawing from northern Syria will be relocated to western Iraq, adding that he would not rule out the possibility that the American troops could conduct cross-border missions into Syria from their new home in Iraq.
Explaining his decision to pull US troops out of Syria, Trump argued earlier this month that it was “time to bring our soldiers back home” – but it now appears that this won’t be happening any time soon.
The US and its allies invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of fighting terrorism, without any authorization from the Syrian government or a UN mandate. Damascus has repeatedly accused Washington of carrying out an illegal occupation of its sovereign territory.
The US troop withdrawal coincided with Turkey’s military incursion into the region, purportedly to create a “safe zone” inside Syrian territory. As US troops pulled back and Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants poured into Syria, the Kurds struck an agreement with the Syrian government, whose troops are now deploying to block further Turkish advances.