The U.S. military announced that it has begun pulling equipment, but not troops, out of Syria as a first step in meeting President Donald Trump’s demand for a complete military withdrawal. The announcement adds to confusion over an exit timetable, as Trump administration officials make contradictory remarks. Questions remain over how quickly the U.S. will abandon its Kurdish allies in Syria. According to U.S. defense officials, the withdrawal began with shipments of military equipment. But in coming weeks, the contingent of about 2,000 troops stationed in Syria is expected to depart—even as the White House says it will keep pressure on the Islamic State group. Once all troops are out, the U.S. will have ended three years of occupation in Syria to deal with ISIS.“The fact that a couple thousand uniformed personnel in Syria will be withdrawing... doesn’t materially alter our capacity to continue to perform the military actions that we need to perform,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday.
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