U.S. troops withdrawn from Syria expected to go to western Iraq

epa07919701 A child stand while Turkish military vehicles carrying tanks are on the way to Northern Syria for a military operation in Kurdish areas, near the Syrian border, near Akcakale district in Sanliurfa, Turkey 14 October 2019. Turkey has launched an offensive targeting Kurdish forces in north-eastern Syria, days after the US withdrew troops from the area. EPA-EFE/ERDEM SAHIN

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U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that all the nearly 1,000 troops withdrawing from northern Syria are expected to move to western Iraq to continue the campaign against Islamic State militants and “to help defend Iraq.”

On Thursday, Turkey agreed in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to a five-day pause in an offensive into north-eastern Syria to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a “safe zone” Ankara aims to establish near the Turkish border with Syria.

The truce also aimed to ease a crisis triggered by President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision earlier this month to withdraw all 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria, a move criticized in Washington and elsewhere as a betrayal of loyal Kurdish allies who had fought for years alongside U.S. troops against Islamic State.

See also: Ceasefire On Edge As Turkish, Kurdish Fighters Clash In Syria

Via Reuters

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