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US military preparations for Syria triggering due to uncertainty

The US military is advancing with its plans to withdraw all US troops from Syria, according to a White House…

The US military is advancing with its plans to withdraw all US troops from Syria, according to a White House directive in December, despite an American-Turkish rift appearing to delay the trigger. ] White House National Security Advisor John Boltonsaid this week that the United States would not leave Syria until Turkey promised not to target the American Kurdish partners, try a furor during its visit to Ankara and throw the controversy into concern.

But the defense officials said the Pentagon has not received any new direction, and until it does, officials continue with recall plans.

The market troops’ markings lead to Syria to help move troops out and a group of shipping vessels are lifted by the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge is heading to the region to back up troops at the time they leave the country, officials said. Kearsarge carries hundreds of marinas, helicopters and other aircraft.

“Nothing has changed,” said a defense chief. “We don’t take orders from Bolton.”

To account for shifts in plans, the military will lead the personnel and equipment needed for a possible recall, rather than moving the US forces out. Troops that are tasked with helping with any recall are already in the area, in places like Kuwait and Al-Asad air base in western Iraq.

With their arrival there are now more troops in the vicinity than before, President Trump said in December that the United States would leave Syria, which defeated the Islamic state.

Mr. Trump’s revocation plan has shifted over the past month, as the White House, Pentagon, and State Department have reviewed the timeline and terms. Legislators from both parties also questioned the timing.

In the beginning, US officials said they were preparing to get all US forces out of Syria in a few weeks and said that Turkey would take the fight to seize the few remaining pockets of Islamic state resistance in Syria, as agreed in a 1

4 December phone call between Mr Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The military asked as long as four months to leave, and feared that Turkey could attack American partners on the ground and the Islamic state could resurrect.

The Trump administration now characterizes the timeline as an open-trait designed to give American officials time to draft an agreement with Turkey and the American-backed Kurdish warriors in Syria, who Mr Erdogan sees as terrorists posing a threat to Turkey .

But critics see the various descriptions of the US plans as a reflection of internal administration departments over the president’s talks in December to pull all US forces out of Syria, a decision he made before he knocked out the details with his national security law.

“This is the policy in the opposite direction,” said Aaron Stein, head of the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Middle East Program. “They all try to interpret the president’s directive in a way that is consistent with their own pet’s security projects and not focus on arriving at a set of games that each part of the government can work together to accomplish.” [19659005] US officials now say that withdrawal is condition-based.

“There are goals we want to achieve this withdrawal condition,” including the protection of the Kurds and the defeat of the Islamic state, Bolton said on Sunday during the journey in Jerusalem. “The schedule is flowing from the political decisions we need to make.”

On Thursday, Prime Minister Mike Pompeorbuffed declared proposals for a change in US contingency plans and said there was no contradiction in the administration’s Syria strategy.

“The US decision, President Trump’s decision to withdraw our troops has been made. We will do so,” said Pompeo when he visited Cairo.

Even after American troops leave, the US leadership against the Islamic state will not In the end, the Pentagon has said the US could strike suspicious Islamic state sites and the land forces in neighboring countries could support and train local forces. The defense manager said the Pentagon’s execution order that led to the recall could be changed because the details of the recall plan were released. The existing order did not include a date for when the troops had to leave, two of the defense chiefs said the military was slowing down. for the troop movement

At the same time, the American leadership has been associated with strike is against the Islamic state, in an attempt to beat the terrorist group as much as possible before the US footprint in Syria shrinks.

US officials believed they had assurances from Mr Erdogan that he would not attack American Kurdish partners in Syria. But the Turkish president made it clear this week that he didn’t agree on that condition.

The United States also looks at whether to take back the weapons it has given to the Kurdish warriors in Syria, a move that the Pentagon promised to continue as a way of resisting Mr Erdogan.

Write to Nancy A. Youssef at [email protected] and Dion Nissenbaum at [email protected]

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