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More U.S. Service Members Withdraw From Northeast Syria


More U.S. Service Members Withdraw From Northeast Syria

U.S. special operations forces on patrol in northern Syria. Although no concrete timeline has been publicly announced, the Trump administration has signaled its intention to pull U.S. military forces out of the country.

A total of 50 U.S. service members have withdrawn from a large coalition base in northeast Syria to the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that the U.S. service members were evacuated by helicopters late on October 18.

“50 soldiers of the U.S. occupation withdrew from the Ruhaiypah [Robariye] illegal airport in the countryside of al-Malikiyah by helicopters to Iraq,” the state-run news agency’s reporter said.

Located 9km to the southwest of the city of al-Malikiyah, Robariye is one of the biggest U.S. bases in Syria. The base, which hosts dozens of service members, has a long air strip usually used to supply and transfer U.S. troops in northeast Syria.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced last week that the U.S. military is “preparing to evacuate” about 1,000 troops from northern Syria “as safely and quickly as possible.”

On October 16, U.S. forces abandoned the Kharab Ashk facility in northern Raqqa, one of their biggest military bases in northeast Syria. U.S. warplanes bombed the base after the withdrawal.

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