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Syrian War Report – Dec. 20, 2018: U.S. Is Withdrawing Troops From Syria

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On December 19, President Donald Trump once again used Twitter to announce that the US had defeated ISIS and that the US would be withdrawing its troops from Syria.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that the US has started returning troops home and transiting to “the next phase of this campaign”. She recalled that “the United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary, and we will continue to work together to deny radical Islamist terrorists’ territory, funding, support and many means of infiltrating our borders”.

No further details were provided officially. According to media reports, State Department personnel were set to be evacuated from Syria within 24 hours. The alleged timeframe for troops pull-out, there are at least 2,000 US service members, is 60-100 days.

However, taking into account the wording of the statement and the US experience of “troops withdrawal” from Afghanistan and Iraq, it can be expected that the US will reduce the number of personnel deployed on the ground, but will not withdraw fully.

US Special Operations Forces will likely remain on the ground and additional forces of US-linked private military companies will be deployed to “defend American interests”.

The US announcement caused hysteria on social media among opponents of the Damascus government, Russia and Iran as well as among supporters of Kurdish armed groups – the YPG, YPJ and the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) clamed said that the SDF leadership was “shocked” and described the decision as a “stab in the back”.

Aldar Khalil, co-president of the executive body of the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), even came up with the statement that the SDF had never placed their hopes on foreign troops.

The TEV-DEM is a coalition of several Kurdish parties, the most powerful of them is the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Representatives of these parties lead the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), which is the political wing of the SDF.

It’s interesting to observe how every time when Washington announces a possible withdrawal from Syria the SDF political attitude moves from “the US is our only partner” to “we are ready for negotiations” and then returns back if the withdrawal does not happen.

If the withdrawal really does take place, it will open a window of opportunity for the SDF to negotiate a possible political deal with the Damascus government. On the other hand, if the SDF continues to pursue an anti-Damascus policy and to release unsustainable demands, the group may run out of time and face another Turkish military operation, like has happened in Afrin.

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stary ujo

Never believe news about withdrawal US troop from Syria of biggest liar Trump !

Robert Riddell

The TDS is strong with you.

Tommy Jensen

My shares in Lockheed Martin went down the hill since Trump was elected. Dont stop the war dance Trump! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjhTHQhJLxs

Natalia T.

They’re leaving because it’s a sh*thole, and we know that Trump doesn’t like sh*tholes.

Joel Paul Stelt

Trump doesn’t control US foreign policy and by extension neither does he have much say in long range military agendas.

Willing Conscience (The Truths

He seems to be proving you wrong right now, and he did with North korea too. You’re talking about the old LGBTQI way things were done by the US government, there’s a new man in the job now, and he doesn’t like to wear dresses when no one’s looking. Thank God.


This is a stupid decision. Do not withdraw now. This is the time ISIS is going underground.


It is smart, legal and moral to comply with the international law. Where is the intelligence in aggression? Where is the intelligence in being in the cross fire between Turkey and SAA/Russia? A very intelligent decision to get the h….out. Its NONE OF OUR BUSINESS. Russia was invited into Syria only after the illegal intervention of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jihadis from scores of countries.

Robert Mullin

Not to mention that unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, the real government was never toppled. The Syrian Government is more than capable of taking them on, with Russian support no less.



Tommy Jensen

As a Democrat with same opinion as Bolton I must say that Trump dont speak on behalf of the American people who vote on Obama. Hillary and Sanders.

We will NOT leave the Syrian people to undemocratic wolves. Many Syrians send us letters asking America to stay, saying US is the only nation who can give them democracy and freedom. NO PULLING OUT IN OUR NAMES. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/901432297b31babb287f374b0eccb0465b7a94063003e1d076f40df54a19b028.jpg


Don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched!

They left Iraq ten years ago too!

Leon Auguste

Let’s not ruin this great move with any negative energy.. indeed they left 10 years ago.. any American soldier in Iraq is most likely there on holiday .. merry Christmas everyone and let’s continue to pray for world peace.. only wicked greedy people like war.


My word, you do live in Cloud Cuckoo Land don’t you!


Trump is right ISIS=SDF is really defeated by USA by abandoning.Few days from now it will completely collapse Syrian Arabs will get back Omar oilfields and gas fields without preconditions or by force.Caliber cruise missiles will destroy all terrorists depots in Idlib.USA withdrawal also weakening Erdogans long over stretch invasion and terrorism campaigns.Kurdish terrorist what to you have to loose drop weapons and join Assad or die.Russia will allow Turkey to suppress you because Syria does not belong to Kurdish terrorists visitors.Your stay in Syria is long overdue.No more land grabbing, oil and gas stealing.Kurdsh have violated supreme asylum status must voetsek out of Syria and create Kurdistan in Israel.Or their must follow their terrorist master and become rapefugees in France,Britain or USA.

Kire Stojanovski

This is a right decision by Trump, it is why the American people voted him, and that is the right thing to do for reaching peace in Syria and in the world. Americans want peace, and if Trump want what Americans want, too, he should stay strong on his decision. I hope he will.

Kira Binkley

Americans may want peace, but unfortunately, they have no idea of what is going on in the world. But especially in Syria, and with Trump and Mattis. More’s the pity.

Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes

Russia control Syrian skies, Turkey, Iran, Syria and Russia are itching to liquidate USA Assets the SDF. And USA have no stomach for a fight with countries who will hit back. Or military industrial complex is lying, andhoping they have trained enough proxy terrorist mercs to out wait Trumps second term


It was never US troops who were keeping the SAA and company out of Al-Tanf and NE Syria. It was US air strikes on their advances and a lack of air cover preventing them.

As the video and others point out. There’s a risk of a US bait and switch. And a partial US withdrawal followed by a reduced US presence that could still be used as an excuse for US air strikes and other regime change machinations.

So especially with Trump’s history of saying one thing and doing another. This withdrawal announcement has to be judged by it’s actual implementation, not by the announcement itself.

Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes

Russia controls Syrian air space, Once that last pocket of ISIS is gone, its on with SDF, and turkey, Iran Russia and Syria will crush them once they have finished off idlib, al tanf and ISIS


If Russia controlled all of Syrian air space the SAA and company, including Russian contractors, wouldn’t be getting hit.

Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes

you dumbfkcunt. Since the downing of the russian plane after israel hid behind it all Syrian air defense systems came under one central command of Russian control


While I agree with your thought, there is no room here for personal abusive language.

Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes

sometimes people need to be told, They are only committing self harm by being so hypnotised by msm


I’m aware of that. But it hasn’t stopped US planes from operating over Al-Tanf and east of the river. Where they continue to bomb Syrain civilians.

Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes

The USA planes fly with Russian permission. and i believe its ISIS that are attacking from Al Tanf. Al Tanf is currently under siege,

last week (or earlier in the week the increase in armaments around al tanf should be noted)

it is possible that Russia/syria/iran and turkey may launch simultaneously at Al Tanf, ISIS and Idlib, this would bring more weaponry and troops to the SDF front line once they have mopped up USA Assets

report on al tanf seige



and yesterdays report



What civilian positions within the last few weeks have been hit by aerial bombardment? you have links?


– US-led coalition airstrike on Syria’s Deir ez-Zor kills over 30 civilians –


– ‘Entire Families Wiped Out’: U.S. Airstrikes Killed Many Civilians In Syria –


– US-led coalition strikes kill 11 Syrian civilians in Dayr al-Zawr –


– U.S.-led coalition said to have targeted Syrian army positions –


– War monitor says coalition air strikes kill nearly 40 in east Syria –


Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes

that is within SDF territory. A lot of the civilians in SDF territories do get quietened down by US and SDF/ISIS forces when they rebel. Everything within Syrian governmental control is protected airspace. Those are USA warplanes putting down rebellions of Syrians who do not want the USA and SDF to be controlling their land


My point that you rudely disagreed with, was that you were incorrect. Russia doesn’t control all of Syrian airspace. If they did, Syrian targets that aren’t Isis wouldn’t be getting hit. Why don’t you just admit that you were wrong?

Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes

Those USA planes fly with Russian permission.. idgaf what you choose to believe. Syrian air defenses are all under one central Russian command, and can reach aircraft as far away as europe. NOTHING FLIES IN SYRIAN TERRITORY WITHOUT RUSSIAN PERMISSION. Control doesnt mean no activity

Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes

ALL SDF territory will be relinquished to Syrian forces, either by force or voluntarily eventually, as Syria advances regained territory, so will the air cover advance. The Syrians have to clear up the pockets around idlib and al tanf first. once that is done, all those troops and weapons circling those areas and laying seige to terrorists, will be put along the SDF front line. That little pocket of ISIS is being dangled like a mouse between two large catsw. Once Idlib and Al Tanf are clear, SDF will have Russian, Iranian, Turkish and Syrian armies coming in to regain Syrian territory. Thats why the US is running.

Red Pilled ThoughtCrimes

southfront.org website is really rather good for war reports on Syrian conflict. breit is a bit 5hlt. This journalist needs to stop being so yellow, or improve his information stream

Willing Conscience (The Truths

Wow SF are you for real. – “It’s interesting to observe how every time when Washington announces a possible withdrawal from Syria the SDF political attitude moves from “the US is our only partner” to “we are ready for negotiations” and then returns back if the withdrawal does not happen” -.

I’ve been saying this on SF for months now, Trump wants out of Syria and is leaving, Trump’s been trying to force the Kurds to return to Assad’s sphere of influence thereby allowing the US to leave Syria altogether, and without any backspill [bad propaganda, Isis resurgence], and that he’s been doing it since January this year, and he’s also giving them no choice in the matter. and that it’s actually Trump that has the Kurds worrying the most, not the threat of Erdogan’s invasion, with the US’s help Erdogan’s threat is meaningless, without the US’s help the Kurds do have a reason to worry, and they’ve been really worried since January this year. I’ve been saying this consantaly for many months on SF, but SF hasn’t said anything I’ve been saying not even once. Don’t tell me or anyone else what the Kurds are doing SF, you have no idea, if anything you always seem to confuse the real issues with BS and send the wrong message.


Its been Trump’s position that he didn’t want to build a separate Kurdish state. Rather, he wanted a political settlement between Kurdish controlled areas and the central governments both in Syria and Iraq. A withdraw would definitely push the parties towards a negotiated settlement.

Willing Conscience (The Truths

That bus passed when the US announced it’s withdrawal.


If you mean the bus has passed on the Kurdish state, then yes. However, the SDF is a formidable fighting force and while US troops won’t be there, the US will support them. A political solution is in the best interest of all parties.

Willing Conscience (The Truths

You’re telling me nothing new I’m afraid. This is my post from 2 days ago, you could go all the way back to January and find I’ve been saying the same thing all along.

Gee that was quick, I wonder how many naysayers are eating humble pie today, I’m not, I’ve never been a naysayer, I always listened to what Trump said and not his weirdo LGBTQI government. The new OB posts the US built will be satisfactory for the fussy French to move into after the US are gone, and all those new weapons the US gave to the Kurds will still be put to good use too, but they may have to repaint some of them with SAA emblems now LOL. Everything’s working out EXACTLY to plan, Trump and Putin have done all the hard work and stage 2 is now complete, all we have to wait for now is Erdogan’s massive blunder when he initiates stage 3 of Putin and Trump’s plan to get rid of him. The timelines I quote are important, even if they are jumbled up in sequence. Back in Jan Trump tried to force the Kurds to reconcile with Assad, they then sent nearly 50 delegations to Assad all demanding self autonomy in return for their cooperation, and Assad refused every time. They then went back to Trump and wanted him to help force Assad into agreeing to their self autonomy, but he refused too and suggested they take the best offer available from Assad, they then also refused Trump and went on a strike that left half of Ar raqqah, all of Al Hasakah, and northern Deir ez Zor in the hands of Isis. Back in may, all major parties involved in the Syrian conflict came to some sort of agreement, the Arab league had decided Assad must stay for security and economic reasons, and all the other major players except for Erdogan and the Saudis came on board with the new reality, Israel, US, EU, Jordan, and most of the other players. The Daraa/Quneitra campaign was launched in June and finished in July, the SAA and Russia had the green light from everyone [but the Saudis and Erdogan], and the campaign was a total cakewalk because of it. King Abdullah held back support from the Southern alliance Arab militias and the US held back, and eventually ended support for the FSA too, this made it very easy for Assad to take back all of southern Syria from HTS and Isis, and also reconcile with most of the anti Assad groups, that weren’t really given a choice about it anyway, like the FSA who quickly switched to Assad’s side when they started losing so badly. Erdogan signed his own death warrant back then by refusing to comply to the US/Israeli/Russian/Iranian/Arab League agreement, he became the odd man out, and the ONE man no one could ever do business with ever again. The FSA [the ones that could] then fled to Idlib and Aleppo and joined the Turks payroll. Erdogan brokered a short truce and alliance between the FSA and HTS for a short period, and they both coordinated their fight against the SAA for about a month. But FSA hotheads ended the truce by killing HTS fighters and that ended the shaky alliance for good, they’ve been fighting each other ever since. Erdogan also protected HTS from Russia and the SAA by including them in the Astana agreement, which not only peed off everybody else, but infuriated Putin. But in this new agreement the Turks have HTS listed as enemy combatants and fair targets for all, which suits the SAA and Russia to a tee, they’re about to go in and clean up all of southern Idlib/east latakia/northern Hama. and all with Erdogan’s blessings and possibly some help from him too. In April this year the Iraqis ended the first Kurdish strike by initiating airstrikes against Isis in Al Hasakah governorate. They didn’t ask for US permission or coordinate the attack with them, but instead made a big deal in the media of letting us know that they did ask for Assad’s permission and coordinated the strike with him. That got the Kurds moving and ended their strike, I said at the time, that Iraqi airstrike was a stern message to the Kurds to, either get off their butts and get rid of Isis, or the Iraqis would come in and do it for them. Back in oct LAST year the Iraqis, Russians and Syrians all launched a coordinated campaign to get rid of Isis near the Iraqi,Syrian border, they also asked the US to participate but the US refused. By dec they’d cleaned up all the southern border regions below the Euphrates on both sides of the Iraq/Syrian border, but all the areas north of the river in US/Kurdish control were still swarming with Isis. Iraq went on alone and cleaned up it’s side of the northern border completely within another 2 short months, but because Isis was still in control of most of Al Hasakah where the US was in control, the Syrian/Iraqi border areas north of the river were still porus and allowed Isis free range into Iraqi territory. The Iraqis put up with that until april this year and then they launched that airstrike into Al Hasakah that broke the first Kurdish strike. The SDF pushed into action and then went on to defeat 5000 Isis fighters in Ar Raqqah/Al Hasakah/Deir ez Zor in just 2 months, capturing and killing 400 Isis fighters but allowing the rest to blend back into the countryside. But they didn’t take back the small pocket of 1500 Isis fighters at Hajin, and 6 months later they’re still there. The SDF were successful at beating 5000 Isis fighters ranging over 3 different governorates in just over 2 months, but in nearly 6 months they haven’t been able to do the same at Hajin, a tiny area with only a supposed 1500 fighters, only a second Kurish strike explains that strange reality. The Kurds have been using this small pocket of Isis to blackmail Trump, they thought Trump needed them as an excuse to stay in Syria, but that was a mistake, Trump’s always said he wanted out, not even once has he ever said he wanted to stay, only Obama and his LGBTQI henchmen wanted to stay in Syria, the Kurds didn’t realize there was a big difference between Trump and the transgender Obama. Trumps been changing the ethnic makeup of the SDF since January, he’s been enlisting as many Arabs as he can into the SDF, and he’s roped in all the other minority groups like the Christians as well, and just recently even started recruiting Turkmen into the SDF, something he’d been reluctant to do until just recently. I kept saying they were going to be Trumps strike breakers and they were, they’re the guys fighting at Hajin now, not the Kurdish YPG, and they just broke the Kurdish YPG strike, now Trumps punishing the Kurdish/YPG for their insolence and ending his support for them. Trump no longer has to confront the Turks, the Kurds have now just become the Russian Syrian [and most likely French] problem, they’re no longer Trumps. If all the SDF returns to Assad’s control and joins the SAA, Erdogan will have less of a reason to attack the Kurds, if the French are manning the US built OB posts, there will be even less chance Erdogan would attack them, but that still won’t stop him, he’s unstoppable, and both Putin,Trump and everyone else has knows it too now. They suspected it back in may but it was confirmed beyond doubt in june when he refused to agree to the Daraa/Quneitra campaign, and then also incorporated the ex US backed FSA fighters, and the Saudi backed HTS fighters into his own proxy army, making HTS immune to Russian and SAA intervention. Pissing off Assad and Putin, but most importantly throwing a spanner into the Israeli/Iranian agreement whatever it was, and there MUST HAVE BEEN ONE even if it wasn’t reported on, the green light for the Daraa/Quneitra campaign, and the “Assad might be able to stay” were only possible if an agreement was reached between the Iranians and the Israelis. What Erdogan did by opposing the Daraa campaign, and then subsequently upsetting the Iranians by his actions in Idlib caused problems for the Iranian/Israeli agreement, and this is when all the other parties realized Erdogan has to go and can never ever be a part of the solution here. I often post that the war in Syria is already over, I say it really ended back in January, and in June/July Erdogan was killed off too, it doesn’t look like that yet because we still have stage 3 of the Putin/Trump plan to play out yet, what we see Erdogan doing now is just what a headless chicken does, all nervous responses and nothing intelligent. I’ve been saying the same thing on SF since January this year, Putin’s made a deal with Erdogan that will allow the SAA and Russia to take back all of the southern areas Erdogan and HTS now control, and in return Putin gave Erdogan a green light to invade the Kurdish regions in the east, safe in the knowledge the SAA and the Russians wouldn’t attack his forces that would remain in the north of Idlib and Aleppo. This would free up Erdogan’s forces in the west allowing him to move more troops east to confront the Kurds, and also allowing him to concentrate on just one enemy at a time, instead of fighting 2 wars on 2 different fronts, which he would have had to do without Putin’s cooperation. But at the same time Erdogan’s made a similar deal with Trump concerning the Kurds, I’m not sure what it entails but I suspect blackmail by Erdogan’s played a part in it. Since the Khashoggi affair the US has been distancing itself from the Saudis, the Turks brought that sordid episode to world wide attention and they did it for a reason. Normally I’d think the Turks would have kept it secret and used it for leverage against the Saudis, who they’re having lots of problems with, but they didn’t, they instead used it to embarrass the US and used it as leverage against them instead. Now that would normally make me very suspicious, but what’s happened since then sort of confirms it for me. The US has recently been detaining some of the suspected Turkish coup organizers living in the US, and also seriously investigating Erdogan’s claims of collusion between the Obama administration and the Turkish coup conspirators. If that’s because the US is now realizing there may have been some truth to Erdogan’s accusations, or more likely for me, the Turks are blackmailing them into it, I’m not sure. The fact the US had the sudden turn around about the Turkish coup conspirators makes me think blackmail though, maybe the Turks have evidence about the US also knowing about the incident and not releasing the info for fear of harming the US/Saudi relationship, or maybe even worse still, evidence of US complicity in the killing, a sacrificial lamb so as to speak, I wouldn’t put it past the US sacrificing a saudi citizen living in their country if it meant they could save a very important deal with the Saudis going bad. Whatever the reason the US has green lighted the Turks campaign against the Kurds, and we have the situation we have now, Erdogan has defacto US permission to attack the Kurds and move east. But as I say that’s just the end of phase 2 in the Putin/Trump plan to get rid of Erdogan, phase 3 begins when Erdogan invades the east of Syria and the SAA take back all the southern regions under HTS control, as well as some areas the Turks fighters are stationed, either by kicking them out or them leaving voluntarily. The Putin/Trump plan will give Erdogan enough rope to hang himself, and when the time is right they’ll also find the tree to hang him from, but even more importantly, they’ll also find the right people to finally kick the stool out from under his feet, the Turkish voters, their brilliant plan means they won’t even have to get their hands dirty getting rid of him. Once Erdogan’s made big inroads into the east and killed lots of Kurds and Arabs, but before he manages to capture any significant oilfields and gets anything but a few dribbles of oil for his trouble, Putin and Trump will spring their trap on him and phase 3 will commence. The SAA and Russia will attack the Turk proxies in Idlib and Aleppo, and a newly established force of ex Arab/Christian/Kurdish SDF units fighting under a SAA banner will fight the Turks proxies in the east. Most of the Kurds will remain in the YPG as a separate force allowing them to take on the Turks themselves and leaving all the Turkish proxies for the SAA and Russia and the ex SDF fighters. Some of you might think the Kurds alone won’t be enough to stop the Turks even with the SAA, Russia, and the ex SDF fighters all bogging down all the Turkish proxies. But I also foresee 2 separate no fly zones being established to stop Turkish air support and missile strikes against the kurds, one by the Russians to protect their own forces, and one by the US/French to protect the Kurds, and I also foresee huge hordes of Kurds fighting against the Turks with heaps of them rallying to the cause. I’ve been thinking it will be mainly Turkish PKK Kurds that will join their Syrian YPG brothers, some 30,000 fighters in total with most of them probably joining the fight, but I doubted many Iraqi PUK Peshmerga would also come and join the fighting, but now I’m not so sure. All reports lately seem to confirm they’re more than willing to come and join the fight too, so 30,000 more of them with even a quarter entering the fray means another 7,500 fighters, maybe more. No Iraqi KDP Peshmerga will join the fight though, they’re pro Turkish and more likely to hinder the PUK Peshmerga from even helping the Syrian YPG. So the Kurds have at least 30 to 35,000 well trained and well armed battle hardened veterans from the SDF, another 10 to maybe even 20,000 YPG units totally separate from the ex YPG/SDF forces, 20 to 25,000 Turkish PKK who will join, max 30,000, possibly another 7,500 to 10,000 PUK Peshmerga too, and then we have the Iranian Kurds. I have no idea but suspect a few of these will also join the fighting against Turkey. So I think at least 80,000 battle hardened Kurds will be facing the Turks, possibly as many as 100,000, and the 30 to 35,000 ex SDF/YPG forces will be well equipped and armed thanks to the US. I don’t see the Kurds getting a hammering at all, just the opposite, they may seem to lose out early on, but that’s just to entice Erdogan to push even harder, when the Putin/Trump trap is sprung, Erdogan will lose all his proxy army in a matter of weeks or months, and the Kurds will spend every ounce of effort they have killing as many Turks as they can in an effort to win back all their homelands. Once Erdogan’s soldiers start coming home to their mothers in body bags by the truckload, and the citizens of Turkey have gotten sick of carrying around a fistfull of money just to buy a loaf of bread, Erdogan’s 60% approval rating will turn into a 60% disapproval rating, and with hundreds dead after the coup attempt, and more than 10,000 locked up in Turkish jails, there’s going to be lots of scores to settle, Erdogan may well end up like poor old Saddam. With Erdogan gone we all get a new Turkish leader, and he or she will be a much more moderate leader than the last one was, the Turks wouldn’t vote in another hardliner in a fit, US sanctions would be lifted, It’s economy would grow, and the world would get along with the Turks again, it’s also the same for every other country in the region, peace and prosperity, just what everyone wants after a long hard war that was driving them all broke, peace and prosperity. I know that’s a long bible and I appreciate anyone who took the time to read it all, I think I’ve made a few relevant points, as well as including my far fetched predictions and analysis of the events that unfolded, I hope it’s food for thought for anyone who wonders how the hell what just happened did, if you didn’t see it coming this post of mine is for you. And the reason you probably didn’t see it coming is this, you’re probably only reading SouthFront and could never work it out in a million years even if you were a genius, not enough info and no speculative analysis here in this News source. Cheers.


Great article, especially the wrap up suggesting the withdrawal could force the SDF to negotiate with Damascas.


what is the legal definition, in its entirety, of “american interests”?


Needs the muscle back home for the marshal law & Fema camp thingy

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