US Military Sets April Target Date for Leaving Syria

US Military Sets April Target Date for Leaving Syria

US Military Sets April Target Date for Leaving Syria

The SDF launched an operation to expel IS from Deir Ezzor in September, and has slowly advanced against IS despite the jihadis putting up fierce resistance.

While President Trump has put no firm deadline on withdrawing troops from Syria, he has directed the Pentagon to get all forces out of the country, an order that has led to the current USA military timeline to leave by the end of April.

A senior Trump administration official briefed on objectives outlined at the meeting, speaking to the reporter, said, "As the president has stated, the U.S. will maintain whatever capability is necessary for operations needed to prevent the Islamic State's resurgence". "There were heavy clashes this morning, with landmines going off", said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based war monitor.

At the height of its rule, IS controlled territory the size of Britain.

Earlier this week, CBS News visited the frontline and found no sign of a slowdown, as Kurdish-led troops closed in on the last strip of ISIS territory, backed up by USA and coalition airstrikes.

Up to 600 militants could still remain inside, majority foreigners, according to SDF spokesperson Mustafa Bali.

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump predicted ISIL will have lost all the territory it once controlled in Iraq and Syria by next week.

Asked about the WSJ report, a spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria and Iraq referred Reuters to comments by Pentagon spokesman Commander Sean Robertson, who declined to discuss the pull-out timeline.

After years of battles, the SDF holds hundreds of foreigners accused of belonging to the extremist group in its custody, as well as members of their families.

Bali told AFP that around 600 IS fighters are still inside the pocket, a lot of them die-hard foreign fighers.

Turfing out ISIS from the final 1%, comprising two villages, Marashida and Baghuz Fawqani, near the Iraqi border, will be the focus on the SDF operation.

Obviously, both these divergent goals are impossible to achieve, unless Washington is planning to maintain some sort of long-term military presence in Syria. It comes after more than 20,000 civilians were allowed to flee the area over the past two weeks, many of them suspected fighters or the wives and children of fighters. The US has aimed to avert a direct fight (in which the Kurds would face slaughter or certain retreat), but simultaneously to prevent its Kurdish allies on the ground from entering the embrace and protection of Assad. While ISIS has now explicitly implicated al-Jazairi in the attack, the step of placing a monetary reward for a fellow fighter's life is unusual."They got wind of it just in time", the Guardian reported an intelligence source as having stated.

Related news