US and French forces began to abandon their positions near the city of Manbij in northern Syria, a source close to the Arab-Kurdish formations of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told Sputnik on Wednesday.
“The US forces left Al-Qaziyah position in the town of Al-Shuyuh, east of Manbij, and from their position in the village of Al-Asheq near Tell Abiad, in the direction of the US base located in Ayn Issa in the Raqqa province, preparing complete withdrawal from Syria,” the source said.
According to the source, the French military also left a number of their positions in the Manbij area in the province of Aleppo and in Ayn Issa in the province of Raqqa.
Earlier in the day, the White House announced removal of all service members currently on the ground in Syria, and the Pentagon said they have already started the process of returning US troops home. All State Department staff will evacuate from Syria within 24 hours, according to media reports.
Syria has been in a state of conflict since 2011, with numerous opposition groups and terrorist organizations fighting the Syrian Arab Army in an attempt to topple the government of Bashar Al-Assad. Russia, along with Turkey and Iran, is one of the guarantor states of the Syrian ceasefire.
The US-led coalition of more than 70 countries is conducting military operations against the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, banned in Russia) in Syria and Iraq.
The coalition’s operations in Iraq are conducted in cooperation with the Iraqi government, but those in Syria are not authorized by the Syrian government or the UN Security Council.