BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:10 P.M.) – The U.S. military withdrawal from the Kobane District of northern Syria will take “another week or so” to complete, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Wednesday, as the US military relocates and reduces its forces in Syria.
Esper said that when the partial withdrawal is complete, the U.S. military will still have about 600 troops in Syria, down from about a thousand before Trump ordered the withdrawal last month, according to the Reuters News Agency.
He said the United States was still supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Euphrates region of the country, despite the fact NATO ally Turkey regards the group and its allies from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) as a ‘terrorist’ entity.
“We are still partners of the SDF. We continue to help them,” he said, stressing the role of the troops in helping prevent the emergence of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) terrorist group.
On Wednesday, dozens of U.S. military vehicles were seen leaving the Sarrin base in the Kobane countryside for the oil rich region of eastern Syria.