UPDATED 8:01 AM PT — Friday, January 11, 2019
The U.S. is reportedly beginning the process of withdrawing troops from Syria. While he didn’t release details, a U.S. military official recently said equipment is being removed from the region.
This comes just three-weeks after President Trump announced he is bringing troops home. Stalling the process were fears about Turkey invading territory held by Kurdish allies to the U.S., and leaving a power vacuum in the war-torn country. However, the Kurds reached out to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for help.
International players in the conflict have been in talks about the future of former U.S. territory in Syria. Russia is mediating talks between the Syrian government and the Kurds to ensure a smooth transition when U.S. troops leave the region.
While speaking to reporters Friday, a spokesperson for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said establishing dialogue is vital to maintaining peace.The spokesperson also urged the U.S. to hand over its territory to Assad amid threats from Turkey of a possible attack on Kurds in the region.
However, Moscow has not officially picked a side in the brewing conflict as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares to meet with his Turkish counterpart later this month.
National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both visited countries in the region to explain the shift in U.S. policy.