Mon, 13 Jul 2020

All US troops in northern Syria have been ordered to leave the country in the face of Turkey's attacks on Kurds in the region, a US official said on Monday.

Some 1 000 troops will vacate the country, leaving behind only a small contingent of 150 in the southern Syria base at Al Tanf, the official said, one day after US President Donald Trump ordered the evacuation.

"We are executing the order," the official told AFP.

On Sunday Defence Secretary Mark Esper said Trump had ordered the withdrawal of the remaining troops deployed in northern Syria, with the US seeking to avoid getting caught between two allies.

Earlier on Monday Trump said he planned "big sanctions" against Turkey for the attacks into Syria, but also criticized the Kurds for allegedly trying to suck US forces into the conflict.

"The same people who got us into the Middle East mess are the people who most want to stay there!"

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