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Turkey’s Diplomatic Response as Syria Withdrawal Begins

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US troops from Syria is about to begin, following extreme condemnation at both national and international level. On Friday, a US defense official confirmed that the process has begun with the removal of some military cargo.

Since Trump announced his plans of downsizing in December 19, there have been several contradictory declarations about a timeline for pulling out the US presence from Syria, where nearly 2,000 military groups have been deployed to defeat the Islamic State group in coalition with the Kurds and Arab fighters.

White House had originally declared that the withdrawal would begin within 30 days of the announcement. However, it was later extended to four months.

However, in a conflicting statement, an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the withdrawal process has already begun. He said, the equipment withdrawal is in progress, which is a part of what the military calls a “deliberate withdrawal” from Syria.

According to ABC News, the official said that an unspecified number of additional US troops have been brought into Syria to assist with the process, by providing additional security.

Spokesman for the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, Col. Sean Ryan has also said that “the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria” has started. Ryan said that out of concern for operational security, the US would not discuss any specific timeline, locations or troop movements.

The conflicting statements on the withdrawal have been induced by mounting fears amongst the critics regarding the threat from ISIS remnants and fear for US-backed Kurds from Turkey attacks.

Besides, top officials, including National Security Adviser John Bolton, have been setting different conditions before downsizing the troops. While the media reports claim that the withdrawal has begun, the fear among the officials still remain.

Amidst the media reports on the withdrawal, President Trump threatened to “devastate” Turkey economically, if attacks the Kurdish fighters in Syria, via Twitter.

On the other hand, Turkey gave a diplomatic response, asking the US President to honor their strategic partnership.

While the military withdrawal from Syria has already begun, the US bargaining power has apparently diminished. Considering the fact, Turkey has conveniently given a subtle and easygoing response to Trump’s explicit warning.

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