Syria with­drawal has be­gun, says US-led coali­tion

DNA (Delhi) - - WORLD -

Idlib: The US-led coali­tion in Syria has be­gun with­draw­ing its troops, a spokesman said Fri­day, less than a month after US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump made his shock an­nounce­ment.

The force which has bat­tled the Is­lamic State group since 2014 started scal­ing down but it re­mained un­clear how long the draw­down process would last.

“CJTF-OIR has be­gun the process of our de­lib­er­ate with­drawal from Syria,” spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan said in a state­ment, re­fer­ring to the US-led anti-ji­hadist force. “Out of con­cern for op­er­a­tional se­cu­rity, we will not dis­cuss spe­cific time­lines, lo­ca­tions or troops move­ments,” he said.

The Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights re­ported that the coali­tion had started scal­ing down its pres­ence at Rmeilan air­field in Hasakeh prov­ince in Syria.

“On Thurs­day, some Amer­i­can forces with­drew from Rmeilan mil­i­tary base,” Rami Ab­del Rahman, head of the Bri­tain-based mon­i­tor­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion, said. “This is the first such pull­out of Amer­i­can forces since the US pres­i­dent’s an­nounce­ment” of army with­drawal from Syria last month, he said.

Ra­haf Mo­hammed alQu­nun’s at­tempt to flee the ul­tra-con­ser­va­tive king­dom has been em­braced by rights groups as a bea­con of de­fi­ance against re­pres­sion.

Thai au­thor­i­ties ini­tially

—REUTERS

A man bikes past a graf­fiti with the word ‘vote’, as the first na­tional elec­tion since the mil­i­tary seized power in 2014 coup is set for next month in Bangkok, Thai­land on Fri­day

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