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US starts pulling forces out of Syria

According to White House, the US victories over IS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign

WASHINGTON, December 19. /TASS/. The United States has begun pulling troops from Syria, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday.

"We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign," Sanders said in a statement.

According to Sanders, "five years ago," the Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia) was "a very powerful and dangerous force in the Middle East, and now the United States has defeated the territorial caliphate."

Washington launched a military operation against Islamic State in Iraq in June 2014 and in Syria in September 2014.

Nonetheless, she stressed: "These victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign."

"The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary, and we will continue to work together to deny radical Islamist terrorists territory, funding, support, and any means of infiltrating our borders," the White House press secretary warned.

Until now, a force of about 2,000 American service members has been deployed in Syria, and about 5,200 more in Iraq.