ANKARA, December 20. /TASS/. The United States has started pulling out weapons from Syria on trucks after Washington’s decision to withdraw US troops from that country, the Turkish TV channel Haberturk said on Thursday.
The US trucks advanced towards the Iraqi border in early hours of Thursday. The channel said that the trucks might carry the weapons, which had been earlier handed over to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (or the YPG) to fight against the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia).
Ankara views as a mistake Washington’s decision to supply the Kurdish units in Syria with arms. Turkey links the YPG to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which it has listed as a terrorist group, and claims that the US weapons might be later used against Turkey.
On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said that the United States had defeated ISIS (Islamic State) in Syria, which was the only reason for the US troops being there, so all US troops would be pulled out of Syria. According to US officials, the US would withdraw its entire force of 2,000 service members from Syria within 60 to 100 days. Along with this, US Department of Defense Spokesperson Dana White stressed that "the campaign against ISIS is not over" and that the United States "will continue working with our partners and allies to defeat ISIS wherever it operates."
Washington launched a military operation against Islamic State in Iraq in June 2014 and in Syria in September 2014.
Trump’s decision to pull the troops from Syria has startled not only US allies, including in the Middle East, but also members of the US Congress. Some influential senators of both parties have opposed Trump’s step.