US official says troop withdrawal from Syria has started

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BAGHDAD (AP) — An American military official says the U.S.-led military coalition has begun the process of withdrawing troops from Syria.

Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the U.S.-coalition fighting the Islamic State group, says the U.S. started “the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria.”

In a statement emailed to The Associated Press on Friday, he declined to discuss specific timelines or locations or troops movements out of concern for operational security.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict in Syria through a network of activists on the ground, said the withdrawal began Thursday night. It said a convoy of about 10 armored vehicles, in addition to some trucks, pulled out from Syria’s northeastern town of Rmeilan into Iraq.

The U.S. has around 2,000 troops in Syria.

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