Pentagon Pushes Forward on Syria Pullout by Nancy A. Youssef and Dion Nissenbaum – Wall Street Journal
The U.S. military is moving ahead with its plans to withdraw all troops from Syria, in keeping with a White House directive in December, even though a U.S.-Turkey rift appears likely to delay the pullout, defense officials said.
White House national security adviser John Boltonsaid this week that the U.S. wouldn’t leave Syria until Turkey promised not to target the U.S.’s Kurdish partners, provoking a furor during his visit to Ankara and throwing the withdrawal plan into turmoil.
But the defense officials said the Pentagon hasn’t received any new direction and until it does, officials are proceeding with withdrawal plans.
Scores of ground troops are headed toward Syria to help move troops out, and a group of naval vessels headed by the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge is headed to the region to back up troops at the vulnerable moment they are leaving the country, the officials said. The Kearsarge carries hundreds of Marines, helicopters and other aircraft…