Small Wars Journal

Trump Orders Withdrawal of U.S. Forces From Northern Syria, Days After Pentagon Downplays Possibility

Trump Orders Withdrawal of U.S. Forces From Northern Syria, Days After Pentagon Downplays Possibility by Dan Lamothe and Liz Sly – Washington Post

President Trump has ordered a withdrawal of virtually all U.S. forces from northern Syria in the face of a Turkish military offensive targeting Kurdish fighters in the region, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Sunday, after days of assurances from the Pentagon that the United States was not “abandoning” its partners in the campaign against the Islamic State.

The order to remove the troops came toward the end of a chaotic day in which the viability of the U.S. mission in Syria rapidly unraveled after Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel proxies advanced deep into Syrian territory and cut U.S. supply lines.

U.S. troops were forced to abandon a base in the town of Ain Issa on Sunday morning as the Turkish-led forces approached, a U.S. official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. The Turkish-backed fighters seized control of the nearby highway, establishing checkpoints and severing the main U.S. supply line to the western portion of territory held by the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led alliance that helped the United States defeat the Islamic State…

Read on.