U.S. Military Sets April Target Date for Leaving Syria by Dion Nissenbaum and Nancy A. Youssef – Wall Street Journal
The Pentagon is preparing to pull all U.S. forces out of Syria by the end of April, even though the Trump administration has yet to come up with a plan to protect its Kurdish partners from attack when they leave, current and former U.S. officials said.
With U.S.-backed fighters poised to seize the final Syrian sanctuaries held by Islamic State in the coming days, the U.S. military is turning its attention toward a withdrawal of forces in the coming weeks, these people said on Thursday.
Unless the Trump administration alters course, the military plans to pull a significant portion of its forces out by mid-March, with a full withdrawal coming by the end of April, they said. Still, the military planning comes as the State Department maintains that there is no timetable for a withdrawal.
While President Trump has put no firm deadline on withdrawing troops from Syria, he has directed the Pentagon to get all forces out of the country, an order that has led to the current U.S. military timeline to leave by the end of April.
The Trump administration has been struggling to come up with an agreement to protect Kurdish allies from being attacked by Turkish forces.
The U.S. has been trying to work out a deal with Ankara on a political plan for northeastern Syria that would avert a destabilizing fight between Turkish forces and Kurdish forces in Syria that Turkey views as terrorists…