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renegadebusdallas.com April 20, 2018


'Deal reached' for Syria rebels to quit last Ghouta holdout

05 April 2018, 12:59 | Marta Robbins

US troops in Syria are embedded with the Kurdish YPG which is considered as a"terrorist group by Turkey

US troops in Syria are embedded with the Kurdish YPG which is considered as a

A National Security Council meeting is set for early next week to discuss the US -led campaign against Islamic State in Syria, according to USA officials familiar with the plan.

The officials said the hold, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, is not necessarily permanent and will be discussed at senior-level inter-agency meetings next week. Rebuilding Syria "could cost at least $100 billion and take at least 10 years to complete", US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said in a statement to senators in March.

The funding was announced by departing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in February at a meeting in Kuwait of the global coalition against Islamic State.

"Very soon - very soon, we're coming out", Trump said. Alarm bells went off at the State Department and the Pentagon, where officials have been planning for a gradual, methodical shift from a military-led operation to a diplomatic mission to start rebuilding basic infrastructure like roads and sewers in the war-wracked country.

Trump is spending Easter weekend at his Palm Beach, Florida, estate. "Let the other people take care of it now", Mr Trump promised in an address to industrial workers in Ohio. "Very soon, very soon, we're coming out", Trump said.

Mr Trump's apparent readiness to quit the chaos of Syria runs counter to a new USA strategy announced in January by then secretary of state Rex Tillerson - who has since been sacked.

Trump's comments came as France said on Friday it could increase its military presence in Syria to bolster the US -led campaign. It was controlled by ISIS, but taken over in the summer of 2016 by Kurdish and Arab forces, trained by USA forces.

A final deal appeared to have been reached Sunday for fighters and civilians to leave the last opposition-held area of Eastern Ghouta, paving the way for Syria's regime to retake all of the one-time rebel enclave near Damascus.

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The attack near Manbij, a former Islamic State stronghold where U.S. forces are stationed, occurred one day after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would withdraw U.S. forces in the near future.

No date was given for the pullout and Moscow said rebels were expected to demine buildings and clear roadblocks before leaving.

When President Donald Trump vowed United States forces would shortly quit Syria, observers were left wondering if he was signalling an epic policy shift - or whether it was more a case of wishful thinking.

Top national security aides discussed Syria in a White House meeting recently but have yet to settle on a strategy for USA forces in Syria to recommend to Trump going forward, the official said.

The White House's ambiguous response, officials said: Trump's words speak for themselves.

Dunbar was assigned to the headquarters of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Trump a year ago went through a similar wrenching debate over whether to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, ultimately agreeing to keep them there but only after repeatedly raising questions of why they should stay.

Since late 2014, the United States has led an worldwide coalition fighting the ISIS group in Syria and Iraq, where most of the combat has been conducted by local partners on the ground.



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