US troops were faced with angry Kurdish residents of Syria hurling potatoes at their military convoy as they withdrew from the northeast of the country into neighboring Iraq on Monday.
A Reuters cameraman saw more than 100 vehicles crossing from the northeast tip of Syria, where Turkey has agreed to pause its offensive for five days under a deal agreed between Washington and Ankara. The truce expires late on Tuesday.
Residents of a Kurdish-dominated Syrian city, Qamishli, have pelted the withdrawing convoy with potatoes as they drove through, apparently on their way out from Syria.
A video by the Kurdish news agency posted Monday shows a convoy of armored vehicles driving through the city.
The residents hurled potatoes at the vehicles, shouting ‘No America’ and ‘America liar,’ in English. One vehicle backed up over the sidewalk, trying to get away from the people.
The bulk of US troops in Syria are pulling out, after President Donald Trump ordered a withdrawal following Turkey’s offensive in northeastern Syria.
The Kurdish forces, who had allied with the US to fight Islamic State militants, agreed to a cease-fire brokered by Washington nine days into the Turkish offensive.
Reuters video images showed armored vehicles carrying US troops through the Sahela border crossing into Iraq’s northern province of Dohuk.
A convoy of US military vehicles arrives near the Iraqi Kurdish town of Bardarash in the Dohuk governorate after withdrawing from northern Syria on October 21
A US military vehicle flying the Kurdish flag can be seen arriving in Iraqi Kurdistan after its withdrawal from northern Syria
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday that almost all 1,000 troops withdrawing from Syria would be relocated in western Iraq to carry out the campaign against ISIS militants
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday that all of the nearly 1,000 troops withdrawing from northern Syria are expected to move to western Iraq to continue the campaign against Islamic State militants and ‘to help defend Iraq.’
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has warned that Ankara will resume its miltary assault in Syria when the deadline expires if the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have not pulled back from its proposed ‘safe zone’ area spanning the border.
Erdogan has also said Turkey will set up a dozen observation posts in the planned ‘safe zone.’ A witness in the region said Turkish forces had already begun establishing two such posts on Sunday, drawing criticism from Iran on Monday.
Turkey invaded northern Syria to push back US-allied Kurdish forces from a buffered ‘ safe zone’ running around 20km along the Syrian border
Trump’s move to invade the country was criticized in Washington and elsewhere as a betrayal of Kurdish allies who had fought for years alongside US troops against Islamic State
A US military vehicle drives on a road after US forces pulled out of their base in the Northern Syriain town of Tal Tamr on October 20, 2019. US forces withdrew from a key base in northern Syria today, a monitor said, two days before the end of a US-brokered truce to stem a Turkish attack on Kurdish forces in the region
‘We are against Ankara’s establishing of military posts in Syria,’ Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told a weekly news conference broadcast live on state TV.
‘The issues should be resolved by diplomatic means … Syria’s integrity should be respected,’ said Mousavi, whose country is a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Turkey launched its offensive after Trump announced he was withdrawing U.S. troops from northeastern Syria. Trump’s move was criticized in Washington and elsewhere as a betrayal of Kurdish allies who had fought for years alongside US troops against Islamic State.
A convoy of US vehicles is seen after withdrawing from northern Syria, at the Iraqi-Syrian border crossing in the outskirts of Dohuk, Iraq
A soldier wearing the Syrian Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) badge sits on top of a US military vehicle on a road in the town of Tal Tamr on October 20, 2019
A fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces SDF stands guard as a US military vehicle pulling out of a US forces base in the Northern Syrian town of Tal Tamr drives by
Trump is now leaning in favour of a new military plan to keep about 200 US troops in eastern Syria near the Iraq border, the New York Times said late on Sunday.
However, Trump is now leaning in favour of a new military plan to keep about 200 US troops in eastern Syria near the Iraq border, the New York Times said late on Sunday. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ankara is seeking to set up the ‘safe zone’ as a buffer as it regards the YPG militia, the main component of the SDF, a terrorist group because of its links to Kurdish insurgents in southeast Turkey. The YPG has been a close US ally in the fight against Islamic State.
On Sunday, the SDF said they had withdrawn from the border town of Ras al Ain under the US-brokered ceasefire deal, but a spokesman for Turkish-backed Syrian rebels said the withdrawal was not yet complete.
U.S. troops have crossed into the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq, an Iraqi Kurdish security source told Reuters on Monday.
About 30 trailers and Hummers carrying heavier duty equipment crossed, with troops in cars coming through, the source added. A second security source in Mosul also said US troops had crossed into Iraq from Sahela.
The US pullout has also created a vacuum that Russia, Assad’s most powerful backer, has looked to fill. Syrian and Russian forces, invited by Kurdish authorities, last week entered the two border cities of Manbij and Kobani vacated by US troops
The US pullout has also created a vacuum that Russia, Assad’s most powerful backer, has looked to fill. Syrian and Russian forces, invited by Kurdish authorities, last week entered the two border cities of Manbij and Kobani vacated by US troops.
Erdogan has backed rebels fighting to oust Assad in the eight-year Syrian conflict, but has said Turkey had no problem with Syrian government forces deploying near the border if the YPG militia were removed.
At a planned meeting on Tuesday in the Russian city of Sochi, Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the issue of YPG withdrawal from Manbij and Kobani, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday.
While Erdogan and Putin have close ties on defence and energy, Moscow has called the Turkish offensive into Syria ‘unacceptable’ and said it should be limited.