Russian Federation says rebels are leaving Syria's Douma
Apr 05, 2018, 01:01
Trump said at an event in OH last week that the United States would be pulling out of Syria "very soon" despite the fact that that the State Department had been insisting for months that the USA needs to remain engaged there.
The US has more than 2,000 military personnel in eastern Syria as part of global efforts to defeat the Islamic State group, an extremist organization that once controlled swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq. Trump signed off on major speech in January in which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson laid out the new strategy and declared "it is vital for the United States to remain engaged in Syria".
Trump still needs to be convinced of that, said the US officials with knowledge of the NSC meeting.
Gharmoush, who has been working as a household servant in the capital since fleeing her farm, says she dreams of going back to her home in Otaya, where they kept sheep and cows.
"To abandon your home is to abandon your soul", he said.
Trump's off-the-cuff aside at a rally in OH last week "We're knocking the hell out of ISIS".
"The fear is of the unknown and not bombardment or hunger. what the coming days will bring we can not predict", said the resident, Bilal Bwaidani.
Many in Eastern Ghouta, where close to 400,000 people are living, have taken refuge in makeshift underground shelters. About 2,000 US troops are deployed in Syria.
"So far he has not given an order to just get out", the official said.
The official Pentagon stance remains that Islamic State, also known by the acronym ISIS, has yet to be completely wiped out in Syria even though the jihadist group has been driven out from nearly all of the territory it once controlled. Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman.
No date was given for the pullout and Moscow said rebels were expected to demine buildings and clear roadblocks before leaving.
Trump's comments came as France said on Friday it could increase its military presence in Syria to bolster the USA -led campaign.
The hold on the money and the status of the anti-ISIS campaign in Syria will be discussed at a National Security Council meeting next week. But Trump also replaced McMaster with John Bolton, a vocal advocate for US intervention and aggressive use of the military overseas.
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.
Turkey, alarmed by the growth of Kurdish influence in Syria, has recently expanded its foothold in the north of the country by seizing the northwestern Afrin region from the YPG, supported by Turkey-backed Syrian militias.
The first Army of Islam fighters began evacuating Douma on Monday, headed to Jarablus, a northern Syrian town controlled by Turkish troops and allied Syrian forces. "I can say as a general matter, this administration looks to other countries to help out", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a news briefing. The U.S. military presence in Syria has been seen as a buffer against unchecked Iranian activity, and especially against Tehran's desire to establish a contiguous land route from Iran to the Mediterranean coast in Lebanon.
Syria's conflict has killed more than 350,000 people since 2011, and spiralled into a complex war involving world powers.
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Le Monde newspaper further reported that other former regime officials have stepped forward alleging illicit financing. That same year his son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, made his first allegations about the Libyan campaign financing.
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Since Feb. 19, more than 1,000 people have reportedly been killed in attacks by the regime and its allies in Eastern Ghouta . More than 103,000 civilians have been freed from the terrorists' grip in that region close to Damascus in the past two weeks.
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Officials raised their median estimates for economic growth this year to 2.7 percent, up from 2.5 percent in December. In addition, they expect the level to reach 3.4% in 2020 compared to 3.1% in the December forecast.
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