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Retired from Syria, US soldiers have joined a base in Iraq

By AFP | Oct 21st 2019 | 2 min read

US military vehicles arrive in the city of Bardarach, in the Iraqi Kurdish province of Dohuk, 21 October 2019.

Dozens of US tanks with soldiers on Monday arrived at a US base in northwestern Iraq, after entering the territory from Syria by Iraqi Kurdistan, AFP reporters said.

US troops first crossed the bridge at the Fichkhabour border post on the borders of the Iraqi, Syrian and Turkish territories before crossing the Kurdish province of Dohuk and joining an American base near Mosul (north-west).

On October 13, the United States announced the withdrawal of some 1,000 US military personnel deployed in the north and east of Syria at war, five days after the start of a Turkish offensive in this area against a Kurdish militia. People's Protection Units (YPG), considered "terrorist" by Ankara.

This is a first withdrawal, October 7, of US soldiers near the Turkish border in northern Syria, after an announcement of US President Donald Trump in this sense, which paved the way for the offensive of the Turkey against Kurdish fighters.

The Ankara offensive has been suspended since Thursday by a truce negotiated by Washington, which expires Tuesday at 19:00 GMT.

On Sunday, more than 70 armored vehicles carrying an American flag, carrying military equipment and escorted by helicopters passed through the Syrian town of Tal Tamr (east), said an AFP correspondent.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), this convoy had withdrawn from the Sarrine base, near the town of Kobane, further to the west, and was moving towards Hassake province, bordering of Iraqi Kurdistan.

In recent days, the Americans have withdrawn from three other bases in Syria, including that of the key town of Minbej and another located as close to Kobane, near the Turkish border.

The United States currently has 5,200 military posted in Iraq, deployed as part of the international anti-jihadist coalition led by Washington. Their presence on several bases in the country is debated in Iraq while many political forces and Shiite armies pro-Iran regularly demand their expulsion.

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