US starts withdrawing from Syria amid policy confusion, official says

Col. Sean Ryan, spokesperson for the U.S. coalition fighting the Islamic State group, says the U.S. started "the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria," in a statement emailed to AP Friday.
2:14 | 01/11/19

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Transcript for US starts withdrawing from Syria amid policy confusion, official says
Today the withdrawal of US troops some Syria has begun we go now to the Pentagon and Louis Martinez lord. This caught many by surprise that this is actually underway Ellison. That's right Byron because surprising in the timing of the announcement itself but what we're really talking about here is the removal of equipment on US four that US forces in Syria have been using. Let's not forget there are 2000 American troops in Syria they have a lot lots of equipment. They have suits standing orders from the president as we know from the early December. That the 2000 troops should move out but what we don't have by the actual orders for it or that timeline for when they need to move out by. We heard thirty days at one point and it got extended to four months. Because of the need to remove all of that equipment and the United States has put into Syria so a US official telling ABC news that what we're seeing right now is the removal of some of the equipment. But not necessarily US troops is an interesting thing that happens when you need to remove troops yet we have to send additional troops. To break down the gear to breakdown of facilities and an exit back into. Out of that country and maybe that's what we style with when we heard reports earlier today. That there were in his media convoy of ten pieces of equipment and pieces of vehicles that we're making their way infant Iraq from Syria. But very important to note that this is in keeping with the timeline that we keeping with the president's directive that US troops with job. But not necessarily that those forces have begun to leave yet. So technically against and that numbers will swell some before they go advantage is set to bring a sector support to bring out the equipment. That's right so the numbers will swell incrementally at some point we don't know how by how much. A lot of the planning is still under way Byron as to how the pace of the Thailand for the departure of US troops from Syria. About how much will be left behind. When that withdrawal of forces is actually going to begin. Now what we know we're talking about equipment but you can say that yes definitely would warm pulling out equipment is a withdrawal of US forces because. That is gear that they need now is not necessarily to gear that they need. For all of their missions. Which is why you're seeing that the 2000 troops for the most part are still remaining insights here area. We Martinez at the Pentagon we thank you so very much expect.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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