Commanders: US Withdrawal From Syria Could Take Several Months

No timetable established for removing 2,000 troops

Some early reports suggested that the US could be out of Syria within 30 days, but when Defense Secretary James Mattis signed the order last week, there was no timetable attached. Now, US officials say that the full withdrawal could take several months.

This is based on the most recent set of plans, based on President Trump’s call for a “deliberate and orderly withdrawal of US forces.” Several months is a long time, however, and may not be in keeping with the priority of getting out of the country before the Turkish invasion.

Moreover, it’s already been confirmed that the US is coordinating its withdrawal with the Turkish government, in keeping with its planned military operations. While Turkey hasn’t made any specific timetable for its invasion, either, it has been suggested to begin much sooner than several months from now, which may point to ongoing negotiations.

There is no official, publicly-available figure for the number of US troops in Syria, but estimates are around 2,000. The withdrawal of 2,000 troops, particularly when they are all so close to Iraq, another nation with a US military presence, seems like it could’ve been faster, and any long delays are likely to be deliberate, and not a question of logistics issues.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.