Pentagon officials say that their existing plans to withdraw all US troops from Syria are continuing to be advanced, in keeping with a White House directive from December. They added that there has been no change since then.
Officials seemed particularly to want to stress this after John Bolton’s statements over the weekend suggested that the pullout was conditional on a series of goal. One defense official was quoted as saying “we don’t take orders from Bolton.”
Which isn’t to say that they’re not adapting at all, despite the claims that there is “no change.” Officials are reportedly prioritizing staging equipment for the withdrawal right now instead of removing anybody, perhaps anticipating future changes.
The Pentagon was said to be opposed to withdrawing US troops from Syria since the December announcement. The exact timeline isn’t clear, but most reports suggest the withdrawal will happen within the next four months.
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