Top Commander: US Troops in Syria Likely to Start Withdrawal Within Weeks

Timing uncertain, Votel says withdrawal 'on track'

US Central Command head Gen. Joseph Votel has reported that the US is likely just weeks away from beginning the military withdrawal of ground troops from Syria. He said exact timing was uncertain, and would depend on the situation on the ground.

Votel said that he believes the US is “right on track” with the plans, and that the immediate focus is on pulling out equipment that US forces will no longer need during the withdrawal process. He says moving the people will be easier.

President Trump announced the withdrawal back in December, but has been vague on the timing. Some officials have suggested the process is being slowed, or even delayed outright, though comments from military officials indicate that, barring any unforeseen problems, the pullout could be done by the end of April.

An estimated 2,000 US troops are in Syria, though exact figures have not been publicly available for some time. The troops are expected to be relocated into neighboring Iraq, where the US has set up new bases on the Syrian border.

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.