US Envoy Says Withdrawal From Syria ‘Will Be Gradual’

US Special Envoy to Syria James Jeffrey has sought to reassure allies in the anti-ISIS coalition that there will be no “abrupt” US pullout from Syria, and that there will be a very slow, gradual, and phased process.

Jeffrey’s comments were vague, as usual with State Department officials, who are insisting that the pullout is very tentative, that there is no timetable, and sometimes even imply that it might still be subject to change.

This is in stark contrast to the US military, which says that the intention is to have all the troops out by the end of April. Others suggest a pullout will happen in March as well, so this is a very clear timeline for ending the war.

With State and Defense officials giving conflicting reports, it’s tough to say what the administration’s plans actually are. In all likelihood, there is some deliberate effort to keep multiple semi-official stories out there to prevent criticism.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of