Defence officials have cautioned against a timeline, but the withdrawal could begin in weeks.
"Americans have uttered numbers such as 30-60 days, 60-100 days".
"We will deal with whoever can protect the good and stability of this country", the Associated Press news agency quoted Ilham Ahmed as saying on Monday. Much to the displeasure of worldwide allies, Trump ditched the deal in May, fulfilling a long-time campaign promise.
Critics also say the withdrawal plays right into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin and risks ceding power to the Kremlin, Syria's Russia-backed leader Bashar al-Assad or Iran. We should not sell Turkey Patriot missiles until we get that commitment.
Youssef Hammoud, spokesman for the Syrian opposition fighters, accused the Kurdish militia of reaching out to the Syrian government to replace US troops if they withdraw.
The order to withdraw American troops from Syria has been signed, the U.S. military said Sunday, after President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart agreed to prevent a power vacuum in the wake of the controversial move.
Bates told the Journal Defense Secretary James Mattis' resignation was a bigger deal to him, as Mattis, a retired Marine general, is held in high esteem by us armed forces. "Some thought I shouldn't, I thought I should", Trump tweeted Saturday, foreshadowing his displeasure and the Sunday announcement.
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At the start of the year, Turkey attacked the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northwestern Syria.
USA -backed forces have also raised concerns about what to do with hundreds of captured IS foreign fighters.
Maj. Richard Bates, the Marine contingent's officer in charge, said the only information they have on the troop drawdown has come from media reports.
He noted that Ankara does not trust Washington, which supports the Kurdish forces in Syria along the Turkish southern border. The PKK has been fighting a long insurgency for more Kurdish autonomy in Turkey. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to dislodge the Kurdish fighters from along its border with Syria.
Youssef Hammoud, a spokesman for the Turkey-backed Syrian National Army told The National on Monday that Syrian rebel fighters in areas on the frontlines with Manbij are on alert and ready for a potential assault.
Manbij has been a major flashpoint between Ankara and Washington. US and Turkish forces had been conducting joint patrols around Manbij, and the USA set up a series of observation posts in the areas last month to help ease tensions.
A rebel spokesman said on Monday Turkish-backed Syrian forces had reinforced the area around the town of Manbij, occupied by the Kurdish fighters, in preparation for the United States withdrawal.
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Pavel Felgenhauer, a military analyst, said that Syrian Kurds are likely to turn to Moscow and Damascus after USA forces leave the region.
The reinforcements, which also brought additional armored vehicles and ammunition, are joining with Iranian militias already in the area. We discussed ISIS, our mutual involvement in Syria, & the slow & highly coordinated pullout of USA troops from the area.
They portray the secretary as driven by his own views and determination to stay on the job while trying to keep from angering Trump, and they add that the very public orchestration of his departure is not going down well in some military circles.
He also praised U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, who resigned after Donald Trump's withdrawal decision.
After Trump revealed his plans, Mattis announced his resignation in protest of the president's foreign policy.
Senator Lindsey Graham, a usual ally of Trump who has been harshly critical of the Syria decision, on Monday tried a different strategy as he appealed to the president to work off his diplomacy with Erdogan.
Mattis detailed his belief about having a strong global presence in his resignation letter.
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