US troops pulling out of northern Syria ahead of Turkish invasion

U.S. troops have begun pulling out of positions in northern Syria, The Associated Press reported on Monday, citing U.S.-backed Kurdish forces. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also reportedly said American troops have started to withdraw from the area. 

The White House announced late Sunday that Turkey will soon be launching a military operation in the region and that U.S. troops will no longer be “in the immediate area” when it happens. 

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The Kurdish-led forces denounced the move as a “stab in the back," according to Reuters.

“We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst,” Panos Moumtis, the U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, told reporters in Geneva, the news service noted.

The U.S. had more than 1,000 troops deployed in northern Syria, working closely with the Kurdish-led forces. 

White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamMelania Trump's spokeswoman slams 'inappropriate and insensitive comments' about Barron Trump Melania Trump is 'behind-the-scenes' but 'unbelievably influential': book East Wing rips book saying Melania Trump renegotiated prenup before moving to White House MORE also said Sunday the U.S. will not be holding any more ISIS fighters, and that "Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial 'Caliphate' by the United States."