US troops leaving Syria cross into Iraq

US troops leaving Syria cross into Iraq
© Getty

U.S. troops leaving Syria started crossing into Iraq on Monday, Reuters reports

The news service reports that one of its staffers saw more than 100 vehicles crossing into Iraq from the northeast tip of Syria. Reuters video also showed armored vehicles carrying U.S. troops crossing into Iraq's northern province of Dohuk. 


Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperISIS Task Force director resigns from Pentagon post in continued post-election purge The perils of a US troop drawdown to the Afghan army and tribes Acting Defense secretary makes surprise trip to Somalia MORE said Sunday that troops will be relocated to western Iraq, where they will continue to conduct operations to prevent a resurgence of ISIS.

President Trump had said, however, that he was bringing the U.S. troops home after withdrawing them from northern Syria. After Trump's announcement, Turkey quickly launched a military operation in the area targeting Syrian Kurds, who aided the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.

Esper said on Monday that he is discussing an option to keep a small residual of U.S. military force in Syria and that some of the U.S. forces in the area have yet to withdraw, according to The Associated Press

Esper, who is in Kabul, Afghanistan, said he had not reached a final decision on that option or presented it to Trump, according to AP. 

Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria faced pushback from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Even Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel Democracy is the MVP in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms MORE (R-S.C.), who is typically a supporter of the president, harshly criticized the decision. 

Vice President Pence announced last week that Turkey had agreed to a five-day cease-fire, which would expire late Tuesday. But reports have indicated that fighting has continued in some parts of the border amid the announced truce.