US troops leaving Syria cross into Iraq

US troops leaving Syria cross into Iraq
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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 EsperPentagon chief: US giving Vietnam surplus ship for coast guard Talks stall on defense costs with South Korea Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Stopgap spending bill includes military pay raise | Schumer presses Pentagon to protect impeachment witnesses | US ends civil-nuclear waiver in Iran 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 GrahamGraham: Report on alleged surveillance abuse in 2016 to be released Dec. 9 McConnell hopes Senate impeachment trial 'not too lengthy a process' Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack 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.