ToI:

The US military has removed some equipment from Syria, a defense official confirmed Thursday, following a report that the pullout ordered by President Donald Trump is now underway.

“I can confirm the movement of equipment from Syria,” the official told AFP. “For security reasons, I am not going to provide further details at this time.”

Trump’s shock announcement on December 19 that he was withdrawing all 2,000 American troops from the conflict-wracked Middle Eastern country has led to concern among allies, including Israel, and prompted the resignation of his then defense chief Jim Mattis.

Since then, however, administration officials appear to have walked back considerably and the current envisaged timetable is unclear.

The removal of the equipment in recent days was first reported by CNN, which quoted an administration official with direct knowledge of the operation as saying it signaled the beginning of US withdrawal from the Middle Eastern country.

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