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U.S. pulls troops out of northeast Syria ahead of Turkish invasion

American troops on Monday began pulling out of positions in northeastern Syria, along the border of Turkey, ahead of an expected Turkish assault.

In a surprise announcement late Sunday, the White House said Turkey will soon be launching a military operation in Syria and that U.S. troops will no longer be “in the immediate area” when they invade:

President Trump explained his reasoning behind the abrupt policy shift in a Monday-morning Twitter thread:

🔦 This policy shift effectively gives Turkey the “all clear” to attack U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Syria, longtime allies who aided America in defeating ISIS in the region.

A spokesman for the Kurdish forces called the move by Washington a “stab in the back” and accused them of “leaving the areas to turn into a war zone.”