Washington: United States President Donald Trump on Sunday said that the pullout from Syria is starting. Trump said this in a tweet on Sunday. In his tweet he also threatened that the US will "devastate Turkey economically" if they attack Kurdish forces in the war-torn country.

The removal of troops which was announced in December is happening, Trump said, "while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions." The president also mentioned that the US will attack ISIS again from an existing nearby base if it reforms.


In a follow-up tweet, Trump stated that he does not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey, and continued by stating, Russia, Iran and Syria have benefited from the long-term US policy of destroying ISIS. "We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS!" he concluded.


Media reports state that a US official confirmed that the removal of troops has begun, but more details are not available for security reasons.

Recent statements made by Trump administration officials contradict the tweet on when the pullout will indeed take place. This has left many concerned about how quickly the US will leave its Kurdish allies.

Media reports state that withdrawal began with shipments of military equipment and in the coming weeks a contingent of about 2,000 American troops will leave. The US Government insists, however, that it will maintain pressure on ISIS.

Once US troops exit completely, it will put an end to the three-year campaign started by the Obama administration to defeat ISIS.

Many US defence and military leaders advised against withdrawal of US troops.

The Kurds in Syria who will be vulnerable to attack by Turkey are upset over this abandonment which also came as a surprise to US allies.

Meanwhile Turkey has warned that it would launch combat operations against Kurdish forces in north-eastern Syria.

On the other hand, Israel has confirmed attacks on hundreds of Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria over the weekend. Israeli Defence Forces announced that they discovered a sixth tunnel dug by the Lebanese militant group for cross-border attacks.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said that the tunnel included, a rail system, stairs and a wide passageway for the movement of equipment. It started from the Lebanese border town of Ramyeh, ran 800 meters inside Lebanon and "dozens" of meters into Israel.

Conricus said that that while more tunnels existed on the Lebanese side of the border, as per their intelligence there will be no cross-border attack tunnels into Israel left after the sixth which will be destroyed in the coming days.