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More than 40000 people returned to Syria's Ghouta: agencies

More than 40000 people returned to Syria's Ghouta: agencies

On Monday, Syria's state-run media reported that the group's fighters and their families began withdrawing in accordance with an agreement.

Trump still needs to be convinced of that, said the USA officials with knowledge of the NSC meeting.

Those remarks threw State Department officials off balance.

In one sign that Trump is serious about reversing course and withdrawing from Syria, the White House this week put on hold some $200 million in U.S. funding for stabilization projects in Syria, officials said.

Trump reportedly ordered the funding to be frozen after reading a report about it in The Washington Post, U.S. officials told Reuters.

Backed by Russian Federation, the assault has underlined President Bashar Al-Assad's unassailable position in the war.

"My hope is that my sons who are in Ghouta get out, and that the ones who are detainees get out, and to bring my children together so we all live together", said Gharmoush. "Let the other people take care of it now", he said.

The decision to freeze the funds was in line with Trump's declaration during a speech in Richfield, Ohio, on Thursday, where he said it was time for America to exit Syria.

The public declaration caught US national security agencies off-guard and unsure whether Trump was formally announcing a new, unexpected change in policy.

The Pentagon referred uestions back to the White House, which has not yet responded to CBS News.

In Iraq specifically, the removal of USA troops opened a void for ISIS to swoop in, he says. Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman.

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For Trump, who campaigned on an "America First" mantra, Syria is just the latest foreign arena where his impulse has been to limit the US role.

Yet it's unclear how Trump's impulse to pull out could be affected by recent staff shake-ups on his national security team. But Trump also replaced McMaster with John Bolton, a vocal advocate for US intervention and aggressive use of the military overseas.

Other nations that make up the USA -led coalition fighting IS fear that Trump's impulse to pull out hastily would allow the notoriously resourceful IS militants to regroup, several European diplomats said.

The president also spoke as CNN reported that the USA military is "working on plans to send dozens of additional US troops to northern Syria".

The fighters were expected to head to Jarablus, a town in northern Syria shared by rebels and Turkish forces.

"This is a serious and growing concern", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said this month.

"CENTCOM's military strategy in Syria is the defeat of ISIS", a spokesperson said in an email.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), the military command in charge of the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, told ABC News on Thursday that their mission will continue.

Syria's seven-year bloodletting has left around 450,000 killed. "Unless we're very lucky, it will be just as flawed and based on unrealistic goals as the last two administrations".

Syrian Army units have also discovered a miles-long tunnel in Ein Tarma which had been used by jihadist militants to sneak up to Army outposts in Hasrata, a town several miles away from Damascus.


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