Takfiri Militant Begin to Leave Douma in Eastern Ghouta

US troops in Syria are embedded with the Kurdish YPG which is considered as a

The White House has ordered the State Department to put on hold $200 million in recovery funds to Syria, following President Trump's remarks last week signaling a possible withdrawal of American troops from Syria.

Douma, which is the last rebel-held area in Eastern Ghouta, is controlled by the militants.

Now that the Islamists have lost 98 per cent of the ground they once held, according to the Pentagon, Mr Trump last week told supporters it is nearly time to bring the 2,000 or so USA troops home from Syria.

SANA said the military also found two underground field hospitals, equipped with medical equipment and medicine.

In January, Trump signed off on a major speech by Tillerson in which he laid out the strategy for the country, declaring "it is vital for the United States to remain engaged in Syria". "Let the other people take care of it now", he promised. Tillerson and former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, both advocates for keeping a US presence in Syria, were recently fired, creating questions about the longevity of the plan Tillerson announced in his Stanford University speech in January.

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

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Russia's top diplomat says he is encouraged by U.S. President Donald Trump's talk of reducing the U.S. military presence in Syria.

It will see Russian military police enter the former rebel bastion of Douma and government institutions return, the monitor said.

The ground operations had to be paused because Kurdish fighters who had been spearheading the campaign against IS shifted to a separate fight with Turkish forces, who began combat operations in the town of Afrin against Kurds who are considered by Ankara to be terrorists that threaten Turkey's security.

Turkey, with support from rebels, is running its own military operations against a USA -backed Kurdish militia in northern Syria, which controls territory along the frontier.

Leaving Syria would "be the single worst decision the president could make", Republican Sen.

"Trump and his new team basically now are kind of violently anti-Iranian and leaving Syria would represent a total United States capitulation to Iranian influence in the region", Mr Lister told AFP.

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Trump previous year went through a similar wrenching debate over whether to withdraw USA forces from Afghanistan, ultimately agreeing to keep them there but only after repeatedly raising questions of why they should stay.

There are approximately 2,000 U.S. troops across the country and dozens of officials from the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) working on the ground to stabilize cities and towns after ISIS's defeat.

"It's a little bit like a cancer", Engel says.

A statement said the military would press on with "fighting in the area of Douma to rid it of terrorism", in reference to the rebels.

Mr Trump's advisers including Defence Secretary James Mattis and other officials "will at least for now overpower Trump's tendency to just pack up and leave".

US military advisers told NPR's Tom Bowman in February that it will take another two to six months at least to defeat ISIS and then another year to stabilize the area with humanitarian aid.

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