Syrian media reported earlier on Monday that Turkish jets had pounded an alleged military base of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near the city of al-Malikiya in Syria’s Hasakah province. At least two bridges were reportedly destroyed at the Samalka checkpoint.
“The [US] President [Donald Trump] after learning of the intended Turkish operation, although we have not seen the operation taking place as of now, made it clear and rightly made it clear as Commander in Chief that our small number of troops in the relatively small 20 to 30 mile safety zone of border region in northern Syria should not be endangered […] We have 50 to 100 special operators in the region and they should not be put at risk of injury, death or capture in the event that the Turks come to the border and engage in combat with the local Kurdish forces”, the senior official said.
The Pentagon has not begun a troop withdrawal from Syria, but is only transporting some 50 servicemen across the northern part of the country, according to the official.
“A small number of 50 to 100 special operators in the region… this does not constitute a withdrawal from Syria […] “We’re talking about a small number of troops that will move to other bases within Syria. That orderly withdrawal is taking place now. Again, based on the information…