Middle East

Lebanese Paper: US Preparing to Withdraw from Syria

The American officials have informed their Lebanese counterparts of their preparations to withdraw forces from Syria, Lebanon’s media sources reported on Thursday.

The Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper reported that during the process to extradite 8 Lebanese members of the ISIL terrorist group to Beirut, the Americans have sent a letter to the Lebanese army’s intelligence department that said they are preparing to take the necessary measures to retreat their forces from Syria.

The report comes as the US has transferred hundreds of ISIL members to Afghanistan. ISIL has claimed responsibility of a majority of the terrorist operations conducted across Afghanistan, including some against the Taliban. Security officials of Russia, Iran, Afghanistan and a number of Central Asian states have voiced deep concerns over the increasing number of ISIL militants transferred from Syria by the US to Afghanistan.

Also, the report came after a senior Syrian military expert said last month that the US uses its base in al-Tanf region as a center to train thousands of terrorists, saying that the ISIL massive attacks in Sweida and the shooting down of the Syrian army’s fighter by Israel this week are closely related to Washington’s attempts to prolong the war in Syria.

The Arabic website of Sputnik news agency quoted retired General Ali Maqsoud as saying that the US has turned al-Tanf region in Syria into a center to recruit and train thousands of ISIL terrorists.

He blamed the US for ISIL’s recent attacks against Sweida, and said Washington wants to prolong its military presence in Syria and claim that the ISIL still holds some power in the country.

Maqsoud said that the ISIL massive attacks against Sweida and the shooting down of the Syrian army’s fighter jet by Israel are closely related to Washington’s attempts to prolong the war in Syria, and said all of these incidents happened after the Syrian army’s achievements in the South and the siege on the ISIL terrorists in Hawz al-Yarmouk region near occupied Golan.

The Syrian military expert also said that Israel helped the ISIL and al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay’at or the Levant Liberation Board) commanders to flee from Syria among the ranks of the White Helmets, adding that Tel Aviv ordered the remaining ISIL terrorists to launch attacks on Sweida.

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