“While we are working to implement the President’s direction to withdraw troops from Syria in a deliberate an coordinated manner, Force levels will be dictated by conditions on the ground,” Robertson said.
Details regarding the numbers or timelines would not be discussed “for security reasons,” he said.
The New York Times detailed before Thursday that the Pentagon is ready to send almost 150 troops to northeastern Syria “to conduct ground patrols with Turkish forces”.
In reference to the establishment of a safezone in Syria along the Turkish border, Robertson said: “The United States has taken steps to implement the provisions of the security mechanism rapidly and in some cases ahead of schedule.”
On August 7, Turkish and American military authorities consented to set up a safezone in northern Syria and build up a harmony passageway to encourage the development of uprooted Syrians who need to return home. They likewise consented to build up a joint tasks focus.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has on Thursday declared Ankara would not permit the US to postpone the implementation of the agreed “safe zone” in northeast Syria, insisting the agreement was the correction option to be upheld.
On Thursday, a CNN report quoted Erdogan in its publishing as saying Turkey would not support delays in the procedure of plan implementation, as compared to an earlier plan with America to eliminate Kurdish YPG fighters from Manjib, the northern city of Syria, which Ankara had blamed Washington for delaying.
“We will never tolerate a delay as we saw in Manbij. The process must advance rapidly,” Erdogan said.
Last week, Turkey also disclosed the joint-operations hub in the northern Syrian border, where the proposed ‘safe zone’ plan is slated to be implemented, was now fully operational.
The US and Turkey have been at loggerheads over plans for the region, where the US-backed Kurdish YPG fighters, forming a main American force, are combating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL and ISIS). Moreover, Ankara considers YPG organization a “terror” outfit.