US establishes two military bases on Iraq-Syria border: reports
The United States military has reportedly set up two new bases on the border with Syria after President Donald Trump announced a withdrawal of forces from the war-torn country.
An Iraqi official told Turkey's state-run news agency on Tuesday that the US has established the military bases in Iraq's western Anbar province near the border with Syria.
Farhan al-Duleimi, a member of Anbar’s provisional council, said the bases were in the border cities al-Qaim and al-Rutbah in Anbar.
He said they have been set up to secure the "country's borders and prevent infiltrations by the [Islamic state] terrorist group."
"Scores of US soldiers are currently stationed at the two bases, along with drones and other equipment," he added.
The move comes after Trump ordered the roughly 2,000 US troops to leave civil war-racked Syria, where they have been deployed to assist in a multinational fight against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.
Critics of Trump's move fear that thousands of IS members could make gains in Syria, despite the US leader's claim that the group had been defeated.
Trump's order came as Ankara warned it would launch an operation east of the Euphrates River against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia which dominates the SDF.
Turkey was a rare ally that lauded Trump's decision on Syria, a country where it will now have a freer rein to target Kurdish fighters who were armed and trained by the US and played a major role in the war against IS but are deemed terrorists by Ankara.
Agencies contributed to this report.
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