US President Donald Trump says some American troops will stay on in Syria despite his call for them to be pulled out.
He said a small number would protect oil fields while others would stay near Israel and Jordan.
His decision two weeks ago to withdraw US forces from the Syria-Turkey border region drew criticism even from some of his supporters.
Meanwhile, Kurdish fighters belonging to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have withdrawn from the besieged Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain in the first pullback under a ceasefire deal with turkey brokered by the United States.
SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel said in a statement that the Kurdish-led group had no fighters left in Ras al-Ain following Sunday’s evacuation.
But Turkish-backed Syrian rebels who took control of most of Ras al-Ain last week saying the Kurdish forces were still entrenched in nearly thirty percent of the area, the Reuters news agency reported.
An SDF withdrawal from Ras al-Ain would be a boost to the ceasefire, which came into effect on Thursday evening, but has been shaky ever since.
The truce put Turkey’s military operation on “pause” until later this week, but sporadic clashes have erupted daily .
In this scenario, Turkey’s minister of foreign affairs has warned his country will resume its military operation in northeast Syria if Kurdish fighters do not withdraw from the region before the United States-brokered ceasefire ends on Tuesday evening.
“We have 35 hours left. If they don’t withdraw, our operation will resume,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday in Istanbul. “This is also what we agreed with the Americans.”
He added that Kurdish fighters were complying with the US-backed deal and withdrawing from areas that Turkey controls following its wide-ranging military operation launched on October 9.