Muhannad al-Talla told the BuzzFeed news website that the US troops who had been training and fighting alongside Al-Tanf's militants would withdraw from the base, specifying that he was helping to remove equipment. An anonymous US official confirmed the information, emphasizing that this move came as part of US President Donald Trump's decision to pull US troops out of Syria.
Trump announced this decision on 19 December, claiming that the Daesh terrorist group had been defeated, and since the US troops were present in Syria exclusively for IS fight, they now had no reason to remain there.
While concerns that the withdrawal of the US troops would jeopardize security situation in the region have been voiced, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, believes that US military presence in Syria does not contribute to political and diplomatic settlement of the crisis.
On December 5, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, said that Russia had suggested to the United States to eliminate the military base in Al-Tanf and to establish joint Russian-US control over the zone instead. According to Gerasimov, Washington has not provided an answer. The general also stressed that the United States justified the reasonability of its presence in Al-Tanf by the necessity to counter Iran, allegedly transporting weapons and military equipment to Syria.