Publicly known U.S. bases/positions
Locations U.S. is known to be leaving
Civilians in the border area said they would sooner accept a return of the Syrian regime than occupation by Turkey, which is battling a three-decade Kurdish insurgency at home and views Kurdish military groups on both sides of the border as terrorists.
Though Kurds in Syria long faced restrictions on speaking their language and practicing their culture, in 2011, at the beginning of the antigovernment uprising in Syria against President
the regime granted Kurds some rights that they had long been denied.
Several dozen people in Ras al-Ayn gathered near the border on Tuesday to denounce what they said was a conspiracy against them. Banners read “No to occupation and demographic change.” A Turkish flag was visible across the border.
“[The Turks] want to destroy the security and stability,” said 45-year-old
a politician who attended the rally.
The International Rescue Committee said at least 300,000 people could be displaced if Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
follows through on threats to invade Syria and create a safe zone. Mr. Erdogan aims to relocate to the area many of the hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians now in Turkey.
At Tel Arqam, a board inside a small building used as a gym by its previous American occupants—AJ, Doobie, Fish and Drew—was marked with tallies of bench presses, dead-lifts and squats. A menu written on a piece of cardboard listed crispy chicken for $5.
American and Kurdish officials said the U.S. troops that withdrew from the border outposts had moved to other bases in Syria.
American troops began withdrawing from the Syria-Turkey border, marking a major shift in U.S. policy as Washington pulls back from a key partner in the fight against Islamic State—the Kurds—ahead of a Turkish offensive against them. Photo: Delil Souleiman/Getty Images
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