By Robert Burns / AP
Updated: October 15, 2019 10:45 AM ET

(WASHINGTON) –– A U.S. official says the approximately 1,000 U.S. troops being withdrawn from northern Syria will reposition in Iraq, Kuwait and possibly Jordan.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive planning for a U.S. pullout amid heavy fighting between Turkish and Syrian Kurdish forces.

The official says the American troops have pulled out of the Manbij area, where U.S. outposts were set up in 2017. Troops are consolidating their positions to prepare to fly out of the country soon.

The official says U.S. troops based in Iraq could conduct cross-border operations against the Islamic State group in Syria as they did before creating the now-abandoned partnership with Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

The White House announced a week ago that U.S. forces in northeast Syria would move aside and clear the way for an expected Turkish assault, essentially abandoning the Kurds who fought alongside American forces against Islamic State militants.

Correction, Oct. 15

The original headline on this story misstated one of the countries where the U.S. will reposition troops leaving Syria. It is Iraq, not Iran.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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