US seals Syria exit; govt shutdown stays

Updated: Dec 25, 2018, 09:28 IST | Agencies | Washington

"The execute order for Syria has been signed," a US military spokesperson told AFP when asked about the withdrawal order, without providing further details

The National Christmas Tree is closed to public due to shutdown
The National Christmas Tree is closed to public due to shutdown

The order to withdraw American troops from Syria has been signed, the US military said Sunday, after President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart agreed to prevent a power vacuum in the wake of the controversial move.

"The execute order for Syria has been signed," a US military spokesperson told AFP when asked about the withdrawal order, without providing further details. Trump and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke over telephone on Sunday and "agreed to ensure coordination between their countries' military, diplomatic and other officials to avoid a power vacuum which could result following any abuse of the withdrawal and transition phase in Syria," the Turkish presidency said in a statement. Trump had tweeted on Sunday that Erdogan had assured him that any remaining IS fighters in Syria would be eliminated soon.

Govt workers unpaid during shutdown
More than 4,00,000 federal employees are reporting to their jobs on Monday but won't get their salaries, while nearly 4,00,000 others "will be locked out of work with no pay," American Federation of Government Employees union said, owing to the shutdown.

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