The United States has started withdrawing its troops from Syria, the White House said on Wednesday, after President Donald Trump declared that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also know as ISIS) group has been defeated in the country.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that "victories over ISIS in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign".

Sanders's comments came after reports surfaced that the US was considering a full troop withdrawal from the country.

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, talks to Al Jazeera about what is behind the withdrawal.

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