US troops walk past a Turkish military vehicle during a joint patrol in Syria. File photo
United States military have made it into Iraq from Syria. The troops got in from the northern province of Dohuk through the Sahela border crossing, on Monday.
According to a Reuters crew, more than 100 armored vehicles with troops crossed into Iraq.
It is believed that the US troops have also made it into the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq, said an Iraqi Kurdish security source to Reuters.
About 30 trailers and Hummers carrying heavier duty equipment crossed, with troops in cars coming through, the source added. A second security source in Mosul also said US troops had crossed into Iraq from Sahela.
US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday that all of the nearly 1,000 troops withdrawing from northern Syria are expected to move to western Iraq to continue the campaign against Daesh militants and "to help defend Iraq".
On Thursday, Turkey agreed in talks with US Vice President Mike Pence to a five-day pause in an offensive into northeastern Syria to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone" Ankara aims to establish near its border with Syria.
The truce also aimed to ease a crisis triggered by President Donald Trump's abrupt decision this month to withdraw all 1,000 US troops from northern Syria, a move criticized in Washington and elsewhere as a betrayal of loyal Kurdish allies who had fought for years alongside US troops against Daesh.
US Defence Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Baghdad, as chaos swirled along the Turkey-Syria border because the Iraq military said on Tuesday that US forces crossing into Iraq as part of a pull-out from Syria do not have permission to stay and can only be there in transit.
The developments made clear that one of President Donald Trump's rationales for withdrawing troops from Syria was not going to come to pass any time soon. "It's time to bring our soldiers back home," he said Wednesday. But they are not coming home.
Turkey hopes the buffer zone, which it says should be at least 30 kilometres (19 miles) deep, will keep Syrian Kurdish fighters, considered a threat by Turkey but US allies in the fight against the Daesh group, away from its border.
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