The first US military ground equipment has been withdrawn from Syria in recent days, signaling the beginning of the drawdown ordered by President Donald Trump, according to an administration official with direct knowledge of the operation.
"Some cargo has already moved," the official told CNN.
Due to security concerns, the official would not describe exactly what the cargo was or whether it had been moved out by aircraft or ground vehicles. The official also would not say what part of Syria the equipment was in, although it's widely expected the drawdown will begin in northern Syria.
Officials have previously told CNN to expect to see discussion of percentages of equipment withdrawn as a way of meeting Trump's intent - even though it's expected that no troops are coming out immediately. Senior officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton have declined to put a timeline on when troops would be withdrawn.
The Defense Department wants to show progress to Trump, and these withdrawals are a way to do it. Earlier this week, the Pentagon said in a statement that "out of concern for operational security, we will not be discussing specific troop movements or timelines, but we do expect to provide a periodic update on progress regarding percentages of equipment removed from Syria."