ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT, Oct 19 (Reuters) - U.S. Defense 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 Islamic State militants and "to help defend Iraq."
"The U.S. withdrawal continues apace from northeastern Syria... we're talking weeks not days," Esper told reporters en route to the Middle East.
"The current game plan is for those forces to re-position into western Iraq," Esper said, adding that they would number about a thousand. (Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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