US troops ordered out of Niger by the West African country’s ruling junta will complete their withdrawal by the middle of September, the Pentagon and Nigerien defense officials said, Report informs referring to CBS News.

The timeline was the product of four days of talks between the countries’ defense officials in the capital city of Niamey, according to a joint statement.

Niger’s decision to kick out American forces dealt a blow to US military operations in the Sahel, a vast region south of the Sahara desert where groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group operate.

The rupture in military cooperation followed last July’s ouster of the country’s democratically elected president by mutinous soldiers. A few months later, the ruling junta asked French forces to leave and turned to the Russian mercenary group Wagner for security assistance.

In October, Washington officially designated the military takeover as a coup, which triggered US laws restricting the military support and aid that it can provide to Niger.