Pompeo: US will pull forces from Syria, maintain battle against ISIS

President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House Wednesday Jan. 2 2019 in Washington

President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House Wednesday Jan. 2 2019 in Washington

Iran's foreign minister was quick to mock the US Secretary of State's speech in which he said "when America retreats, chaos follows", by asserting the opposite was true.

"We also look forward to working continually to counter Tehran's malign influence in the region", Pompeo said.

The official said: "The US will cooperate with Turkey and other coalition members on continuing [anti-IS] operations and de-conflicting the airspace over northeast Syria".

Last December, Trump announced plans to withdraw all USA troops from Syria.

Pompeo stressed the pullout would go ahead, despite comments in recent weeks appearing to walk back Trump's decision, but that the United States would remain engaged. We will do that.

While Pompeo said a focus of his visit was to convince Baghdad to end its imports of electricity and natural gas from Iran, the main issue for Masoud Barzani was the United States withdrawal from Syria that will leave Kurds there exposed to an imminent offensive by Turkey.

Pompeo arrived in Cairo late Wednesday following stops in Jordan and Iraq, in his longest trip since taking the post a year ago.

Jordan's Safadi did not hesitate to express frustration with Iran, but did not go almost as far as Pompeo in his criticism.

The unannounced visits to Baghdad and the Kurdish regional capital Erbil came on the second day of a Middle East tour also taking in Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman. He told you that radical Islamist terrorism does not stem from an ideology.

But there are rising concerns that U.S. policy is getting bogged down. A long-promised Trump plan for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians has so far failed to materialise. While the foreign-policy ramifications of leaving local allies in the lurch will stain America's reputation, the Trump administration is constrained by the domestic foreign affairs legal framework.

TRT World's Simon Marks has more.

Former Packers coach Mike McCarthy will sit out 2019, report says
Rhule is a native New Yorker, who spent one season as an assistant offensive line coach with the New York Giants in 2012. Gase will replace Todd Bowles, who was sacked by the Jets after four seasons following the end of the 2018 season.

What is the US's approach to Syria?

Turkish officials had a tense meeting this week with Trump´s national security adviser John Bolton in Ankara aimed at coordinating the pullout process after Bolton set conditions that appeared to postpone it indefinitely.

The terms included the total defeat of Daesh - still active in some Syrian regions - and ensuring that YPG/PKK terrorists who fought alongside the Americans would be protected.

"If the [withdrawal] is put off with ridiculous excuses like Turks are massacring Kurds, which do not reflect the reality, we will implement this decision", Mevlut Cavusoglu told state media Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

TRT World's Hasan Abdullah has more. Turkey regards the Kurdish fighters we're allied with as separatists and terrorists.

The YPG forms the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an anti-Damascus alliance of predominantly Kurdish militants.

Ankara has long criticised the USA working with the terrorist YPG/PKK to fight Daesh in Syria, saying that using one terror group to fight another makes no sense. While that decision's timing is unclear, it is widely seen as abandoning the region and benefiting USA rivals Russian Federation and Iran.

Identifying as an evangelical Christian, Pompeo lauded the UAE's recognition of Israel at a judo competition late last year, a move he said had been two years in the making.

"There is no contradiction whatsoever".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Egyptian leaders in Cairo Thursday.

Latest News