Pompeo defends USA withdrawal from Syria, during foreign policy address in Egypt

Pompeo defends USA withdrawal from Syria, during foreign policy address in Egypt

Pompeo defends USA withdrawal from Syria, during foreign policy address in Egypt

Pompeo's speech came on the third leg of a nine-nation Mideast tour aimed at reassuring America's Arab partners that the Trump administration is not walking away from the region amid confusion and concern over plans to withdraw US forces from Syria.

The arrests come amid concerns about whether neighboring Turkey - which considers America's Kurdish partners terrorists - will be attacked in light of President Donald Trump's call last month to rapidly withdraw USA forces from the country.

It was Erdoğan who gave the first impressions over the talks between Bolton and Kalın in his weekly address to his Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group. We've taken down 99 percent of the caliphate.

In announcing the move last month, Trump said the 2,000 American soldiers leading the coalition against the Islamic State jihadist group while helping thwart an Iranian military foothold in Syria would be pulled out soon.

Pompeo also made a surprise visit to Iraq on Wednesday where he met with the prime minister.

And moving former fighters to the United States poses some of the same challenges the USA has faced with men detained at the military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including whether it's feasible to prosecute militants captured on the battlefields of northern Syria, according to experts.

US officials have since tempered the timeline for withdrawal, saying there isn't one, and Trump has said a drawdown would happen slowly. Ankara still expects Trump to stick to his word, he said, but acknowledged, "There are those in the field who are working to prevent the withdrawal", counting Bolton among those opposed to it.

Another message he conveyed was that the Turkish Armed Forces has accomplished its preparations for an offensive into Syria to eliminate ISIL and that the operation was imminent. We always do and now is the time, but this isn't a change of mission.

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He added that the USA was a "force for good" in the Middle East, adding: "Where America retreats, chaos follows". They're also America's primary partners on the ground in Syria: The Pentagon has been supplying the YPG with weaponry, air support and training to battle IS since 2015, and the militias have suffered thousands of casualties fighting for the US -led coalition.

When Pompeo delivered his address, "The United States: A Force for Good in the Middle East", on Thursday, he did so in a country where skepticism has replaced optimism when it comes to USA officials bearing rhetorical gifts.

The main extremist alliance in Syria's Idlib region reached a deal on Thursday ending days of deadly fighting with rival rebels and extending its influence over the whole rebel enclave. "We want to coordinate this process with Russian Federation and Iran, with which we had arranged work in the framework of the Astana process", Cavusoglu said Wednesday.

"We don't think the Turks ought to undertake military action that's not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States at a minimum, so they don't endanger our troops", Bolton said Sunday in Israel.

The Turkish official said the document did not include a timetable, but only that the pullout would be orderly. "It is not possible for us to make compromises on this point", Erdogan said Tuesday in a speech to parliament. Sean Robertson said that the US -led coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria has "approved framework for the withdrawal of forces from Syria and is now engaged in executing that withdrawal".

Bolton and Pompeo have both insisted on protection for all of the SDF, whose estimated 60,000 fighters include Syrian Arabs as well as Kurds.

Erdogan was apparently rankled after Bolton said during a meeting on Sunday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday that the United States exit from Syria was conditioned on defeating the remnants of IS, and on Turkey assuring the safety of its allied Kurdish fighters. Erdogan was particularly irate over Bolton's comment that United States forces would not be leaving without some assurances of protection for the Kurds, whom Erdogan has branded as terrorists and threatened to snuff out.

America does need to worry about the Syrian Kurds, whose support has been crucial to its efforts to defeat ISIS. "I think it's a major foreign policy blunder because not only does it abandon the Kurds and the Syrian Democratic Forces, but it leaves Russian Federation and Iran to expand their influence in Syria".

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