Pentagon Warns ISIS Could Resurge in Syria Within Months

Pentagon Warns ISIS Could Resurge in Syria Within Months

Pentagon Warns ISIS Could Resurge in Syria Within Months

In an interview with CBS on Sunday, Trump said USA troops would first be deployed to Iraq, then back stateside - all the while watching ISIS in Syria.

Stating that Iraq wanted to be on good terms with all of its neighbors, Salih stressed that it was in his country's "fundamental interest" to have a cordial relationship with Iran.

Trump has angered Iraqi politicians and Iranian-backed factions by arguing he would keep US troops in Iraq and use it as a base to strike Islamic State group targets inside Syria as needed.

"I want to be able to watch Iran", he added, but denied he had plans to strike Iraq's neighbour.

"All I want to do is be able to watch", he said, pointing out that the United States has an "unbelievable and expensive military base" in the country that is in the best location for keeping watch on events in the Middle East. "It's perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East rather than pulling up", he said.

The US could rely heavily on intelligence work in Afghanistan, he said, and respond to developments in Syria from US bases in neighbouring Iraq.

In the CBS interview Mr Trump defended his recent decision to withdraw the 2,000 USA troops deployed in neighbouring Syria to support a Kurdish-led militia alliance seeking to capture the last pocket of IS territory there.

Asked if he meant to use the base to strike Iran, Trump said it would be used only to "watch".

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That is the president's plan, as he announced in December the complete withdrawal of USA forces from Syria - a controversial move among his Pentagon chiefs and members of his own party.

"When President Obama pulled out of Iraq in theory we had Iraq", Trump continued.

Trump expressed if the Islamic State or al Qaeda terror groups experienced a resurgence after the troops are withdrawn he would simply send forces back.

"Don't overburden Iraq with your own issues", Salih said of the US' growing tensions with Iran. At the height of the terror group's power in the Middle East, it controlled 34,000 square miles in Syria and Iraq, territory the size of Britain.

USA troops must stay in the Middle East to protect Israel, Trump added.

He blamed the intelligence services for America's involvement in Iraq. I went to Iraq recently, if you look at Syria, what's happened in Syria in the last few weeks, you would see that things are going down that were not going down.

After President Donald Trump ripped former President George W. Bush's advisers for not knowing "what the hell they were doing", CBS's "Face the Nation" host Margaret Brennan pressed him on whether he trusts National Security Adviser John Bolton, a veteran of that administration. The U.S. -led military coalition continues to battle daily against the remaining 2,000 ISIS fighters holed up in a stretch of desert straddling the Iraq-Syria border.

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