Mike Pompeo blames Obama's 'misjudged' foreign policy for chaos in Middle East

Share

"President Trump's decision to withdraw our troops has been made".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that a full U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria announced by President Donald Trump last month will go ahead despite widespread criticism.

"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, but also so that they meet the president's requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered", Bolton told reporters in Jerusalem on Sunday, Reuters reported.

After meeting Bolton on Tuesday, Kalin also urged Washington to take back all the weapons provided to Syrian Kurdish militia forces.

U.S. President Donald Trump in December announced that ISIS had been defeated and U.S. troops would be withdrawn.

Asked on Tuesday about what would be discussed during a possible meeting with Pompeo, Abdul Mahdi said deepening Iraq's relationship with the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State.

A spokesman for the secretary said the two men discussed "the US commitment to Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity", as well as the new Iraqi government's "efforts to deliver stability, security and prosperity to all Iraqis".

Relations between the USA and Iran have been acrimonious since Donald Trump withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

The vacancies are especially problematic as the Trump administration continues to send contradictory messages about its policies toward friends and foes in the region.

There was no immediate response to the Middle East Eye report from United States officials.

Pompeo struck a similar tone on Thursday, declaring that the USA will still carry out airstrikes in Syria as the need arises, and will not fully abandon the region until the "complete dismantling of the ISIS threat" is achieved.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had spoken with French officials. Just last September, Bolton pledged that the USA would stay in the war-torn country as long as adversary Iran remains active there. But Bolton's comments Sunday to reporters in Israel marked the first time the US put specific conditions on withdrawal and demanded an agreement from Turkey on the Kurds.Erdogan said in his speech Tuesday that Turkey has completed preparations for a military operation in Syria.

The episode involving withdrawal and non-withdrawal of US troops in Syria should be a lesson for those who mistakenly placed hopes in Trump for a more restrained and less militaristic USA foreign policy. "We won't be finally pulled out, until ISIS is gone".

An official at Tuesday's meeting between Bolton and senior Turkish officials said presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin stated that Erdogan committed that Turkey would not take offensive action while US forces were there.

But Pompeo insisted the two statements were entirely consistent.

In his initial reaction to the turnabout in USA policy, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan certainly gave no indication of willingness to offer any guarantees.

"If they are terrorists, we will do what is necessary no matter where they come from", Erdogan said.

Pompeo has chosen Cairo as the symbolic venue for a speech meant to repudiate the message in former US President Barack Obama's landmark address to the Muslim world from the Egyptian capital when he first took office.

"It's one thing for the government to be very confident that an individual joined or tried to join ISIS", Joshua Geltzer, a senior counterterrorism official in the Obama administration, told the Associated Press this week.

Meanwhile, Russia, which has backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the seven-year war, may seek to exploit the confusion created by the bickering between Turkey and the United States.

Share