Pompeo Makes Unannounced Visit to Baghdad

Pompeo Makes Unannounced Visit to Baghdad

A senior administration official said Tuesday that resolving the fate of these prisoners is a top priority as the government lays the groundwork with allies to comply with President Donald Trump's December 19 order to withdraw the 2,000 American troops from Syria, where they have been working alongside the USA -backed Syrian Defense Forces to fight the Islamic State group since 2015.

There are fears that the USA withdrawal will leave a door open for Turkey to assault the US -allied SDF fighters.

Turkey and the United States are now at loggerheads over the future of Syrian Kurdish forces, considered by Ankara as "terrorists", after the troop pullout.

Answering a question on whether he wants USA troops to stay, President Salih said: "We will need the support of the U.S". It now has around 5,200 there, and Trump has not announced plans to pull them out. The spokesperson commented on condition the official not be identified by name.

Almost two-thirds of Israelis believe the USA withdrawal from Syria will harm national security, a poll released Thursday found.

He also told Pompeo that Israel should withdraw from the Golan Heights - a strategic area on the northern border with Syria that Jerusalem views as critical to its security. Salih told the secretary that Baghdad "will need the support of (U.S. troops)", and expressed his "gratitude to the US for its support, over the years".

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Secondly, the United States, in the non-paper, committed itself to defeating the remnants of IS and continuing to damage IS targets throughout the withdrawal period. "So for as long as there are policies that are counter to these principles, then we will continue to have issues with their policy". 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. Pompeo asks. "We learned that when America retreats, chaos often follows". To do so, Turkey would vet the Syrian Kurds who fought with the US against ISIS and include those "with no links to terrorist organizations in the new stabilization force", Erdogan wrote."Only a diverse body can serve all Syrian citizens and bring law and order to various parts of the country", he wrote. Most of the USA soldiers are there to train local forces fighting the hardcore-Islamist IS. Bolton made a similar statement while visiting Israel, and his scheduled meeting with Erdogan was subsequently canceled.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has drawn heavily on Iranian military support, including units of the Revolutionary Guards Corps and Iran-backed Hezbollah militia fighters, during the country's eight-year civil war.

"In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the Middle East, we were timid in asserting ourselves when the times - and our partners - demanded it", Pompeo said. Turkey sees the YPG as a terrorist organisation and part of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party. An appropriate disposition of those prisoners is a top priority, the official said. He also branded the U.S. allegations that Turkey seeks to "slaughter" Kurds as "absurd".

Pompeo has repeatedly called Iran "the world's largest state sponsor of terror", pointing to its targeting of domestic rivals in Europe and support of militant movements such as Lebanon's Hezbollah. In response, Turkish officials declined to reveal the particulars of their diplomatic conversations.

"With the United Nations and human rights organisations repeatedly condemning the tragedy in Yemen, the USA should be looking at wrapping up the war", Bishara said.

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