Mike Pompeo: no contradictions in Washington’s Syria policy


The trip comes amid confusion over conflicting statements by President Donald Trump and senior US officials about a planned USA troop withdrawal from Syria.

"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. "But this isn't a change of mission", he said.

His Middle East tour aims to urge allies to continue to confront the "significant threats" posed by Iran and ISIS despite Mr Trump's shock decision last month to pull all USA troops from Syria.

Bolton presented Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin with a document restating Trump's intention to withdraw United States forces but also insisting on protection for Kurdish fighters, said according to a person briefed by a senior administration official who attended the session, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

He was speaking to reporters at the U.S. Consulate General in Erbil, Iraq. It is by giving them exit options to come to America.

"So today what did we learn from all of this?"

Safadi also emphasised the position of Jordan and other United States allies in the Arab world that a pending American proposal for Israeli-Palestinian peace must recognise Palestinian statehood with East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

He also criticized Obama-era policy for "wishful thinking [that] led us to look the other way" as Hezbollah built up its weaponry in Lebanon, and for doing nothing as Syrian President Bashar Assad gassed his own people.

"[It is needed] in order for terrorist organizations not to fill in the void [following the U.S. pullout]", he said.

"The good news is this: The age of self-inflicted American shame is over, and so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering", he said. "Now comes the real new beginning", Pompeo added.

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"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. He said that Secretary Pompeo "reassured Iraqi leaders that was not the case", prompting a cancellation of Thursday's parliament debate.

Russian jets have been targeting positions held by terror outfits inside Syria since September 2015 while Iran has been offering military advisory assistance to the Syrian army.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on a visit to Ankara that the USA forward observation posts would remain indefinitely, despite President Trump's order to pull out the 2,000 American troops stationed inside Syria in the near future.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded on Twitter, saying, "Whenever/wherever USA interferes, chaos, repression and resentment follow".

Why did Pompeo mention Iran?

It was just about 10 years ago when Obama gave his "new beginning" speech in Cairo, promising a new relationship between America and the Muslim world.

A state-run Russian television station reported that Russian military police were patrolling the outskirts of the town of Manbij, where U.S. soldiers remain, in a buffer zone separating Syrian forces and "militants" outside of the town.

Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are touring the Middle East, seeking to explain the policy and elicit support.

The US deployed troops and equipment to Syria in 2014 as part of a Washington-led coalition supposedly fighting Daesh. While the Trump administration has sanctioned Saudi officials for their alleged role in the murder, Trump has continued to defend Saudi leadership.