US Secretary of State Pompeo meets Iraqi Speaker in Baghdad

US Secretary of State Pompeo meets Iraqi Speaker in Baghdad

Mr Bolton and Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, were in Turkey yesterday as part of a tour of the Middle East aimed at limiting damage over the announcement by Donald Trump, the US president, that he would call home its troops from Syria.

But there are no easy answers.

Pompeo, who made his remarks from Jordan, said the us was ramping up commercial and diplomatic efforts in the near future to "put real pressure on Iran". The Kurds there have fought alongside American troops, but Erdogan considers them terrorists.

Unquestionably, as Turkey intends to coordinate closely with Washington vis-a-vis Syria amid the planned United States military withdrawal, confusing messages from the White House will continue to unsettle Ankara.

"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, the prisoner problem is only growing worse.

The YPG, widely seen as Washington's most effective local partner in the fight against IS, sees the move as leaving them open to Turkish assault.

The top US diplomat is on a Middle East tour, making stops in Jordan, Egypt and several Gulf nations in a bid to coordinate a joint anti-Iran campaign.




Pompeo and the United States national security adviser, John Bolton, have attempted to walk back Trump's December announcement and observers considered the announcement of continuing U.S. airstrikes to be a further move to reassure allies, particularly Kurdish proxies, that they would not be abandoned. However, US officials later indicated the withdrawal could be done over the course of several months. A previous version of this story, "Dunford Refuses to Pull Back US Observation Posts in Syria", inadvertently used language from a readout of a December 13 phone call between Dunford and Gen. Yasar Guler, in which Dunford said the USA would continue to use forward observation posts in Syria.

Joop Koopman, a spokesman for Aid to the Church in Need, said that the agency's sources placed the number of Christians in the area at about 30,000, with "120,000 Christian families registered in Syrian churches" across the country. They have also paved the way for the formation of a constitutional committee.

His words echo a refrain that has emerged in the Turkish media that U.S. administration officials are blocking their own president from following through on policy decisions.

The withdrawal of United States forces in Syria strengthens the hand both of Turkey and of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, which is backed by Russian Federation and Iran.

In late November, then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Pentagon reporters he had ordered the establishment of the observation posts, primarily to give Turkey early warning of potential threats moving north.

But there are rising concerns that U.S. policy is getting bogged down. The other known American suspect is a Houston man, Warren Christopher Clark.

The UAE, a close ally of Saudi Arabia, acted late past year to re-open a diplomatic mission in Damascus as part of this re-engagement, and several other Arab countries might soon follow the UAE move.

In a letter to IS that was obtained by the researchers, Clark submitted a resume noting that he had a bachelor's degree from the University of Houston, had worked as a substitute teacher at the Fort Bend Independent School District in Sugar Land, Texas, and had done teaching stints in Saudi Arabia and Turkey. "Best for the USA to just get over loss of Iran".

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