US Senate Opposes Plans For Abrupt Withdrawal Of Troops

US Senate Opposes Plans For Abrupt Withdrawal Of Troops

Earlier Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the anti-ISIS coalition, to which he explained that "President Trump's announcement that USA troops will be withdrawing from Syria is not the end of America's fight".

Trump, reviewing his foreign policy, noted his decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and described it as of a piece with his realist approach, which has also dictated his retreat from treaties and alliances.

US officials have said in recent weeks that IS has lost 99.5 percent of its territory and is holding on to fewer than 5 square kilometers in Syria, or less than 2 square miles, in the villages of the Middle Euphrates River Valley, where the bulk of the fighters are concentrated.

Trump told coalition members meeting at the State Department that while "remnants" of the group were still risky, he was determined to bring US troops home. "We look at the influence of Iran across the region, the places where they're intervening are not exactly an advertisement for good government and prosperous security", the official said.

President Donald Trump is expected to declare near-total triumph over the Islamic State group in Syria in his State of the Union address. He also reaffirmed his determination to pull out roughly 2,000 United States troops from Syria.

Without giving detail, he said that partners need to be able to respond quickly to requests for action in the fight and that these requests would be coming soon. "I don't want to say it too early", he said.

Mike Pompeo sought to reassure allies that President Donald Trump's troop withdrawal from Syria doesn't mean they are being left behind in the fight against ISIS.

He applauded USA forces and said, 'You can't do better than we've done militarily, but you'll have people that will be around but we'll search them out and you'll search them out and we'll find them'.




Yet senior military officials acknowledged to Congress on Wednesday that the pullout would complicate their efforts.

On Tuesday the head of the U.S. military's Central Command, Gen Joseph Votel, told a Senate committee up to 1,500 IS militants remain in a 20 sq mile (52 sq km) pocket on Syria's border with Iraq.

Asked about a recent CNN report detailing how U.S. supplied military equipment provided to Saudi Arabia and the UAE was winding up in the hands of local militias in Yemen, Votel said, "We have not authorized Saudi Arabia or the Emirates to re-transfer any of this equipment to other parties on the ground in Yemen".

"The fight against ISIS and violent extremists is not over and our mission has not changed" in Syria, Votel told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He did not elaborate.

"We ask each of your countries to stand with us and, through our efforts and God's help, the day will come when the permanent defeat of ISIS is a reality", Pompeo said. "With one voice, we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs", Trump said.

The official said the USA administration was "a little surprised by the reaction" by Iraqi leaders to Mr Trump's recent comments that United States troops watch Iran from Iraq.

When the U.S. pulled out of the multilateral nuclear accord, Trump's administration touted that sanctions would put pressure on Iran to curb its missile programme and regional activities.

Mr Pompeo made the speech in Washington to a gathering of the 79-nation global coalition that was formed in 2014 to defeat IS.

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