In Cairo, Pompeo delivers Trump's vision: Confrontation with Iran

Trump Backtracks on Syria Withdrawal For the Sake of the Kurds: New at Reason - Hit & Run : Reason.com

The trip comes amid confusion over conflicting Trump administration statements about a planned USA troop withdrawal from Syria.

His remarks reflect the turmoil in the region following Trump's surprise announcement December 19 that US troops would withdraw from Syria.

Pompeo's first stop on Tuesday is pro-Western Jordan, followed by visits to Egypt and Gulf nations.

In addition to explaining Washington's policy on Syria and reassuring its allies, especially Saudi Arabia, that the U.S. is not giving up on plans to isolate Iran, Bolton and Pompeo will also give time to discuss the Palestine-Israel "situation". Defence Secretary Jim Mattis quit over it. "The (YPG's) fight with Islamic State in Syria is a huge lie". Over the past week, Bolton has acknowledged that ISIS is not yet vanquished and still has the capacity for "reviving" itself; United States allies in the region still require our protection; and that the withdrawal is limited to "northeastern Syria".

Washington has repeatedly said its Kurdish allies will remain safe despite the withdrawal.

As U.S. -backed forces in Syria close in on the final pockets of ISIS fighters near the Iraqi border, militants are trying to flee and planning to slow their opponents by attacking civilians, the YPG said in a statement.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton also said that a USA withdrawal can only happen after Turkey agrees to not attack US -backed Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria.

"Turkey does not want to put Trump in a hard position Trump took a big domestic risk in ceding to Erdogan's demands, and Erdogan is aware of this", he told Al-Monitor. Turkey, their mortal enemy, has every intention of slaughtering them once America leaves.

"It's important that we do everything we can to make sure that those folks that fought with us are protected and Erdogan has made commitments, he understands that", Pompeo added.

Why John Harbaugh Was Right To Keep Lamar Jackson In Against Chargers
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A line of USA military vehicles drive through a checkpoint of the Internal Security Forces in Manbij as they head to their base on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city on December 30, 2018. Pompeo has stressed throughout his trip to the region that Washington still aims to counter Iranian influence.

"The US-#Egypt relationship is one of our deepest and broadest partnerships in the region", Pompeo said in an earlier Tweet.

The senior administration official said the U.S. will defeat remaining IS fighters on the way out to prevent a resurgence and that the USA will oppose any mistreatment of opposition forces, such as the SDF, that fought with the United States against IS.

In Baghdad, Pompeo met Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim, Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi and President Barham Salih. "He told you that the United States and the Muslim world needed 'a new beginning.' The results of these misjudgments have been dire". With the mini-state of ISIS largely gone, whatever threat the group poses is a matter not of military control of a patch of Syria-a patch of "sand and death", as Trump put it -but instead of ideology, politics, fear, and hatred that can not be described on a battle map.

Ahead of his visit to Saudi Arabia in the coming days, Pompeo is also expected to confirm the strength of the US alliance with Saudi Arabia, despite the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi whose murder was blamed on the powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman by the US Senate. Erdoğan described Bolton's remarks as "dishonorable, ugly, vulgar and defamatory" and harshly slammed Trump's advisor for "making a mistake". Islamic State militants are still waging insurgent attacks in the north of the country and trying to make a comeback, although they were driven from all towns and cities past year.

Some downplayed the fallout from a US troop drawdown, arguing that American forces were relatively small in number and far from "Christian areas", said the source, who spoke off the record because of the sensitivity of the issue and the need to minimize friction between Christian institutions and the Assad government.

Pompeo rebuked the Obama administration's approach to the region as "misguided", blaming it for the rise of the Islamic State (IS) group and for empowering Iran and its allies in Lebanon and Yemen.

Relations between the two states deteriorated after the United States' withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iran nuclear deal.

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