U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo attacks Iran, Obama in Cairo speech

Pompeo Visits Middle East to Increase Pressure on Iran

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In a telephone conversation with Trump last month, Erdogan had asked why the U.S. president just didn't withdraw American troops entirely and let Turkey finish the job in Syria where, he added, Islamic State had been eradicated.

Pompeo said the USA withdrawal from Syria will occur at a measured pace, with operations against Islamic State continuing as "we complete the mission of taking down the last elements of the caliphate before we depart".

He added that the United States was facing challenges as it attempted to end involvement with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militant group because it was too engaged. "It must be hard to leave after having been so intertwined with the terrorist organization", Cavusoglu said.

The top Turkish diplomat said the withdrawal should be coordinated with Iran and Russian Federation to prevent terrorists from taking up the vacated regions.

His comments come one day after Mr Erdogan lambasted the USA for suggesting that Ankara needed to guarantee the safety of Kurdish groups in Syria before Washington would withdraw its forces.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will adopt the necessary measures in response to this move within the framework of reciprocal acts", Iran's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

He, however, said that a summit between all the three parties was being prepared in Moscow. He said that this realignment threatened America's ally, Israel.

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A senior State Department official insisted ahead of the trip the U.S. will "not leave the Middle East".

The top USA diplomat proceeded to highlight the Trump administration's accomplishments in the region in that "we've learned from our mistakes".

He went further by suggesting that Trump's men were not in fact following the line of the USA president and stressed that his reference was his conversation with Trump on December 14 which led the latter to decide to pull out troops from Syria.

The SDF has been the US's key proxy ground force since 2015 in the war against the Islamic State, receiving close air support and military and financial assistance.

The reassurances followed a diplomatic storm caused by Trump's surprise announcement in December that appeared to signal a rapid withdrawal from Syria, where USA special forces play an important role in supporting local forces fighting IS. "We're going to withdraw our 2,000 soldiers from Syria-but the mission, the goal for which we have been involved for the 24 months in the administration, remains in full".

"This is a story made up by the media", said Pompeo, underscoring Washington's continuing commitment to preventing any resurgence by IS. When ISIS exploded onto the scene in 2014, Washington and its coalition partners began a campaign of airstrikes against the terrorist organization, and the US footprint in Syria grew to 2,000 soldiers by 2017.

The decision reportedly followed a conversation between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who views Syrian Kurdish fighters as a terrorist force working to destabilize his country. He is also scheduled to deliver a speech at the American University of Cairo on the topic of U.S. involvement in the Middle East and Iran's destabilising role in the region.

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"Clark is one of several dozen Americans to join the IS out of the around 295 whom intelligence officials claim have travelled or attempted to travel to Syria and Iraq to join the terrorist group", according to Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism. This week Sen. Lindsey Graham explicitly mentioned the Iran objective along with fighting ISIS and protecting Kurds as reasons to keep USA troops in Syria.

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Erdogan has promised Trump that Turkey could finish off the remnants of IS in Syria.

Over the past years, as part of the global coalition to defeat IS, the USA has provided military support to Iraqi forces through air strikes and Special Forces.

The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians.

Since September, Idlib has been shielded from a threatened government offensive by a precarious truce agreed between government ally Russian Federation and rebel backer Turkey.

The talks have helped significantly decrease the violence gripping Syria by creating for de-escalation zone there. But he also indicated they would serve a dual objective.

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Iran, alongside Russian Federation, has been supporting the Syrian government in the Syrian civil war, providing arms, military advisers, and reportedly combat troops.

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