Friday, 18 January, 2019

USA will boot out every Iranian from Syria, declares Mike Pompeo

Morass in the Middle East: Top Diplomats Dispatched to Defend US Policy Trump Backtracks on Syria Withdrawal For the Sake of the Kurds: New at Reason - Hit & Run : Reason.com
Melinda Barton | 10 January, 2019, 21:26

Speaking in Cairo, where Obama gave a major speech in 2009 in the first year of his presidency, Republican Trump's chief diplomat took on Obama by arguing that the Democratic former president had in effect misread and abandoned the Middle East.

Pompeo insisted the two statements were entirely consistent.

In Jordan on Tuesday, Pompeo said the pullout would not detract from United States efforts to marginalize Iran, and urged U.S. allies to confront the "significant threats" posed by jihadist groups and the Islamic Republic.

Pompeo made the remarks in response to a question about whether a condition set by the US for the pullout that requires Turkey to promise not to attack the PYD/YPG put the withdrawal at risk. Iranian officials, Trump said, "can do what they want" in Syria. "We'll make sure we address the concerns that they have".

The Trump administration, on the other hand, continued to send mixed signals about its withdrawal plans on Wednesday. Mr Ergodan said new conditions laid out by Washington regarding the withdrawal of United States troops from Syria are "unacceptable" and a "grave mistake".

Iraqi political analyst Hazem al-Shammari told Al-Arabiya TV that Iraqi leaders are caught between USA and Iranian wishes, given that Iran has called on the U.S.to withdraw its troops completely from Iraq. Netanyahu could only be delighted. "Can you say the same of the Iranian regime?"

None of this was very well-received in Ankara, Bolton's next stop.

Trump made the surprise announcement about a withdrawal last month, saying some 2,000 troops fighting alongside Syrian Kurdish allies in northeastern Syria against Islamic State extremists would be pulled out soon. Turkey's rock-ribbed position is nearly utterly antithetical to anything the Israelis might want to hear.

"By most accounts, Trump´s Middle East policy has made a messy Middle East even messier", said Aaron David Miller on Twitter, a former U.S. diplomat and now an analyst at Woodrow Wilson Center. Salih told the secretary that Baghdad "will need the support of (U.S. troops)", and expressed his "gratitude to the USA for its support, over the years".

The tomb, which is considered as a Turkish enclave according to a treaty between Syria and Turkey, was moved from the eastern bank of the Euphrates river to the Turkish border near the Syrian city of Kobani in 2015.

Iran's foreign minister was quick to mock the US Secretary of State's speech in which he said "when America retreats, chaos follows", by asserting the opposite was true.

The State Department had said Pompeo's speech would focus on "the United States' commitment to peace, prosperity, stability, and security in the Middle East".

Obama pledged engagement with Iran and an understanding of the need for freedom and democracy that led to the Arab Spring revolutions. His easy mission will be to persuade these nations that the Trump administration remains committed to neutralizing Iran.

Yemen's internationally recognized leader Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi expressed his "support for the efforts and work" of Griffiths at the talks in the Saudi capital, the Saba news agency reported.

The Al Jazeera analyst added that Pompeo is "pushing Arab leaders to normalise relations with Israel while it is and continues to be an occupying power".

Pompeo has repeatedly called Iran "the world's largest state sponsor of terror", pointing to its targeting of domestic rivals in Europe and support of militant movements such as Lebanon's Hezbollah.