Mike Pompeo says U.S. will continue to fight Islamic State

07 February, 2019, 08:03 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Pentagon: ISIS will regain ground in Syria when US troops leave and will play troop withdrawal as a 'victory'

Currently, ISIS has about one percent of the land in Iraq and Syria.

"I think we have to look more closely at the allegations in this particular situation to find out what happened", he added.

"It is a tactical change - it is not a change in mission", Pompeo said.

The move has received bipartisan pushback from officials and politicians who have feared an ISIS resurgence and growing Iranian influence in the region, but Trump said there were only "remnants" of the group left and, while "remnants can be very risky", he looked forward to welcoming US troops home.

"They do bad, bad things.

Our troops have fought with unmatched valour and thanks to their bravery, we are now able to pursue a political solution to this long and bloody conflict", he said.

He described Trump's controversial order in December to withdraw all 2,000 United States troops to Syria as "essentially a tactical change" and not a shift in commitments. Irving Locker, Joseph Reilly and Herman Zeitchik were among the forces who landed in France in 1944 on D-Day, the USA -led invasion that cost tens of thousands of lives but turned the tide of war against Nazi Germany and its allies. He hopes to maintain a military presence in the country despite withdrawing troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

USA 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.

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Earlier Wednesday, Zarif pushed back after Trump appeared to link Iran to the deadly attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue past year by an American anti-Semite.

Mr Pompeo returned to the need for all coalition partners to redouble efforts, work together militarily but also through intelligence sharing, financial and humanitarian assistance and through cooperation to ensure the total eradication of the militant group and its ideology. He said the USA will not relent in fighting remnants of the extremist organization despite his decision to withdraw US troops from Syria over the objections of some of his most senior national security advisers.

He did not claim victory in Afghanistan and instead used the recently held US-Taliban talks in Doha and United Arab Emirates for justifying his plan to pull out troops from there as well.

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who delivered the traditional response to the presidential address later, made it obvious that Trump's calls for conciliation did not impress the Democrats. "To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb", Trump said.

Already, U.S. officials are calling on fellow coalition members to "put our money where our mouth is", and increase funding to eliminate a $350 million shortfall in reconstruction funds for Iraq.

U.S. President Donald Trump's Sate of the Union speech received mixed reactions from world leaders. It acknowledged progress against ISIL and al-Qaeda in Syria and Afghanistan but warned that "a precipitous withdrawal" could destabilize the region and create a vacuum that could be filled by Iran or Russian Federation.

Among those gathered were foreign ministers from Turkey, France, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco and Iraq.


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