Car bomb explodes at entrance to Iraq’s northern Tikrit
January 8, 2019
| Middle East
AMMAN: The United States is fully committed to the security of Jordan and its partnership with the kingdom, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday on the first leg of his Middle East tour.
Pompeo also said on Tuesday that the United States was “redoubling not only our diplomatic but our commercial efforts to put real pressure on Iran”.
He said the US decision to withdraw troops from Syria did not jeopardise efforts to counter threats in the region, which he characterised as coming from Daesh and Iran.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived Tuesday in Jordan on a Middle East tour to show commitment to the region after President Donald Trump’s surprise decision to withdraw troops from war-torn Syria.
The top US diplomat, on his longest trip since taking the post last year, pledged that Daesh would not be allowed to regroup following a string of battlefield defeats.
But in a stark reminder of the lingering threat, a war monitor reported that the terrorist group had killed 23 US-backed fighters in a counterattack in eastern Syria aimed at defending their last bastion.
After setting off on the trip to eight Arab capitals, Pompeo told reporters he would show that “the United States is still committed to all the missions that we’ve signed up for with them over the past two years.”
The eight-day tour comes weeks after Trump announced that the United States would quickly pull its 2,000 soldiers out of Syria, declaring that Daesh had been defeated.
His advisers have since been walking back his timeline, with national security adviser John Bolton saying Monday in Jerusalem that the United States would verify that the group is truly beaten before withdrawing.
Highlighting that Daesh emerged during the tenure of Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, Pompeo said the campaign to destroy the movement’s self-styled “caliphate” in war-battered Syria has been “enormously successful.”
“And I am confident that we will continue to ensure that the kind of rise that ISIS had under the Obama administration doesn’t occur again,” he said on his plane.
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