Kurds capture 8 jihadis including U.S. teenager

Blanche Robertson
January 10, 2019

Iranian officials, Trump said, "can do what they want" in Syria.

The Trump administration, on the other hand, continued to send mixed signals about its withdrawal plans on Wednesday.

National Security Adviser John Bolton has yet to crack Donald Trump's inner circle with the president sometimes calling him "Mike" by mistake.

Many politicians from the ruling coalition of mainly Shi'ite parties called Trump's visit a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and demanded the United States withdraw troops. Netanyahu could only be delighted. "Jordan made a powerful statement by recalling its ambassador to Tehran a year ago in protest of the Iranian regime's flagrant transgressions of security and sovereignty".

Everyone's slowing their roll now, and with Bolton heading to Ankara, that roll will come to a complete stop. The Kurds there have fought alongside American troops, but Erdogan considers them terrorists.

The vacancies, current and former officials say, hamper USA engagement in the region as Trump and his top deputies grapple with some of the toughest foreign-policy challenges Washington faces: extricating US troops from the war in Syria, countering Iran, dealing with a devastating civil war in Yemen, continuing counterterrorism operations, and patching up a long-simmering rift between Persian Gulf states. Turkey's rock-ribbed position is nearly utterly antithetical to anything the Israelis might want to hear.

He said this was particularly so in the case of Iran.

Turkey, a USA ally and member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has promised to strike the Kurds to prevent them from forming an autonomous state in Syria.

The United States has done little to help resolve this problem, though it has welcomed Jordanian participationin the Syrian conflict.

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While Pompeo said a focus of his visit was to convince Baghdad to end its imports of electricity and natural gas from Iran, the main issue for Masoud Barzani was the USA withdrawal from Syria that will leave Kurds there exposed to an imminent offensive by Turkey.

Pompeo's tour is aimed at urging regional allies to continue to confront the "significant threats" posed by Iran and militants.

Obama pledged engagement with Iran and an understanding of the need for freedom and democracy that led to the Arab Spring revolutions.

According to Bishara, Pompeo's approach was set at a low bar, with scant mention of Yemen - just half a line - despite the war in Yemen being a key issue in the Middle East.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers a speech at the American University in Cairo on Thursday that was a scathing rebuke of the Obama administration's Mideast policies. His easy mission will be to persuade these nations that the Trump administration remains committed to neutralizing Iran.

Senior diplomats from the three countries have held several rounds of consultations with the Astana format amid efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in the Arab country.

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.

Mr Pompeo's Thursday speech appeared to be an attempt to reassure allies, while also reiterating Mr Trump's decision to pull out troops.

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