Walking back Syria withdrawal, Trump cites need to watch Iran, 'protect' Israel

Screenshot  CBS News

Screenshot CBS News

The measure says ISIS and al-Qaeda militants still pose a serious threat to the United States, and it warns that "a precipitous withdrawal" of USA forces from those countries could "allow terrorists to regroup, destabilize critical regions and create vacuums that could be filled by Iran or Russian Federation".

"It is of fundamental interest for Iraq to have good relations with Iran" and other neighbouring countries, Salih added.

Iraqi President Barham Salih has said US President Donald Trump did not ask Iraq's permission US troops stationed there to "watch Iran".

Since pulling out of the landmark Iran nuclear deal agreed by predecessor Barack Obama, Trump has publicly shown an uncompromising attitude toward Iran and reimposed sanctions on the country.

The US has been leading a coalition to crush the Islamic State group which grabbed swathes of Syria and Iraq in 2014, and multiple offensives have since ousted the jihadists from all but a sliver of territory in eastern Syria.

Why it matters: Amid bipartisan push-back against his decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, the president told CBS in an interview that ran Sunday that Al-Asad base in Anbar province, which the president visited just after Christmas, could deal with the Iranian threat. Brennan asked of Iraq.

Salih, speaking at an worldwide forum in Baghdad, cautioned Trump against putting his own country's foreign policy agenda over Iraq's, stating that Trump should not "pursue your own policy priorities".

"There is no USA base in Iraq", he said.

"Well I don't want to say that".

Venezuela's Guaido courts Russian Federation ; powers divided on Maduro
Opposition leader Juan Guaido called for demonstrations today to increase pressure on Maduro to resign. Protesters marched in Caracas on Wednesday calling for Maduro to stand down.

Trump said on Thursday he would bring U.S. troops home if a peace deal was reached to end 17 years of war in Afghanistan. "We might as well keep it", was Trump's pithy summary of his view on the matter. Left unsaid is that these grievances are a product of upheaval caused by the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq and the United States support for sectarian rebels in Syria starting in 2011. The base hosts American troops but belongs to the Iraqi army. We have a base in Iraq and the base is a fantastic edifice. Curbing foreign influence has become a hot-button issue in Iraq after parliament elections in May in which Shiite militias backed by Iran made significant gains.

Opponents included every senator considering a 2020 presidential run, and four Republicans, who said USA foreign policy needs a rethink.

Trump expressed if the Islamic State or al Qaeda terror groups experienced a resurgence after the troops are withdrawn he would simply send forces back.

Trump's comments come in the face of warnings by USA intelligence chiefs that a precipitous United States withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria could allow a resurgence by Al-Qaeda and IS.

American forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, but returned in 2014 at the invitation of the government to help battle IS after it seized vast areas in the north and west of the country, including Iraq's second largest city, Mosul. "There are only Iraqi bases where some U.S. and non-U.S. soldiers are present".

It called upon the Trump administration to certify conditions had been met for the groups' "enduring defeat" before any significant withdrawal from Syria or Afghanistan. Trump, who has called Iran a top USA security threat, backed out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May while reinstituting economic sanctions that had been lifted as part of the deal.

Former Iraq Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi‏ chimed in as well, writing on Twitter: "Iraqi sovereignty must be respected". Iraq should not be used as a spring board to attack its neighbours.

The Kurdish YPG militia makes up more than two thirds of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the United States have used as the main proxy against IS in northeastern Syria.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.