World: Acting Pentagon chief visits Baghdad to support Iraq, discuss Syria withdrawal - PressFrom - US
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WorldActing Pentagon chief visits Baghdad to support Iraq, discuss Syria withdrawal

14:55  12 february  2019
14:55  12 february  2019 Source:   reuters.com

Pentagon says ISIS likely to retake territory and claim 'victory' after US Syria withdrawal

Pentagon says ISIS likely to retake territory and claim 'victory' after US Syria withdrawal ISIS will claim victory over the US and is likely to regain territory as a result of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria, according to a new report released Monday by the Pentagon's Inspector General. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Acting Pentagon chief Pat Shanahan has arrived in Baghdad to consult with Iraqi leaders about the future US troop presence in the country, after Donald Marking his first trip to Iraq , Shanahan will discuss the US military mission in the country with top officials, as well as receive a briefing on Iraq ’s

BAGHDAD — The top Pentagon official arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday to consult with American Curbing foreign influence has become a hit-button issue in Iraq after parliamentary elections last Since the height of its self-proclaimed caliphate that included a third of both Iraq and Syria , IS-held

Acting Pentagon chief visits Baghdad to support Iraq, discuss Syria withdrawal© Reuters/IDREES ALI Acting U.S. defense secretary Patrick Shanahan arrives in Kabul

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday for an unannounced visit during which he said he would stress the importance of Iraqi sovereignty and broach the issue of the future of U.S. troops there.

President Donald Trump said this month that a U.S. presence was needed to observe Iran, which would overstep the U.S.-led coalition's stated mission in Iraq and Syria of defeating Islamic State.

Withdrawal of U.S. forces in Syria likely to start in 'weeks': U.S. general

Withdrawal of U.S. forces in Syria likely to start in 'weeks': U.S. general The United States is likely just weeks away from starting the withdrawal of ground troops from Syria ordered by President Donald Trump, the top U.S. commander overseeing American forces in the Middle East said on Sunday. U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. military's Central Command, also said he believed troop levels in Iraq would remain broadly steady, adding: "We don't want to keep people on the ground that we don't need and (who) don't have a valid mission.

WASHINGTON — President Trump has ordered the withdrawal of 2,000 American troops from Syria , bringing a sudden end to a military campaign that largely vanquished the Islamic State but ceding a strategically vital country to Russia and Iran.

Pentagon officials at the time refused to discuss specifics, including the timeline, citing operational security for the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria . The president told reporters traveling with him that he wants to get U.S. soldiers home from Syria and that Iraq can still be used as a base to stage

"We are in Iraq at the invitation of the government and our interests are to build Iraqi security capability," Shanahan told reporters traveling with him on his first trip to Iraq.

"I want to hear first-hand from them about concerns, the political dynamics that they are facing and then based on that we will obviously factor that into our planning."

Shanahan is to meet leaders including Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and will also discuss the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria with U.S. commanders.

Trump caused anger in Baghdad this month when he said it was important to keep a U.S. military presence in Iraq so that Washington could keep a close eye on Iran "because Iran is a real problem."

Iraq is in a difficult position as tensions between its two biggest allies, the United States and Iran, increase.

ISIS regrouping in Iraq, Pentagon report says

ISIS regrouping in Iraq, Pentagon report says The report describes ISIS as a "battle-hardened force" that attracts an estimated 50 new foreign fighters per month.

US President Donald Trump is going to withdraw US forces deployed to Syria with the Coaltion against ISIS. U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to pull U.S. forces currently deployed to Syria in the Coalition against Islamic State from the country, according to a White House statement and sources.

JUST WATCHED. Trump orders US withdrawal from Syria . "We have defeated ISIS in Syria , my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency," Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. Even though the US will continue to maintain troops in Iraq with the capability of launching strikes into Syria

Trump's comments prompted almost universal criticism from Iraq's leaders including Abdul Mahdi and raised questions about the long-term presence of some 5,200 U.S. troops in the country 16 years after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

The troops are there as part of an agreement with Baghdad with a specific mission of combating terrorism, and they should stick to that, Iraqi President Barham Salih said after Trump's comments.

Iran-aligned politicians in Iraq's parliament used the uproar to reiterate their demand that the U.S. mission in Iraq be restricted and troop numbers reduced.

Asked whether U.S. troops in Syria could be moved to Iraq, Shanahan said he would be having conversations on these topics during his visit.

U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. Central Command, said on Monday he did not believe Washington would broadly increase overall troop numbers in Iraq.

Pompeo reassures allies of U.S. commitments in Syria, Iraq

Pompeo reassures allies of U.S. commitments in Syria, Iraq U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday reassured allies that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria was not "the end of America's fight" and called on them to recommit to permanently defeating Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Addressing roughly 79 coalition partners, gathered in Washington to discuss next steps in the conflict in Syria, Pompeo said Islamic State remained a menace. © Reuters/KEVIN LAMARQUE Pompeo hosts a gathering of foreign ministers aligned toward the defeat of Islamic State in Washington "The U.S. troops withdrawing from Syria is not the end of America's fight.

The coalition has liberated the ISIS-held territory, but the campaign against ISIS is not over. We have started the process of returning U.S. troops home from Syria as we transition to the next phase of the campaign. For force protection and operational security reasons, we will not provide further details.

The act provided million for Iraqi "democratic opposition organizations" to "establish a program to Sixth, to end sanctions and to immediately deliver humanitarian support to the displaced and to In the middle of Iraq , the 1st Marine Division fought its way to the eastern side of Baghdad , and

SYRIA WITHDRAWAL

During a trip to Iraq in December, in which he did not meet any Iraqi leaders, Trump said the United States had spent a "fortune" on the Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq and should hold on to it.

He had earlier announced he was pulling all 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria, a decision that stunned allies and in part led to the resignation of former defense secretary James Mattis.

Trump also said he expected a formal announcement as early as this week that the coalition fighting Islamic State had reclaimed all the territory the militant group had held in Syria.

Shanahan stayed away from predicting a timeline because weather and the presence of civilians could affect it.

U.S.-led coalition warplanes hit some of Islamic State's last positions in eastern Syria on Monday as U.S.-backed fighters embarked on pressed an offensive.

Like most senior U.S. intelligence and military officials, Shanahan said an Islamic State resurgence was a risk unless there was a sustained effort.

"The follow on, the support to security, this is where we really look to the coalition partners," he said.

The group was declared defeated in Iraq in 2017, but continues to wage small-scale insurgent attacks in some areas.

The U.S. military has already started withdrawing equipment from Syria.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; editing by John Stonestreet)

Senate breaks from Trump with Syria troop vote.
Senate breaks from Trump with Syria troop vote

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