Turkey says Syria offensive does not depend on U.S. troop withdrawal

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced visit Wednesday to Iraq where he met with Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and other officials. Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

On December 19, President Donald Trump announced that the US would leave Syria because the Islamic State had been defeated.

"We always do and now is the time". He told you that radical Islamist terrorism doesn't stem from an ideology.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the USA national security adviser of making "a very serious mistake" Tuesday by demanding that Ankara guarantee the safety of Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria before the US withdraws its troops from the war-torn country.

At the same time, he emphasized that the "optics" would be much more troubling if the White House had announced a troop drawdown in Iraq, where the USA -backed Kurds still provide significant security for many Christian families.

"They (Americans) did not provide any security for any one".

"So today what did we learn from all of this?"

One Cairo-based foreign diplomat informed on the highlights of Bolton's talks in the Middle East this week said that the United States national security adviser had assured his interlocutors that the USA would neither risk the stability of Syria nor allow for a situation that could endanger their interests.

With those words, Pompeo took aim at the foreign policy of former USA president Barack Obama, who delivered a speech in Cairo in 2009 outlining "a new beginning" for his country's relationship with the Arab world.

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"This matters because SDF holds hundreds of IS fighters, including many European citizens, and they might go free if no solution is found", said Bobby Chesney, a national security law expert at the University of Texas.

"The good news is this: The age of self-inflicted American shame is over, and so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering", he said. "Now comes the real 'new beginning'".

"In many cases diplomats at that level will not be as assertive as an ambassador in offering policy recommendations to a secretary of state, and the recommendations they do offer might not be taken as seriously", said Michele Dunne, a former State Department official and the director of the Middle East program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think tank. "We want to coordinate this process with Russian Federation and Iran, with which we had arranged work in the framework of the Astana process", Cavusoglu said Wednesday. "Can you say the same about Iran?"

Some downplayed the fallout from a US troop drawdown, arguing that American forces were relatively small in number and far from "Christian areas", said the source, who spoke off the record because of the sensitivity of the issue and the need to minimize friction between Christian institutions and the Assad government.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded on Twitter, saying, "Whenever/wherever USA interferes, chaos, repression and resentment follow".

Pompeo's tour is aimed at urging regional allies to continue to confront the "significant threats" posed by Iran and Islamic State group (IS) jihadists. "Best for the U.S. to just get over loss of Iran".

"It's one thing if he left when he was 16 and somehow got over there - it's another thing if he's been over there for five years in the mix", Hughes said, the outlet reported.

Pompeo's team emphasized areas of agreement on this visit, saying the U.S.is committed to support "the new Iraqi government's efforts to deliver stability, security and prosperity to all Iraqis", according to deputy spokesman Robert Palladino.