Pompeo: US pullout from Syria doesn’t change ‘counter-Iran strategy’

Sputnik – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the planned US withdrawal of troops from Syria won’t change the mission of destroying the Daesh terror group and stopping Iran from influencing the region.

Pompeo said that the withdrawal is a “change of tactics” and will not interfere with the US commitment “to the defeat of the caliphate or of ISIS globally,” CNBC reported.

Secretary of State Pompeo also gave assurances that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can be trusted not to turn on the Kurds in Syria, who have been allies of the US during the campaign.

“Erdogan made a commitment to President Trump… that the Turks would continue the counter ISIS campaign after our departure, and that the Turks would ensure that the folks that we’d fought with — that assisted us in the counter ISIS campaign — would be protected,” he said. He noted that White House national security advisor John Bolton is in Ankara to ensure the fulfilment of these promises.

On Sunday, Bolton said the planned US withdrawal of nearly 2,000 troops from Syria will be contingent upon finalizing an agreement with Turkey that protects Kurdish fighters in the region. Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem during a visit to Israel and Turkey, Bolton answered some of the questions regarding the planned withdrawal. He described the stipulation as Trump’s official position.
In December, Trump declared victory over Daesh and announced that as a result, US forces would soon be coming home. On Monday, Trump said US forces would leave Syria while at the same time they would continue fighting the Daesh terror group.

*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State/IS), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a wide number of other countries.