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Top US diplomat assails Obama in Mideast policy speech

Top US diplomat assails Obama in Mideast policy speech

Pentagon officials visited Capitol Hill on Thursday to reassure lawmakers amid confusion over plans to implement President Donald Trump's order for USA troops to withdraw from Syria - but some Democrats and Republicans were left unsatisfied.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday condemned comments by a key United States envoy over the future of a US-allied Syrian Kurdish militia as a "grave mistake", as tensions flared over Washington's planned withdrawal from war-torn Syria.

After meeting Bolton on Tuesday, Kalin also urged Washington to take back all the weapons provided to Syrian Kurdish militia forces.

Pompeo is touring the region to explain US strategy after Trump's surprise announcement of an abrupt withdrawal of all 2,000 US troops from Syria, which rattled allies and shocked top US officials, prompting US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign.

He also appeared to insult USA troops with a sarcastic comment that they seemed to be allied with terrorists, meaning the YPG. The U.S. has allied itself with the PKK/YPG to fight Daesh in Syria, while Turkey has argued that using one terror group to fight another makes no sense.

President Trump has made the decision to bring our troops home from Syria.

The vacancies are especially problematic as the Trump administration continues to send contradictory messages about its policies toward friends and foes in the region.

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He added that the United States was facing challenges as it attempted to end involvement with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militant group because it was too engaged.

"Whenever/wherever United States interferes, chaos, repression & resentment follow [sic]", Zarif wrote.

On Thursday, Turkey renewed its threat to launch an offensive against Kurds.

He is also scheduled to deliver a speech at the American University of Cairo on the topic of U.S. involvement in the Middle East and Iran's destabilising role in the region.

Some 14 Americans who traveled to Iraq or Syria to fight for jihadi groups have returned to the U.S., Hughes said, and almost all of them have been disillusioned by their experiences.

The dozens of remaining vacancies stem from both political fights on Capitol Hill and Trump's apparent lack of urgency in putting forward nominees.

In his initial reaction to the turnabout in US policy, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan certainly gave no indication of willingness to offer any guarantees.

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President Donald Trump and senior defense officials met to discuss the planned Syria troop withdrawal Wednesday, as his national security team continued to send conflicting signals about the planned pullback that has roiled relations with NATO-ally Turkey.

Sen. Kevin Cramer, a new senator and SASC member, revealed mixed feelings, saying he was encouraged with some aspects of the withdrawal plans, including what officials said about the pace of the withdrawal - but he still had questions.

"We will be ready", he said.

USA officials had said the two were expected to have consultations on Tuesday about the fate of Kurds allied with the U.S.in Syria as part of discussions about Trump's troop draw-down.

But Pompeo insisted the two statements were entirely consistent. The Kurds there have fought alongside American troops, but Erdogan considers them terrorists.

He instead stated in a speech to the Turkish parliament that Bolton had made a "serious mistake" in imposing the condition.

If the USA plans on making a withdrawal conditional on Turkish guarantees of safety for the YPG in Syria, one of two things will happen.

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Israel sees Iranian entrenchment in Syria as a major threat and has carried out hundreds of airstrikes to thwart Tehran and proxy terror group Hezbollah, but the campaign has seemingly been curbed amid tensions with Russian Federation over a downed spy plane previous year.