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.
“There’s no change in our counter-Iran strategy,” Pompeo added.
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 fulfillment 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.