United States pullout from Syria to be done in 'prudent' way

Pompeo Visits Middle East to Increase Pressure on Iran

Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, has blamed former president Barack Obama's "misjudged" foreign policy for the last decade of chaos in the Middle East, in a thumping speech delivered in Cairo.

But there are no easy answers.

Cavusoglu said Ankara would fight the YPG whether or not the U.S. withdraws from Syria.

European nations have been reluctant to take back citizens with ties to the IS, not wanting the legal challenge of prosecuting them or the potential security risk if they are released. They include not just crushing the Kurds, but also becoming a major player in the fight to fill that country's power vacuum.

"It's one thing for the government to be very confident that an individual joined or tried to join ISIS", Joshua Geltzer, a senior counterterrorism official in the Obama administration, told the Associated Press this week.

Words of war: President Erdoðan addresses the Turkish parliament, where he said preparations for an attack were nearly complete.

Meanwhile, the prisoner problem is only growing worse.

The US forces have been working with a Kurdish militia to fight against Islamic State.

Earlier, the US National Security Advisor John Bolton demanded safety guarantees for Syria's Kurds from Ankara amid the planned US withdrawal. Turkey regards the Kurdish fighters we're allied with as separatists and terrorists.

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Turkey views them as part of a terrorist group linked to an insurgency within its own borders.

Responding to Mr Erdoğan's threats, a top Syrian Kurdish official said his fighters were prepared to confront Turkish forces if they enter north-eastern Syria. "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. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorised to disclose the information publicly.

Since then, U.S. officials have appeared to row back slightly on the decision.

Bolton's opening stop was in Israel, where he told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exactly what the Israeli leader wanted to hear - Trump really won't be engaging in the quick and immediate withdrawal of all USA troops from Syria that he'd pledged last month.

Mr Trump, in a tweet before Christmas, had declared Isil defeated and said 2,000 or so American troops would be returning home as soon as possible. It also sparked the resignation of Secretary of Defense James Mattis and of Brett McGurk, the diplomatic point person in the campaign against the Islamic State.

On the other side of the ledger is America's honor, its level of trustworthiness and respect in the world, its ability to enlist allies in future fights against terrorism, and its ability to make sure ISIS is well and truly crushed in Syria.

One of the foreign fighters recently captured is Warren Christopher Clark, a former substitute schoolteacher from Houston, Texas, who was first identified by George Washington University's Program on Extremism.

The program has identified more than 73 Americans, by their legal names, who are known to have joined jihadist groups. Still, the United States desperately needs massive military bases it maintains in Qatar, the largest in the region with 10,000 USA servicemen, and in Saudi allies Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait, also on Pompeo's itinerary.

"Dear Director, I am looking to get a position teaching English to students in the IS", he wrote to the group in an accompanying cover letter.

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