Pompeo Visits Middle East to Increase Pressure on Iran

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Mr Erdoğan - who considers the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists - said Turkey would "not make concessions" and preparations for an offensive were almost complete.

Our President said we will enter east of Euphrates and start this operation before this decision was taken.

Bolton's comments were widely seen as backtracking on Trump's announcement. "We will withdraw our forces, our uniformed forces, from Syria and continue America´s crushing campaign", Pompeo told reporters. America's top diplomat also discussed ways of supporting Iraq's energy independence, an issue tied to the US effort to wean allies off Iranian energy sources. Erdogan was particularly irate over Bolton's comment that USA forces would not be leaving without some assurances of protection for the Kurds, whom Erdogan has branded as terrorists and threatened to snuff out. "Now comes the real new beginning", Pompeo added.

"A risk averse president who makes new policy by tweet or phone call surrounded by risk-ready advisers who run cleanup, don´t respect deliberation and have objectives that aren´t clear or attainable equals U.S. policy (or lack of it) in Syria". Most of the U.S. soldiers are there to train local forces fighting the hardcore-Islamist IS. He thinks that Pompeo may also announce the establishment of a regional Gulf energy entity during a stop in Oman. "In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the Middle East, we were timid in asserting ourselves when the time and our partners demanded it". Turkey views them as part of a terrorist group linked to an insurgency within its own borders. An appropriate disposition of those prisoners is a top priority, the official said.

Turkey said it would carry out a strike against the Kurds in northern Syria regardless of whether the United States pulled its troops, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu pledged during a television interview.

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.

"We've won against Isis", he said at the time.

"Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar and the Russian defense minister held telephone talks".

There are other signs in the Turkish media suggesting that an agreement on Manbij is likely.

He appeared to walk that back on Sunday.

The United States has done little to help resolve this problem, though it has welcomed Jordanian participationin the Syrian conflict. They are the second batch the administration has re-imposed since Trump withdrew from the accord in May.

In Iraq, Pompeo also sought to smooth over relations after political leaders were angered when Trump visited United States troops on the day after Christmas at a remote desert air base without stopping in Baghdad or meeting any Iraqi officials. The condition did not sit well with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. We're having conversations with them even as we speak about how we will effectuate this in a way that protects our forces.

"Despite the fact that we reached a clear agreement with Mr. Trump, different voices have been raised from different echelons of the United States administration", Erdogan said during a speech on Tuesday, adding that he could soon hold another phone call with the American president.

On Thursday, Pompeo said: "For those who fret about the use of American power, remember this: America has always been and always will be a liberating force, not an occupying power".

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