'The real new beginning': Pompeo blasts Obama's Middle East strategy

'The real new beginning': Pompeo blasts Obama's Middle East strategy

'The real new beginning': Pompeo blasts Obama's Middle East strategy

He added that Turkey must "meet the president's requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered".

The Trump administration is all over the map when it comes to U.S. foreign policy.

Trump has not said, however, that he intends to withdraw American forces from Iraq, where 5,200 American troops are stationed.

Washington´s top diplomat was speaking at a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukry on the third leg of a key Middle East tour.

Still, Pompeo said the Egyptian president's "leadership, his assertion of leadership, is consistent with Egypt's historical role as a true leader throughout the Middle East".

US Marine Corps tactical vehicles are seen driving along a road near the town of Tal Baydar in the countryside of Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on December 21, 2018.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Bolton of making "a very serious mistake" with the demand.

Turkish officials had a tense meeting this week with Trump´s national security adviser John Bolton in Ankara aimed at coordinating the pullout process after Bolton set conditions that appeared to postpone it indefinitely.

Mattis also rejected Turkey's charge that the YPG fighters within SDF were allied with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), which has been labeled a terrorist group by the U.S., Turkey and the European Union.

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The Kurds warned last month that if US forces withdraw from Syria, they might have to turn their attention to fending off an attack from neighboring Turkey, which considers the YPG a terrorist organization, and in turn release the prisoners.

Bolton has changed the terms of this decision dramatically since Trump announced it three weeks ago. Several days prior, Pompeo's "don't slaughter the Kurds" remarks also prompted a similar response from Ankara.

Pompeo also urged his country's Middle East partners to forge a unified stance against Iran, and vowed that the United States "will use diplomacy and work with our partners to expel every last Iranian boot" from Syria.

As for how the Trump administration's policies are being perceived by Mideast leaders, NPR's Jane Arraf reports from Baghdad, "This is a new era, and part of that new era is a belief that the United States is more than willing to look the other way [from] repression and human rights abuses in countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, if there are security or economic benefits".

It was a further reminder that Washington has adopted separate policies for Iraq and for Syria and that US advocates for persecuted Christians must double down on their campaign to keep hope alive across the Middle East. "Now comes the real new beginning". Trump, defending his decision, emphasized the need for other countries to take on the battle against IS in Syria and espoused Turkey's subsequent offer to fill America's shoes.

"Turkey proposes a comprehensive strategy to eliminate the root causes of radicalisation", wrote Erdogan. "We'll make sure we address the concerns that they have".

In his meeting with lower-ranking officials before departing Ankara, Bolton was informed of Turkish demands that the US hand over its Syria bases to the Turkish military or local authorities, disarm the SDF and remove all heavy weapons from eastern Syria, according to Hurriyet and the Turkish Anadolu news agency.

To be sure, America's foreign policy in the Trumpian era is unprecedented and risky in countless ways, particularly with respect this new dynamic in which Washington's allies are not sure whether America's Commander-in-Chief, Secretary of State, Pentagon chief, or the president's top advisers genuinely speak on behalf of the USA government.

President Donald Trump´s "decision to withdraw our troops has been made".

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