United States commander says he was 'not consulted' on decision to leave Syria

Iraqi President

Trump spoke to an worldwide conference in Washington on the future of the battle against the group, also known as ISIS, after the U.S. leader's sudden decision in December to order the pullout of all 2,000 USA troops as he declared victory.

"I was not aware of the specific announcement".

Sen. Angus King, a Maine Independent who caucuses with Democrats, expressed the hope that Votel, who is retiring next month, would stress the importance of protecting the Kurds to his successor. Angus King, I-Maine, asked.

"The fight is one that we will continue to wage alongside of you", Pompeo added.

Warnings by Pompeo and others that Islamic State remained a unsafe threat fly in the face of Trump's December declaration that the militants had been defeated and the United States would withdraw its roughly 2,000 USA troops from Syria.

That decision prompted the resignations of Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the Special Presidential Envoy to the Counter-ISIS campaign Brett McGurk.

"It simply represents a new stage in an old fight", Pompeo said, adding that although progress has been made in defeating ISIL, the group remained a risky threat.

Nissan cancels United Kingdom production plans for next-gen X-Trail
Her comments suggest the final eight weeks until March 29 - the U.K.'s scheduled exit day - will be fraught with tension. In 2016 the carmaker said it would build the new vehicle in the United Kingdom after "assurances" from the government.

'The United States military, our coalition partners and the Syrian Democratic forces have liberated virtually all of the territory previously held by ISIS in Syria and Iraq,' he said.

"At the first step, we want all the foreign forces to leave and end the military presence in our country", Sohail Shahin, a spokesman for a Taliban office in Qatar, said by telephone.

A report by the inspectors general of the Defense Department, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development, issued Monday, said Islamic State "remains a potent force of battle-hardened and well-disciplined fighters that "could likely resurge in Syria" absent continued counterterrorism pressure". U.S. policy had been to keep troops in place until the extremists are completely eradicated. "They have the ability of coming back together if we don't", General Joseph Votel, head of the U.S. military's Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing hours before the president's public address. "We might as well keep it", he said, referring to the Ain al-Asad airbase in western Iraq that he visited in December past year.

The conference comes amid behind-the-scenes efforts to manage the unintended consequences of the United States pullout, including keeping peace between Turkey and Kurdish fighters and finding a solution for hundreds of foreign jihadists jailed in Syria who Washington says should be repatriated by their home countries.

But the president also said there will always be "sick" and "demented" people in the region, "no matter how well we do militarily". "I want to wait for the official word". His amendment calls for the U.S.to avoid any "precipitous withdrawal" from Syria and Afghanistan. And Votel replied, "We were not. You will have people that will be around and we'll search them out and you'll search them out and we'll find them and hopefully they won't be around very long", he said.

'The ISIS caliphate has been crushed, we have taken back 99 percent of that territory, but we will not rest or relent until all of what ISIS claimed before has been captured, ' Pence told him. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was late to the party, missing the morning session and the midday group photo thanks to weather delays in Toronto. But the SDF is "heavily reliant" on US military support and "unable to conduct offensive operations" that are "meaningful" without American air power, the report said.

US-backed Syrian forces seized a number of oil fields and gas plants from ISIS in 2017, including the Conoco natural gas facility, an important source of revenue for terrorists, and the al-Omar oil field, the country's largest and most profitable.

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