Published: Wed, February 06, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

President Trump to meet with North Korean leader in Vietnam

President Trump to meet with North Korean leader in Vietnam

The top commander of US forces in the Middle East, Gen. Joseph Votel, told a Senate committee on Tuesday that of the 34,000 square miles of territory that IS once held, it now controls less than 20 square miles. "Certainly, we are aware that he had expressed a desire and intent in the past to depart".

Despite Trump's order to withdraw, American officials maintain that the goal remains the "enduring defeat" of ISIS and are moving ahead with a long-planned meeting of top diplomats from the 79-member US -led coalition this week.

In his opening remarks, Votel said, "The fight against ISIS and violent extremists is not over", but added that usa ground forces will depart Syria "in a deliberate and coordinated manner". "Although they are dispersed and disaggregated, they have the capability of coming back together if we don't".

The Iraqi president said US troops had no right to monitor Iran under the agreement between the two nations, and that their specific mission was to combat terrorism, according to Reuters.

USA officials tell Reuters that the military has already started the withdrawal process, adding hundreds of troops to Syria to facilitate a safe pullout.

Iraqi political figures roundly criticized Trump in the wake of a Sunday interview on CBS' "Face the Nation".

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Several of Trump's fellow Republicans strongly disagreed with his plans to withdraw 2,000 USA troops from Syria on the grounds that militants no longer pose a threat.

The said that for the most part, those ISIS supporters have "gone to ground" and are "geographically dispersed" in open areas across Syria and Iraq. The general said the U.S.is "there at the invitation" of Iraq for the objective of defeating Islamic State. "I want to be able to watch Iran".

The Senate voted 70-26 in favor of a non-binding amendment, drafted by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying it was the sense of the Senate that Islamist militant groups in both countries still pose a "serious threat" to the United States. He added that he would wait for clarifications from Washington on the numbers and nature of the US troops' mission in his country. However, Turkey's Islamist president, Recep Erdogan, called the demand "a very serious mistake" and flatly told U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, "We can not make any concessions in this regard".

The task force also told the IG that, "in preparation for the complete loss of territory, ISIS increasingly functions as a decentralized insurgency as its 'way ahead plan'". "We have a base in Iraq and the base is a fantastic edifice".

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'.

The Syrian Democratic Front is a Kurdish-led coalition of fighting forces that the USA military is helping to battle ISIS and other jihadist groups in Syria.

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