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

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

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

Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, at his weekly news conference late Tuesday, reminded Trump there are no United States bases in Iraq and said he doesn't accept the idea of his country becoming an arena for fighting a neighbouring country.

Asked if he meant he wanted to be able to strike Iran, Trump replied: "No, because I want to be able to watch Iran".

While the USA military stopped providing aerial refueling to coalition warplanes in November, the U.S. continues limited intelligence sharing aimed at countering Houthi missile and drone attacks against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It's perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East rather than pulling up. "And this is what a lot of people don't understand".

Trump first said he wants to keep troops in Iraq as a base to strike at IS in Syria, then said the troops were needed to monitor Iraq comments that are likely to give momentum to opponents of the U.S. presence in Iraq.

Trump's comments were strongly rejected by current and former Iraqi political leaders.

Donald Trump had said the ISIS had been defeated in Syria and said all U.S. troops were "coming back now".

Officially, Iraq says there are no USA bases on its soil - only instructors deployed at Iraqi bases.

"Its interests should not be compromised". "Iraq's constitution does not allow our territory of our country to be used against our neighbors", he explained. Officer Matson received a standing ovation when President Trump told the story of Matson's heroism and the obstacles he is overcoming as he recovers from his injuries related to the shooting.

A US -led coalition has eliminated some 99 percent of the territory in Syria and Iraq that the Islamic State, or ISIS, once claimed as its so-called caliphate. "And we will indeed focus on counter-terrorism", Trump said. Military expects are fearful that ISIS-an organization so violent that even al-Qaeda considers their methods extreme-could regain territory in Syria.

"We can't turn a blind eye toward the malign activities of Iran throughout the region. 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.

Retired Lt. General Mark Hertling, a CNN military analyst who commanded troops in Iraq, said he was unclear on what the President was talking about.

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ISIS "remains a potent force of battle-hardened and well-disciplined fighters that could likely resurge in Syria absent continued counterterrorism pressure", the report from the inspector general said.

"And also, there doesn't seem to be right now the equipment there to give us the ability to conduct strategic-level intelligence gathering", Hertling added.

WASHINGTON ― The U.S. Senate on Monday voted overwhelmingly to approve a symbolic resolution urging President Donald Trump not to proceed with plans for a hasty withdrawal of U.S. troops from their yearslong fight against terrorism overseas.

"The coalition is here at the invitation of the Iraqi government and this was coordinated with the Iraqi Security Forces", he said.

"We have an unbelievable and expensive military base built in Iraq".

At nearly the same time the report was released, the US Senate was approving an amendment critical of Mr Trump's Syrian and Afghanistan withdrawal.

Trump is in an ongoing feud with the U.S. intelligence community, which last week warned IS can quickly rebuild into a cohesive force in any vacuum left in the war-torn country. "That goes down badly", he told CNN.

He also said the United States had spent more than $7 trillion in the Middle East.

"This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier - not just a simple concrete wall", Trump said in his speech.

"It seems to be in conflict. It's been going on for many years", he said.

Middle East Peace Plan: From the start of his presidency, Trump vowed to secure what he calls the "ultimate deal" between Israel and the Palestinians, where generations of US leaders and diplomats have failed. The remainder, he said, have "dispersed" and "gone to ground", suggesting they retain the potential to return. "If they make a couple of bad mistakes, they'll be in a very bad place in terms of instability".

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