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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: US withdrawal from Syria doesn't change mission to destroy ISIS and stop Iran's influence in the Mideast

2019-01-08 11:03:24       source:CNBC

January 7, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is about to go to the Mideast, told CNBC Monday that the planned U.S. withdrawal of troops from Syria does not change the mission of destroying the Islamic State terror group and stopping Iran from influencing the region through its state-sponsored terrorism operations.

Pompeo told CNBC's Wilfred Frost on "Squawk on the Street" that the Syria drawdown is a "change of tactics" but not the U.S. commitment "to the defeat of the caliphate or of ISIS globally." The caliphate refers to the idea of an Islamic state governed by Islamic law. Pompeo also said, "There's no change in our counter-Iran strategy."

President Donald Trump sent shockwaves through Washington and around the globe last month when he announced on Twitter that he would be withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria. "We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency," he wrote. Since then, after criticism from fellow Republicans, the administration has added caveats to the withdrawal, effectively softening Trump's original declaration.

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