Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Top General Says He Wasn't Consulted on Syria Withdrawl

Iraqi President Pentagon: ISIS will regain ground in Syria when US troops leave and will play troop withdrawal as a 'victory'
Andrew Cummings | 07 February, 2019, 03:44

In the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Trump in his 2018 speech pronounced the Islamist militant group almost 100 percent defeated.

"I was not aware of the specific announcement", U.S. Central Command (Centcom) commander Gen. Joseph Votel said.

"We welcome that President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un confirmed the date and venue of their second summit", South Korean presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said at press briefing in Seoul on Wednesday.

Withdrawal from Syria was not a decision that former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis agreed with; in fact, he resigned because of it.

"Our troops have fought with unmatched valor - and thanks to their bravery, we are now able to pursue a political solution to this long and bloody conflict", he told members of congress during his speech.

Votel said ISIS now controls a scrap of territory that takes up less than 20 square miles in eastern Syria.

In his comments to the committee, Votel said the president did not consult him on the Syria withdrawal.

He said the wall will be built in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and "where walls go up, illegal crossings go way, way down".

A new Department of Defense Inspector General report made public Monday said that "absent sustained pressure", ISIS would re-emerge in Syria within six to 12 months.

"We do have to keep pressure on this network".

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According to the IG report, most of the military commanders' replies to the IG's January questions were classified, but Votel's command provided one overarching conclusion that was not classified.

On Dec. 19, the Trump administration announced that it would be pulling all USA forces from Syria.

"I hope you can pass the USMCA into law so we can bring back our manufacturing jobs in even greater numbers, expand American agriculture, protect intellectual property, and ensure that more cars are proudly stamped with our four attractive words: 'Made in the U.S.A'".

If the SDF strikes a deal with Damascus following the United States withdrawal, Shoebridge said, "the Syrian government could fill that vacuum, and continue with their very successful campaign against ISIS themselves".

In an interview that was taped Friday, Trump told CBS News that the USA would use a base in Iraq as a means to "watch" Iran.

He said he wanted to wait for the official word before making any announcement.

But, Trump added, even if they do reform, the coalition would seek them out and destroy them.

As Iran mobilized Shiite Muslim forces to tackle ISIS in support of the Iraqi and Syrian armed forces, the USA formed an global coalition in 2014 to begin bombing the jihadis as part of a mission welcomed by Baghdad, but considered illegal by Damascus. "Although they are dispersed and disaggregated, they have the capability of coming back together if we don't".

His comments come amid renewed efforts in both the House and Senate to block USA support to the Saudi-led coalition. "To that end, we ask that our coalition partners seriously and rapidly consider requests that will enable our efforts to continue".

"This year, American astronauts will go back to space on American rockets", Trump said, to a standing ovation. It's perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East rather than pulling up.

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