Erdogan slams USA request to guarantee Syrian Kurds' safety

President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House Wednesday Jan. 2 2019 in Washington

At least five Americans have been picked up on the battlefield, said Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the George Washington University Program on Extremism, which tracks extremists and first identified the Texan who tried to join ISIS as a teacher.

Last December, Trump announced plans to withdraw all US troops from Syria.

"It's important that we do everything we can to make sure that those folks that fought with us are protected and Erdogan has made commitments, he understands that", he said.

Pompeo called on Thursday for an end to Middle East rivalries to roll back Tehran's influence and vowed to "expel every last Iranian boot" from Syria.

He also said some officials in the U.S. administration had sought to deter Trump from the pullout plan and create "excuses" like Turkey is massacring Kurds, in reference to Pompeo's comments.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Amman, January 8, 2019.

The "decision to withdraw our troops has been made".

He told reporters he plans to talk to allies about "modalities by which we may continue to apply pressure" on Iran, branded by Washington a sponsor of terrorism.

He also met earlier with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, after arriving in Cairo late Wednesday on his longest trip since taking office previous year which has already taken him to Jordan, Baghdad and the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital Arbil.

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His speech which began with "America is a force of good in the Middle East" marks a departure from Obama who started his humble speech with an apology, Bishara said.

During a brief photo opportunity, Pompeo was chatting with the monarch, mentioning a speech by President Trump, to be delivered from the Oval Office later Tuesday.

In a scathing response on Twitter, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif mockingly said Teran will "mimic" U.S. policy in the Middle East "when hell freezes over". Pompeo said during a brief news conference with Foreign Minister Shoukry that Iran is the "greatest threat of all in the Middle East".

As Pompeo arrived in Egypt, the US State Department described the country as a "steadfast partner in the anti-terror fight, and a courageous voice in denouncing the radical Islamist ideology that fuels it".

The UAE, a close ally of Saudi Arabia, acted late a year ago to re-open a diplomatic mission in Damascus as part of this re-engagement, and several other Arab countries might soon follow the UAE move. We're having conversations with them even as we speak about how we will effectuate this in a way that protects our forces. A long-promised proposed Trump plan for a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians has so far failed to materialise.

The Trump administration encountered similar pushback elsewhere on Tuesday, as U.S. allies pressed their own priorities.

The US top diplomat criticised US President Donald Trump's predecessor Obama for being naive and timid when confronted with challenges posed by the revolts that convulsed the Middle East, including Egypt, beginning in 2011.

Earlier that month, Washington announced that it will be withdrawing its troops from Syria within the next 60 to 100 days. A previous version of this story, "Dunford Refuses to Pull Back US Observation Posts in Syria", inadvertently used language from a readout of a December 13 phone call between Dunford and Gen. Yasar Guler, in which Dunford said the USA would continue to use forward observation posts in Syria. Recep Tayyip Ergodan considers the YPG to be a part of the PKK, a Kurdish separatist group that both Turkey and the U.S. consider to be a terrorist organization.

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