Pompeo in Jordan: U.S. Will Double Down to ‘Put Pressure on Iran’ Amid Syria Exit
Pompeo is meeting with U.S. allies in the region, including stops in Jordan, Egypt and several Gulf nations, to coordinate an anti-Iran campaign.
The trip comes amid confusion over conflicting statements by President Donald Trump and senior U.S. officials about a planned U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria. Trump made the surprise announcement about a withdrawal last month, saying some 2,000 troops fighting alongside Syrian Kurdish allies in northeastern Syria against Islamic State extremists would be pulled out soon. He did not give details, such as a timetable, leaving bewildered U.S. partners in the region jockeying for influence over terms of a withdrawal.
Pompeo contended Tuesday that the planned withdrawal from Syria would not complicate the administration’s anti-Iran campaign. He said U.S. allies in the region, including Jordan, agree on what they view as the “enormous risk” Iran poses for the region.
“The president’s decision to withdraw our folks from Syria in no way impacts our capacity to deliver on that,” he said in a joint news conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi. “You will see in the coming days and weeks that we are doubling not only our diplomatic but our commercial efforts to put real pressure on Iran to achieve what it is we set out for them back in May.”
Pompeo’s visit began as U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton was set to depart Turkey without meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — an apparent snub over disagreements about the Kurdish fighters in Syria.
U.S. officials had said the two were expected to have consultations on Tuesday about the fate of Kurds allied with the U.S. in Syria as part of discussions about Trump’s troop draw-down.
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