U.S. military will remain in Middle East until war on terror is over

A draft document that outlines Washington’s plans for a military pull-out from the war-torn country unveiled a decision to maintain U.S. military forces near the Iraqi and Jordanian borders, which are viewed by top American Defense officials as “key strategic locations that will thwart Iran’s attempts to widen its grip in Syria.” The draft document was presented to both Turkish and Israeli officials earlier this week, during their respective meetings with White House National Security Adviser John Bolton.  While Israeli officials familiar with the discussions voiced their satisfaction at the American approach, which one official termed as “a responsible disengagement plan;” Turkish officials, however, accused the United States of attempting to protect Kurdish militias in northeastern Syria, at the expense of Turkey’s security interests. According to a Turkish defense official, who requested to remain anonymous as he was not permitted to speak publicly, “Turkey’s military has received clear guidelines by the leadership in Ankara with regard to a wide-scale operation to eradicate terror organizations in northern Syria that pose a direct threat to border-security, regardless of American sentiments that challenges the progress of the above-mentioned operation.” The comments by the officials were verified after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu voiced similar sentiments that echoed a carefully orchestrated military invasion of northern Syria. According to the Turkish Foreign Minister, “Our operation against YPG is not dependent on whether U.S. pulls out (from Syria) or not. Our President said we will enter east of Euphrates and start this operation before this decision was taken.” / “But if this process is prolonged or extended over a period of time, and as I have said before, if they delay this process with false and absurd excuses like unreal statements such as “Turks will slaughter the Kurds”, then we will put this decision (of starting an operation in east of Euphrates) into practice.”

Meanwhile in Egypt, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the United States will not retreat until the war on terror is over. In a joint press conference alongside his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukri, the American top diplomat stressed that while the United States will withdraw its troops from Syria, U.S.-led air strikes in the region will continue. In his words, “America will not retreat until the terror fight is over. We will labor tirelessly alongside you to defeat ISIS (Islamic State), al Qaeda and other jihadists that threat our security and yours. President Trump has made the decision to bring our troops home from Syria, we always do and now is the time. But this isn’t a change of mission, we remain committed to the complete dismantling of the ISIS threat and the ongoing fight against radical Islamism in all of its forms. But as President Trump has said we are looking to for our partners to do more and in this effort we will do so going forward together. For our part air strikes in the region will continue as targets arise.” Secretary Pompeo further emphasized that, “It is important to know also that we will not ease our campaign to stop Iran’s malevolent influence and actions against this region and the world. The nations of the Middle East will never enjoy security, achieve economic stability or advance the dreams of their people if Iran’s revolutionary regime persists on its current course. February 11th will mark 40 years since the oppressive regime came into power in Tehran. America’s economic sanctions against the regime are the strongest in history and will keep getting tougher until Iran starts behaving like a normal country. The 12 demands that we stated in May remain in force because the regime’s threat to the region endures. In Syria the United States will use diplomacy and work with our partners to expel every last Iranian boot and work through the U.N.-led process to bring peace and stability to the long-suffering Syrian people.” While the United States is embroiled in multiple battles across the chaotic region, the top American diplomat underscored a simple “truth”, as he put it, in which the United States of America is a force for good in the Middle East. The U.S. Secretary of State said, “This trip is especially meaningful to me as an evangelical Christian coming so soon after the Coptic church’s Christmas celebrations, this is an important time. We are all children of Abraham, Christians, Muslims, Jews. In my office I keep a bible open on desk, to remind me of God and his word, and the truth. And it’s the truth, lower case “t” that I am here to talk about today. It is a truth that isn’t often spoken in this part of the world, but I’m a military man by training I’ll be very blunt and direct today. America is a force for good in the Middle East. We need to acknowledge that truth, because if we don’t, we make bad choices, now and in the future. And our choices, the choices we make today have consequences for nations, for millions and millions of people, for our safety, for our economic prosperity for our personal freedoms, and those of our children.”