Mike Pompeo: Syria pullout won't stop fight against ISIS or Iranian influence

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Masoud Barzani leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in the province's capital Arbil during a Middle East tour

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Masoud Barzani leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in the province's capital Arbil during a Middle East tour

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu went so far on Wednesday as to say that if the USA withdrawal from Syria was delayed, "then we will put this decision into practice", suggesting Turkey could go after the Kurds in short order.

US Colonel Sean Ryan, a coalition spokesman, said the coalition "has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan labeled Bolton's comments unacceptable and a "grave mistake". Pompeo said the meeting would "focus on Middle East stability and peace, freedom and security here in this region, and that includes an important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence".

Russia's foreign ministry said Friday that it suspected the USA government was really intent on maintaining a military force inside Syria indefinitely, in spite of the pullout officially being announced by the Americans. He'll also be promoting a USA -backed initiative to form what some have termed an "Arab NATO" that would bring the region together in a military alliance to counter threats from Iran.

His visit follows an address in Cairo on Thursday in which he pledged continuing USA support for stabilising the region and countering the threat posed by Iran and its role in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.

The military would not give any detail of the overall timetable for the American withdrawal nor which positions U.S. troops had begun pulling back from.

She added that the peace and stability of areas USA forces withdraw from "must be guaranteed", including by putting an end to the Turkish threats and fully eradicating the IS group and its sleeper cells.

There has been confusion over plans to implement Trump's pullout order and threats from Turkey to attack the Kurdish fighters, who Ankara views as terrorists due to their ties to insurgents within Turkey.

"The damage is done", said Fabrice Balanche, a geographer and Syria expert.

She also confessed that the terrorist organization forcefully recruited underage children and sent them to fight against Turkish soldiers during the Operation Olive Branch.

It was announced that the 2,000 troops in Syria would be withdrawn over the course of 60 to 100 days, but officials including US national security adviser John Bolton have said the US States will not leave until IS is defeated.

In Cairo on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that although Trump has made a decision to bring troops home, he will keep up the fight against the IS group more broadly.

"Let me be clear: America will not retreat until the terror fight is over", Pompeo said.

The YPG is an important ally in the US war against the Islamic State. However, the Kurds reached out to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for help.

She charged that the USA appeared to be "looking for a reason to stay" in Syria. American and Russian warplanes have shared the skies over Syria, carrying out separate- and in some cases, conflicting - missions against the IS group and other targets.

"If the [withdrawal] is put off with ridiculous excuses like Turks are massacring Kurds, which do not reflect reality, we will implement this decision", Cavusoglu said, noting: "We will decide on its timing and we will not receive permission from anyone". He has, however, asserted that the US must bring an end to the Mideast wars that began after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

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