Jan 10, 2019 19:05 UTC
  • Pompeo vows US will withdraw troops from Syria

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has vowed that President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria will go ahead despite criticism from some US and Arab officials.

The top US diplomat was speaking Thursday at a joint press conference in Cairo with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukry on the third leg of a Middle East tour.

“President Trump’s decision to withdraw our troops has been made. We will do that,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo also delivered a scathing rebuke of former US President Barack Obama for his Mideast policies, saying his administration’s “misguided” and “wishful” thinking diminished America’s role in the region.

“In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the Middle East, we were timid about asserting ourselves when the times — and our partners — demanded it,” Pompeo said, without mentioning the former president by name.

Pompeo blamed the previous administration for the rise of the Daesh terror group in Iraq and Syria, as well as the growing influence of Iran in the region.

Iran and Russia have been supporting the Syrian government in its anti-terror operations at the request of Damascus.

Last month, Trump declared victory against Daesh terrorists in Syria and announced to pull out American troops from the country, saying that US troops cannot stay in Syria "forever.”