Pompeo starts Middle East visit to ramp up pressure on Iran

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

There were challenges from the moment US ational Security Adviser John Bolton landed in Jerusalem on Sunday, especially as he headed onward to Ankara, while US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began his eight-nation tour on Tuesday.

An official at Tuesday's meeting between Bolton and senior Turkish officials said presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin stated that Erdogan committed that Turkey would not take offensive action while USA forces were there.

The central question is how a vast and consistent regional policy can even be attempted when multiple, at times quite disparate, voices are telling their interlocutors simply what they want to hear in the wake of their president spreading vastly different ideas. In contrast to other USA allies, Turkey can point to major sacrifices it has made in the struggle against Daesh in Syria, which Erdogan did when referencing the bloody Al Bab campaign of 2016/2017 in his New York Times article. They are the second batch the administration has re-imposed since Trump withdrew from the accord in May.

Meanwhile, Russia, which has backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the seven-year war, may seek to exploit the confusion created by the bickering between Turkey and the United States. Netanyahu could only be delighted.

Russian jets have been targeting positions held by terror outfits inside Syria since September 2015 while Iran has been offering military advisory assistance to the Syrian army.

None of this was very well-received in Ankara, Bolton's next stop.

Erdogan declared that Bolton made a "serious mistake" by pledging to ensure Ankara's nonaggression against "the Kurds" following the USA military's planned withdrawal from northern Syria.

"Any place we find extremists and terrorists, we're prepared to support whatever country is ready to go after them", he said.

Pompeo is touring the region to try to explain U.S. strategy after Trump's surprise announcement of an abrupt withdrawal of all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria, which rattled allies and shocked top U.S. officials, prompting U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign. Turkey's rock-ribbed position is nearly utterly antithetical to anything the Israelis might want to hear.

The two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies are at loggerheads over the Syria conflict, including the withdrawal of American forces from the Arab country.




US lawmakers on both sides of the partisan divide accused the president of quitting the fight to vanquish ISIS before it had been won, and betraying Syrian Kurds, a stalwart USA ally that would be left unprotected.

The United States now has no ambassador to Turkey.

"Neither Bolton nor Pompeo's comments seemed particularly sensitive to Turkey's sensitivities", Ash said, "and I think Erdogan was responding to this". Pompeo said during a brief news conference with Foreign Minister Shoukry that Iran is the "greatest threat of all in the Middle East".

Obama pledged engagement with Iran and an understanding of the need for freedom and democracy that led to the Arab Spring revolutions.

"The United States [has] been facing certain difficulties with the process of the troops' withdrawal from Syria".

A police band serenaded Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who presided over the celebration before meeting Pompeo in private.

Ahead of his visit to Saudi Arabia in the coming days, Pompeo is also expected to confirm the strength of the US alliance with Saudi Arabia, despite the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi whose murder was blamed on the powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman by the US Senate.

Casting Iran as a "cancerous influence", Pompeo said the United States had "reimposed sanctions that should never have been lifted".

Pompeo's team emphasized areas of agreement on this visit, saying the U.S.is committed to support "the new Iraqi government's efforts to deliver stability, security and prosperity to all Iraqis", according to deputy spokesman Robert Palladino.

But Senate Democrats have said many nominees Trump puts forward are wholly unqualified to be ambassadors, or have backgrounds that should preclude them from confirmation-such as Christine Toretti, the ambassador nominee for Malta, who had a restraining order filed against her for "placing a bullet-riddled target sheet" in the office of her ex-husband's doctor.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Pelosi, Schumer respond to Trump speech on border security
Jan 09, 2019 - 13:21
The Wall Street Journal and other outlets suggested that there would be no such declaration on Tuesday. But Mr Trump's nine-minute address is unlikely to be remembered by the nation in quite the same way.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Chargers QB Philip Rivers says L.A. ‘doesn’t care’ about Patriots’ dynasty
Jan 09, 2019 - 13:18
It's been very educational for me every time I've gone through it and I've appreciated every single one of them. It was the only quarter of Wilson's career, including playoffs, in which he had negative yards passing.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top #SaveRahaf: Activists' lightning campaign made Saudi teen's flight a global cause
Jan 09, 2019 - 13:10
Surachet will act as a mediator in their talks with the UN High Commission for Refugees ( UNHCR ) representatives, Surachet said . She then barricaded herself in a hotel room at the airport as Thai authorities were trying to hand her over to her family.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top China names new moon rover "Yutu-2"
Jan 09, 2019 - 12:06
Beijing is planning to send another lunar lander, Chang'e 5, next year to collect samples and bring them back to Earth. A lunar rover has begun exploring the far side of the moon in the first-ever mission of its kind.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top CES 2019: Vive Cosmos is a brand new VR headset from HTC
Jan 09, 2019 - 00:03
The motion controllers have been redesigned and now resemble the Oculus Touch more than the previous generation Vive wands. Navigation is undertaken with the Vive controllers, which will be in their second-generation for the launch of the Cosmos.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top US government shutdown: how bad is it and can it be resolved?
Jan 08, 2019 - 23:59
Democrats are refusing to pay for it, noting that he repeatedly promised that Mexico would foot the bill for it. Vice President Mike Pence said the White House counsel's office is looking at the idea.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Chance The Rapper Apologizes For Working With R. Kelly
Jan 08, 2019 - 23:55
Kelly's legal team threatened to start legal proceedings against Lifetime if it aired the show, but the channel proceeded. John Legend is the rare exception, stepping up whereas others like Jay Z and Lady Gaga declined to participate.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top London Heathrow airport: Drone spotted as flights grounded
Jan 08, 2019 - 23:52
The west London hub apologised for any disruption caused to passengers after flights were suspended for around an hour on Tuesday. Today, the British government announced a package of measures created to give police extra powers to combat drones .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top New England Patriots expecting Josh McDaniels to leave amid Packers, Browns rumors
Jan 08, 2019 - 23:46
It is expected that the Browns want a coach that can help develop quarterback Baker Mayfield and be his coach for the next decade. According to The Athletic's Bruce Feldman , the Jets interviewed Kingsbury on Monday regarding their head coaching position.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top DRC elections: Don't deprive Congolese of their fundamental human right
Jan 07, 2019 - 09:55
The United States demanded that "accurate" election results be released and called on the DRC authorities to remove restrictions on internet access.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Saudi women to get divorce confirmation by text message
Jan 07, 2019 - 09:45
Guardianship laws are legal codes based on a strict interpretation of Shariah law that ensure women in Saudi Arabia remain a legal dependent.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Emery Wants Ramsey To Stay Till Summer
Jan 07, 2019 - 08:59
Pundits claimed the player's Lazy attitude is the major reason behind Emery's decision to often drop him from his team list. The 28-year-old will be out of contract in June, with Arsenal having withdrawn their offer of terms last September.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Dovish Fed Chief Powell Delivers What the Markets Wanted
Jan 07, 2019 - 08:58
The head of the Fed, once confirmed by the Senate, can only be removed "for cause", not a policy disagreement. He also said that he would not resign if asked to do so by U.S.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top China Says Detained Canadians Violated the Law; Kovrig’s Employer Says He’s Innocent
Jan 07, 2019 - 07:58
August 22: A NY court issues a warrant for the arrest of Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou. She has been released on bail and is living in an upscale Vancouver home in advance of her extradition hearing.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top USA team to visit China for trade talks
Jan 07, 2019 - 07:40
USA and China agree to hold first substantive trade talks since truce was struck at November's G20 summit in Argentina. The U.S. duties are set to increase to 25 percent in January.