In an interview with CBS News' "Face the Nation", Trump said the USA had spent a "fortune" on the Al-Asad Air Base in western Iraq, which he visited in December, and that it was "perfectly situated" to watch different parts of the Middle East.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media after a Senate Republican Caucus lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 5, 2019.
President Donald Trump is expected to declare near-total triumph over the Islamic State group in Syria in his State of the Union address Tuesday, but US defense officials are increasingly fearful that the militants are simply biding their time until the Americans leave the battlefield as planned. He added that he would wait for clarifications from Washington on the numbers and nature of the US troops' mission in his country.
Trump announced in December that the 2,000 USA troops in Syria would be withdrawn on the grounds that Islamic State militants no longer pose a threat.
"It is important to understand that even though this territory has been reclaimed, the fight against ISIL and violent extremists is not over and our mission has not changed", he said.
"The coalition's hard-won battlefield gains can only be secured by maintaining a vigilant offensive against the now largely dispersed and disaggregated ISIS that retains leaders, fighters, facilitators, resources and the profane ideology that fuels their efforts".
Rouhani said the USA would never again dominate Iran in the way it did before the 1979 Iranian Revolution, when the country was ruled by a US-backed monarchy.
The SDF's war against Islamic State in Syria continues.
Likewise, SASC ranking member, Sen.
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The Republican-controlled Senate voted to require President Donald Trump to impose new sanctions on Syria, in a rebuke delivered just hours before the president is expected to defend his policies during his State of the Union address.
Trump did not say whether he trusted Afghanistan's Taliban insurgent group but said he believed they want peace. USA policy has been to keep troops in place until the extremists are eradicated. However, he said he would discuss specifics in a closed session with the panel, planned for Tuesday afternoon. Qais al-Khazali, a powerful PMF leader known for his anti-American sentiment, told Associated Press last week that he expects the Iraqi parliament to vote in favor of usa troops withdrawal in coming months.
While the amendment is a nonbinding provision without the force of law, it sent a clear message to the White House that any plans to immediately pull troops out of war zones could jeopardize the fight against groups like the so-called Islamic State, leave Kurdish allies on the ground defenseless, and embolden USA adversaries like Russian Federation and Iran.
Continuing to "keep pressure" on ISIS, Votel stressed, "is absolutely vital".
Citing two USA officials, the New York Times said senior United States military officers recently visited several Iraqi bases, including in Erbil and the Ayn al-Asad Airbase, to determine if existing USA operations there could be expanded with troops moving in from Syria.
Some of the forces moving out of Syria will go to Iraq, where they can monitor any resurgence of Islamic State or other militant group and "ultimately some will be coming home", Trump said.
President Donald Trump did not tell Baghdad leadership about any plan to keep USA troops in Iraq to "watch" Iran, Iraqi President Barham Salih said Monday.
"Our response created a state of observable panic and extreme fear among them, which led them to request air cover in anticipation of any action against them", al-Anzi said in the press conference Saturday.
The highly respected Votel, former head of the Joint Special Operations Command, also appears to be at odds with Trump on the resiliency of ISIS and the terror group's ability to surge again once USA troops leave.