After Trump's Charges of Anti-Semitism, Iran Pushes Back

Iraqi President

Pentagon: ISIS will regain ground in Syria when US troops leave and will play troop withdrawal as a 'victory'

The United States promised Wednesday to stay focused on permanently destroying the Islamic State group but asked concerned allies to contribute more, as President Donald Trump boasted that the extremists will soon have lost all their territory in Syria. He said the us will not relent in fighting remnants of the extremist organization despite his decision to withdraw usa troops from Syria over the objections of some of his most senior national security advisers.

"My administration has acted decisively to confront the world's leading state sponsor of terror: the radical regime in Iran", Trump said Tuesday evening, delivering his address in the U.S. House of Representatives.

President Donald Trump has criticized his predecessor's approach to fight against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), which he said was within a week of total defeat.

In his address, Trump said Islamic State controlled more than 20,000 square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria.

But there are fears the impending U.S. pullout will imperil those gains.

Mike Pompeo said President Trump's surprise decision to withdraw troops from Syria was a tactical change, not a change in the United States mission or commitment. He called on coalition members to step up and do their "fair share" in the fight against terrorism.

Despite opposition, Trump said he is proceeding with plans to withdraw all USA troops from Syria. US policy had been to keep troops in place until the extremists are completely eradicated.

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Starting this week, the new Congress is stepping up its oversight of USA military operations in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa, and the planned drawdowns of troops from several of those places.

"The draw-down of troops is essentially a tactical change, it is not a change in the mission", he stated.

Lawmakers on the panel expressed skepticism, as Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said the Islamic State and A Qaeda are still active in the region, and that "When our military pulls back, Russian Federation pulls forward".

"You've got these divergent narratives", security analyst Charles Shoebridge told RT.

"We were not, I was not consulted", he added, after being questioned. But figures from the USA military and a United Nations agency have ranged between 20,000 and 32,000 - though officials have acknowledged lacking confidence in their estimates.

It was a brief, yet frank moment of acknowledgment by West, who now serves as the principle civilian special operations and counter terrorism adviser to acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan who has steered clear of appearing to contradict the President since taking over Mattis following his resignation in December.

"No, sir", West responded after a short pause.

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At the same hearing, Maj.

A top U.S. Army general for the region, Joseph Votel, said in Senate testimony on Tuesday that the group could experience a resurgence after a U.S. pullout. Trump also said US forces in Iraq could form a check on neighboring Iran.

The Pentagon's own internal watchdog released a report on Monday saying Isis remained an active insurgent group and was regenerating functions and capabilities more quickly in Iraq than Syria.

"We do have to keep pressure on this network".

The IG report's warnings about ISIS's remaining strength mirror a worldwide threat assessment presented on January 29 to the Senate Intelligence Committee by Coats and other senior USA intelligence chiefs. He did not offer specifics. Pompeo also wanted to make sure other members of the coalition help keep ISIS from returning to Syria and Iraq. The nationally televised address gave Trump his biggest opportunity to date to explain why he believes a barrier is needed on the U.S. southern border with Mexico. Manbij was liberated from IS control in 2016.

In his State of the Union address, Trump said Iran "chants death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish people". He also reaffirmed his determination to pull out the roughly 2,000 US troops from Syria. "Certainly, we are aware that (President Trump) had expressed a desire and intent in the past to depart Iraq, depart Syria".

Activists who closely follow the conflict in Syria point to signs of a growing insurgency.

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