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Erdogan threats against Kurds will not stop Syria withdrawal, Pompeo says

The US troop withdrawal from Syria will not be scuppered despite Turkish threats against Washington's Kurdish allies there, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, promising to ensure that the Kurds would still be protected.
Pompeo met leaders in Iraq's capital and its semi-autonomous Kurdistan region on Wednesday, aiming to reassure them about Washington's plans following President Donald Trump's surprise announcement last month of an abrupt withdrawal from Syria.
The unannounced visits to Baghdad and the Kurdish regional capital Erbil came on the second day of a Middle East tour also taking in Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman.
Pompeo has the task of explaining U.S. policy in the region after Trump's announcement of the withdrawal of all 2,000 US troops from Syria, which rattled allies and came as a shock to top U.S. officials. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis quit over it.
The US forces have been working with a Kurdish militia to fight against Islamic State. The Kurds control a swath of northeastern Syria, Washington's foothold in a conflict that has drawn in Russia, Iran, Turkey and other regional powers.
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