US Senate rebukes Trump over Syria, Afghanistan pullouts

Donald Trump will keep troops in Iraq to 'watch Iran'

The Republican-led Senate on Monday backed a resolution that broke with Trump by opposing plans for any abrupt withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

Iraqi politicians yesterday hit back at US President Donald Trump after he said that he plans to keep US forces in the country to spy on Iran.

"I want to be able to watch Iran", the President said in response to a question about whether the troops will be kept in Iraq in view of a potential military strike against Iran.

The top general overseeing United States military actions in the Middle East said Tuesday that President Donald Trump did not consult him ahead of the decision to pull USA troops from Syria. "It's perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East rather than pulling up".

The top commander of USA forces in the Middle East, Gen. Joseph Votel, also told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that of the 88,000 square kilometres of territory ISIS once held, it now controls less than 52 square kilometres.

On Thursday, the US Senate voted overwhelmingly for a measure sponsored by Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader, warning against a "precipitous withdrawal" from Afghanistan and Syria. It also said that ISIS is likely to regain territory after the US leaves.

American troops have been based in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion, which toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.

In the next parliamentary session, lawmakers will pass a law terminating "the security agreement with America, in addition to ending the presence of American military trainers and advisors and foreigners on Iraqi soil", Kaabi declared in a statement published by the parliament.

However, he said "Now, that doesn't mean we're not going to be watching with intelligence".

While speaking to troops there, Trump said the United States could use the base to reenter Syria to beat back any Islamic State resurgence and to "watch over Iran." "The U.S.is a major power.but do not pursue your own policy priorities, we live here".

Separately, the USA called on nations around the world to take back their citizens who fought for Islamic State and are now being held by the SDF in Syria.

Iraqis in the capital Baghdad said U.S. army forces have been walking around the city accompanied by the Iraqi army, Al-Khaleej Online reported.

USA officials have said Trump was also in the "process of evaluating" whether to withdraw some troops from Afghanistan, where they have been since 2001. "We're going to have a strong border". But he added that he and others in the high command knew in general terms of Trump's "desire and intent in the past to depart Iraq, depart Syria". The White House, however, said President Trump had not ordered the Pentagon to withdraw.

According to the report, U.S. Central Command believes that ISIS fighters will continue to conduct "opportunistic attacks" on U.S. troops as they withdraw.

"It is a vicious country that kills many people", Mr Trump said.

It is unclear whether Trump's triumphant tone will echo the warnings coming from different parts of his administration, including Votel's Central Command and the US military.

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