Senate bucks Donald Trump, backs U.S

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US President Donald Trump's pledge on Sunday to keep American troops in Iraq has been condemned as "an insult" to national sovereignty, fuelling growing calls for Baghdad to expel "foreign forces".

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.

Meanwhile, the House Armed Services Committee, now under Democratic control, plans a February 6 hearing to examine US counter-terrorism operations more broadly, with testimony expected from Owen West, the Pentagon's assistant secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, and Air Force Maj.

Votel, the departing CENTCOM chief, said in his testimony that the White House did not provide warning ahead of Trump's decision to pull out of Syria. "I want to be able to watch Iran".

"I think the government of Iraq understands the relationship, the view that we have on Iran and understands our concerns with Iran and the variety of destabilizing activities that they carry out around the region", Votel added.


US-led forces in 2001 toppled the hardline Taliban for harbouring the al-Qaeda militants responsible for the 11 September attacks.

The report said that when us troops withdraw, it is "unclear what would occur with the Manbij agreement".

"We're at 99 percent right now, we'll be at 100", he said on CBS' "Face the Nation". The president later declared that he would also be pulling some 7,000 US troops out of Afghanistan, where his administration is involved in peace talks with the Taliban-something that also got a shoutout in tonight's speech.

But during the State of the Union address, the President expressed much more confidence.

"Don't overburden Iraq with your own issues", Salih said. "We've taken back the land and now it's time for our troops to come back home".


As compensation, the US might take steps aimed at, "improving US-North Korea relations, building a peace regime and implementing trust-building measures", the report said.

The remarks represent the latest warning by current and former United States officials about the risk of an Isis resurgence after U.S. troops are withdrawn.

Some experts believe that means the extensive effort needed to help the Iraqi army recover from the IS fight should push the Pentagon to keep United States troops focused on a training mission instead of hunting down militants. At the height of the terror group's power in the Middle East, it controlled 34,000 square miles in Syria and Iraq, territory the size of Britain.

Trump voiced guarded hope that intensifying negotiations with Afghanistan's Taliban would bring for a "possible political solution" to end the longest-ever U.S. war.

The command added that ISIS "may conduct opportunistic attacks on US personnel as they withdraw" and posited that the group's leaders "will leverage the event as a "victory" in its media".


"We spent a fortune on building this incredible base".

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