Kurds capture 8 extremists including USA teenager


"And so are the policies that produce so much needless suffering", Pompeo said.

Pompeo will likely face questions about last month's surprise announcement that USA troops would soon leave northeastern Syria, where they help battle remnants of the Islamic State group.

Turkey continues talks with Russian Federation and Iran, two other significant players in the Syrian theater of war, on how to act when the last United States soldiers leave.

"By most accounts, Trump's Middle East policy has made a messy Middle East even messier", Aaron David Miller, a former U.S. diplomat and now an analyst at the Wilson Center, said on Twitter. Erdogan then said that the YPG is not representative of Syria's Kurds.

He also criticised ex-President Barack Obama's Middle East policy, saying he had made "dire misjudgements". He added that Turkey must "meet the president's requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered".

Instead, he told an audience in Cairo that under Mr Trump "the age of self-inflicted American shame is over" and that it had taken on a "reinvigorated role in the Middle East" and "reasserted its traditional role as a force for good in this region".

The announcement led to the resignation of former United States defence chief Jim Mattis, and it has highlighted the shaky and often contradictory messages coming from senior officials within the Trump administration - including the president himself, who has waffled when pressed to provide a timeframe for the withdrawal of about 2,000 U.S. troops.

Martin Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel and Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, said Pompeo's speech "was a shameless attack by a sitting SecState on a former US President before a foreign audience".

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He also criticized Obama-era policy for "wishful thinking [that] led us to look the other way" as Hezbollah built up its weaponry in Lebanon, and for doing nothing as Syrian President Bashar Assad gassed his own people.

Since withdrawing from the nuclear deal with Iran last May, the Trump administration has steadily ratcheted up pressure on Tehran and routinely accuses the nation of being the most destabilising influence in the region.

United States support for Israel and Saudi Arabia - two of Iran's biggest rivals in the region - has added to the bad blood.

The Trump administration in November restored US sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Western powers. The US position on the YPG became considerably more nuanced once it became clear that they were the only group that could lead urban assaults on ISIS, and our alliance brought howls of protest from Ankara all along.

In Qatar, Pompeo is likely to find a somewhat skeptical reception from a regime that has been under relentless attack from Saudi Arabia and its other Gulf allies for its willingness to defend Iran. The occupied Palestinian territories weren't mentioned at all, Bishara noted.

At least five Americans have been picked up on the battlefield, said Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the George Washington University Program on Extremism, which tracks extremists and first identified the Texan who tried to join ISIS as a teacher who was captured over the weekend.

Le Drian's remarks came after France's European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau said in an interview with C-News on 20 December that France will "for now" maintain its participation in the coalition fighting Daesh forces in Syria.

Former Obama administration officials rejected Pompeo's assertions as petty, political and weak.