Trump pushes withdrawal from 'endless' Afghanistan, Syria wars

US President Donald Trump says

US President Donald Trump says"it's time to bring home troops from Afghanistan More

United States President Donald Trump has said it is important to keep a usa military presence in Iraq so that Washington can keep a close eye on Iran "because Iran is a real problem".

The report called into question President Donald Trump's Syria withdrawal plan and raised doubts about the ability of us -backed local forces and Turkey to fill the vacuum that would be left by the pullout of the estimated 2,000 USA troops now in Syria. Till this day, they can't reconcile with the fact that Iraq has a will of its own.

Nobody home: The counter-Iran aspect of Trump's Iraq policy creates challenges for the U.S. administration, since very few officials are left to deal specifically with Baghdad.

"It is of fundamental interest for Iraq to have good relations with Iran" and other neighbouring countries, Salih said. "And one of the reasons I want to keep it is because I want to be looking a little bit at Iran because Iran is a real problem", he said.

Trump said the USA has spent a "fortune" on the Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq, which he visited in December, and that the U.S. should hold on to it.

He said the US base in Iraq is "perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East".

He also said the national security advisers' false assessment on Iraq led the United States to engage in a war that it should never have been.

Trump also addressed his disagreement with the USA intelligence community its belief that more work needs to be done to combat the Islamic State in Syria before withdrawing US troops by reiterating his assertion that the terror group has largely been eradicated.

"I have intel people, but that doesn't mean I have to agree", @realDonaldTrump says about his intelligence chiefs' assessment of Iran. Shiite-led Iran has strongly backed fellow Shiites who assumed power in Iraq after the 2003 US -led invasion deposed a regime headed by minority Sunni Muslims under dictator Saddam Hussein.

USA forces, whose exact numbers and locations in Iraq are not publicised, have also had run-ins with Iranian-backed Shia militias in the country, including over the weekend, and pro-Iran militias have threatened to target American forces in Iraq if they do not pull out soon.

Members of the Maghawir al-Thawra Syrian opposition group receive firearms training from US Army Special Forces soldiers at the al-Tanf military outpost in southern Syria on October 22, 2018.

Speaking at a forum in Baghdad on Monday, Salih said Washington has never sought permission to use Iraq-based forces to monitor Iran and expressed surprise at the idea.

And, he said if al Qaeda and other terrorist groups grew in strength, US forces would return to the region.

He said the troops would soon be moving to the huge Al Asad Airbase in Iraq's Anbar province and that their new tasks would include protecting Israel and keeping an eye on Iran, which his administration has accused of being the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and of wanting to acquire nuclear weapons.

Trump's comments appear to have further inflamed tensions in Iraq over the continued presence of US troops after the defeat of the Islamic State group.

US military commanders rely heavily on Syrian forces to gather intelligence from information and material gathered from the battlefield, but also a wide-range of informers with firsthand knowledge about ISIS operations.

While US forces have been key to the rollback of the jihadis onslaught in Iraq in 2014, both independent and Iran-backed Iraqi political groups have been increasingly calling for ending foreign military deployment in the country. The U.S. -led military coalition continues to battle daily against the remaining 2,000 ISIS fighters holed up in a stretch of desert straddling the Iraq-Syria border.

He blamed the intelligence services for America's involvement in Iraq.

"They're exhausted. Everybody's exhausted", Trump said.

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