Top US diplomat assails Obama in Mideast policy speech

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Pompeo asks. "We learned that when America retreats, chaos often follows".

But he promised his audience that the Trump administration was ushering in a new era of US foreign policy.

On Dec. 19, President Donald Trump announced in a tweet that ISIS in Syria had been defeated.

But not all of America's allies are taking much comfort in rhetoric from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security advisor John Bolton.

USA support for the Kurds in Syria has been a major point of contention between Ankara and Washington.

The comments drew the ire of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who called the comments "a serious mistake" on Tuesday.

Before his arrival in Ankara, Bolton said that no us troops would leave northern Syria until Turkey agreed to not attack the Syrian Kurds.

Mr Erdoğan - who considers the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists - said Turkey would "not make concessions" and preparations for an offensive were almost complete.

The arrests come amid concerns about whether neighboring Turkey - which considers America's Kurdish partners terrorists - will be attacked in light of President Donald Trump's call last month to rapidly withdraw USA forces from the country. While that decision's timing is unclear, it is widely seen as abandoning the region and benefiting USA rivals Russian Federation and Iran. He remains reluctant to alienate Trump, said Nihat Ali Ozcan, a security policy analyst at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey.

Protesters hold posters depicting martyrs killed in anti-regime rallies in al-Musalla Bahrain
Protesters hold posters depicting martyrs killed in anti-regime rallies in al-Musalla Bahrain

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 USA soldiers leave. Trump and his Egyptian counterpart Sisi have lavished one another with praise on several occasions. Yet, the president's remark that Iran can do as it pleases in Syria completely contradicted Trump's past statements about challenging the Islamic Republic's ambitions in Syria.

It was a further reminder that Washington has adopted separate policies for Iraq and for Syria and that USA advocates for persecuted Christians must double down on their campaign to keep hope alive across the Middle East. "Now comes the real 'new beginning'".

"In falsely seeing ourselves as a force for what ails the Middle East, we were timid in asserting ourselves when the times - and our partners - demanded it", Pompeo said.

Any Turkish assault on the Kurdish-held territories in Syria liberated from the Islamic State while American forces are still there may entail a potential conflict between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

"Turkey proposes a comprehensive strategy to eliminate the root causes of radicalisation", wrote Erdogan.

Yet only a handful of experts have grappled with matters of particular concern for Christians, like the benefits they have reportedly received under the system of governance worked out by Kurdish, Arab and Syrian Christian militias serving in the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the northeast part of the country.

As the issue of Iran's funding of terrorism-which has grown since it received millions of dollars in cash windfalls as a result of the now-defunct nuclear agreement-continues to plague US leaders and Arab countries, Tehran is signaling that its investment in these terror groups such as Lebanese Hezbollah has provided them with the military capability to destroy the Jewish state.

The announcement had shocked U.S. allies and sparked strong criticism in Washington.

Bolton went "rogue" and "a soft coup against Trump is underway in the United States", an editorial in Turkey's pro-government Daily Sabah claimed this week, citing attempts by U.S. officials to force Trump to retreat on the withdrawal.