We'll Come Back to Syria If We Have to

Screenshot  CBS News

Screenshot CBS News

We have to protect other things that we have.

Trump also indicated that he is not in sync with the assessment of his intelligence chief on the nuclear weapons programme of North Korea.

Watch above, via CBS News, and read the full transcript of the interview here. "We can come back very quickly, and I'm not leaving", Trump said. "All I want to do is be able to watch", Trump replied.

While acknowledging that the United States was a "major power" in the region he demanded: "do not pursue your own policy priorities, we live here".

Earlier that month, Trump announced that the US would withdraw troops from Syria, claiming that the USA had defeated ISIS in the country.

The report also said that "DoD provided only limited responses and was not able to answer a number of questions, including whether or not Turkish forces, Syrian regime forces, or [the usa -backed] Syrian Democratic Forces have the capability and intent to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS in Syria".

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

"Members of parliament's security, defence and foreign relations committees are now working hard to determine the exact number and real mission of the USA forces in Iraq", a high-level Iraqi government source told The New Arab's Arabic edition.

"Trump did not ask us to keep USA troops to watch Iran". "We might as well keep it", was Trump's pithy summary of his view on the matter.

Salih spoke Monday at a forum in Baghdad and was responding to Trump's comments to USA media in which he said the US has an "incredible base" in Iraq which he intends to keep "because I want to be able to watch Iran". "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".

Trump visited the al-Asad air base in Anbar province, which was under threat of a rocket attack on Saturday, when he dropped in for a few hours over Christmas.

"Talking about USA military bases in Iraq for the purposes of confrontation complicates the relationship with neighboring countries", he said in a statement, adding that it also undermines Iraq's independence.

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Trump did not meet any Iraqi officials during his three-hour long stay there.

The United States has pressured Iraq to wean itself off Iranian natural gas, which generates almost half of Iraq's electricity, with promises of us investment in the country's crumbling infrastructure.

"We think that building strong relations with the USA for the benefit of the two peoples is important", said a senior Iraqi diplomat, who requested anonymity to speak frankly on a sensitive subject.

'We'll come back if we have to, ' he said.

The amendment acknowledged progress against Islamic State and al Qaeda in Syria and Afghanistan but warned that "a precipitous withdrawal" without effective efforts to secure gains could destabilize the region and create a vacuum that could be filled by Iran or Russian Federation.

After President Donald Trump ripped former President George W. Bush's advisers for not knowing "what the hell they were doing", CBS's "Face the Nation" host Margaret Brennan pressed him on whether he trusts National Security Adviser John Bolton, a veteran of that administration.

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