REPORT: Pompeo Makes Surprise Appearance in Iraq
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AMMAN, Jordan—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced appearance in Iraq on Wednesday as part of a weeklong tour throughout the Middle East aimed at reassuring worried U.S. allies and galvanizing them to take a larger role in the fight against ISIS and Iran, according to multiple U.S. officials.
Pompeo’s visit to Baghdad was not listed on his official travel itinerary for security reasons and some reporters were excluded from attending the daylong excursion. He met there with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi, Foreign Minister Mahammed Hakin, President Salih, Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, and U.S. embassy staff stationed in the country, U.S. officials told the Washington Free Beacon.
The article goes on to state the following:
Pompeo’s trip to the region, though planned beforehand, came just after President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from the fight against ISIS in Syria, a move that kicked-off days of confusion in the administration and among U.S. allies who viewed it as an abandonment of their security needs.
With the Syria withdrawal generating fears across the region, Pompeo’s trip—initially meant to turn up the heat on Iran—has become an effort to reassure allies that Trump has no intention of vacating the region, despite his rhetoric. Misunderstanding of the administration’s policy has been a cornerstone early in the trip, as the administration readjusts its rhetoric from an immediate withdrawal to a more lengthy and orderly pullout.
BREAKING: Pompeo Makes Surprise Appearance in Iraq in Bid to Stoke ISIS Fight – Pompeo working to galvanize region against Iran, pick up slack in ISIS fight
— Adam Kredo (@Kredo0) January 9, 2019
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