Trump mulls leaving intelligence in Afghanistan after withdrawal of troops

Screenshot  CBS News

Mr Trump told CBS on Sunday he meant to keep an "incredible" base being used by USA troops to combat the jihadist group Islamic State "because I want to be looking a little bit at Iran".

Iraq's president has hit back at comments made by Donald Trump, saying that the U.S. president did not ask Iraq's permission for United States troops stationed there to "watch Iran".

Salih, speaking at an worldwide forum in Baghdad, cautioned Trump against putting his own country's foreign policy agenda over Iraq's, stating that Trump should not "pursue your own policy priorities".

Further discussing the Syria withdrawal, Trump said the 2,000 troops are slowly beginning to leave the country while combating the "final remainder of the caliphate" and they will later "be going to our base in Iraq, and ultimately, some will be coming home".

Stating that Iraq wanted to be on good terms with all of its neighbors, Salih stressed that it was in his country's "fundamental interest" to have a cordial relationship with Iran.

President Donald Trump said the use of us military force in Venezuela remains "an option", adding he turned down a meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. "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".

Trump addresses criticism of intelligence officials: 'I don't always agree with everybody'
We can't sit here holding onto the most powerful weapons man has ever made and look at other people and say, you can't have these. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc .

"We spent a fortune on building this incredible base", Trump said. "It's perfectly situated for looking at all over different parts of the troubled Middle East rather than pulling up".

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

Trump announced in December that the 2,000 USA troops in Syria would be withdrawn on the grounds that Islamic State militants no longer pose a threat. "The US is a major power. but do not pursue your own policy priorities, we live here".

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.

Mr Saleh said on Monday that the USA had not asked Iraq's permission to do so.

He appeared to be referring to the Al-Asad air base in western Iraq, where he paid a brief visit to US forces in December.

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Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been high since Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, and imposed crippling economic sanctions against Tehran a year ago.

In both Syria and Iraq, local forces remain heavily reliant on support from the USA -led coalition, the report said. Meanwhile, as renewed American sanctions on Iran begin to bite, Tehran will rely more heavily on Iraq for trade.

Pro-Iran politicians with strong Shiite militia backing have pledged to push out USA forces through legislation passed by Iraq's parliament, but they have increasingly expressed a willingness for armed confrontation.

Trump's intelligence chief has described the Hashd as the "primary threat" to the U.S. in Iraq. Iran has been deepening its influence in Iraq since the U.S.'s 2003 invasion.

This is not the first time the Iraqi government has expressed an unwillingness to host an estimated 5,200 American troops. "We will be announcing in the not too distant future 100%", Trump said.

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