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U.S. President Donald Trump appeared to reverse course on his desire to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, now saying that they will stay there and in Iraq to combat Iran, which he stated is a "real problem".

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.

When asked if he was keeping troops in Iraq because he wanted to launch a strike against Iran, Trump said: "No, because I want to be able to watch Iran".

"It is of fundamental interest for Iraq to have good relations with Iran" and other neighbouring countries, Salih said.

He said some of the forces moving out of Syria will go to the base in Iraq and "ultimately some will be coming home".

In an interview on the CBS network, Mr Trump spoke of the "endless wars" in Syria and Afghanistan and made clear he wanted to reduce the costly U.S. military presence in those countries, despite warnings against such moves from his military advisers and spy chiefs.

"We spent a fortune on building this incredible base", Trump said. "Trump did not ask us to keep USA troops to watch Iran".

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Earlier this month, the leader of one of Iraq's most powerful Iranian-backed Shiite militias told The Associated Press in an interview that he expects a vote in the coming months by Iraq's parliament calling for the withdrawal of USA troops.

Opponents included every senator considering a 2020 presidential run, and four Republicans, who said USA foreign policy needs a rethink.

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Islamic State is "regenerating key functions and capabilities more quickly in Iraq than in Syria".

Sabah al-Saadi, a member of parliament in the bloc led by influential anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, has proposed a bill demanding a United States pullout.

Washington has had troops in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.

"Rather than pulling up, and this is what a lot of people don't understand, we're going to keep watching".

Trump announced in December that the 2,000 USA troops in Syria would be withdrawn on the grounds that Islamic State militants no longer pose a threat. And it is able to operate despite its lost territory, as a "decentralized insurgency", the report says.

According to the text, the "precipitous withdrawal of United States forces" from either country "could put at risk hard-won gains and United States national security".

Mr Saleh noted that under 2008 US-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement, Washington had agreed not to use Iraq "as a launching or transit point for attacks against other countries".

A variety of Iraqi lawmakers used Trump's visit to the al-Asad base in December to call on US forces to leave the country. "There are only Iraqi bases where some U.S. and non-U.S. soldiers are present". USA drones and spy planes circle high above Syrian towns watching what's happening on the ground while also intercepting communications chatter, signals intelligence and other information. "We are not proxies in conflicts outside the interests of our nation", he wrote.

This latest USA military assessment of the strength of IS forces in Syria and Iraq follows similar reports over the past six months warning about the terror group's resiliency and long-term planning.


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