Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Indicates Rejoining Northeast Syria with the Rest of the Country

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Pompeo Indicates Rejoining Northeast Syria with the Rest of the Country

July 23, 2018 (EIRNS)—Yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement that indicated a perspective for the reunification of northeastern Syria, currently controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, with the rest of the country under Syrian government control.

The occasion of the statement was the announcement by U.S. Central Command on July 20 that the town of al-Dashisha, near the Iraqi border, had been freed from the control of the Islamic State. “The liberation of Iraq and ISIS’s losses in Syria are major achievements, but our mission is not complete,” Pompeo said. The destruction of ISIS continues to be a top priority of the Trump Administration, he affirmed, but in parallel with that “we will work with the United Nations and our partners to forge a lasting settlement of the Syrian conflict that includes full representation for all Syrians, including the people of northeast Syria now recovering from the ISIS occupation.”

U.S. Central Command head Gen. Joseph Votel, asked July 19 whether CENTCOM supports rapprochement between the People’s Protection Units/Kurdistan Workers Party and the Syrian government, answered, “Our policy is, we are not encouraging the Syrian Democratic Forces to engage with the regime. But, of course, we do recognize the pragmatic reality that plays out on the ground. That’s a fact of life in this particular area.”