USA forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, but returned in 2014 at the invitation of the government to help battle ISIS after it seized vast areas in the north and west of the country, including Iraq's second largest city, Mosul. We have spent more than $7 trillion in the Middle East.
"The drawdown of troops is essentially a tactical change-it is not a change in the mission".
White House officials have pushed back, insisting the time has come for other nations to step up their contributions to the fight.
Asked by The National if the United States would amend its withdrawal plans were the safe zone talks to fail, the U.S. official said: "I wouldn't want to predict failure given the success of our recent discussions with the Turks".
In the Senate, however, the bill became a flash point for the congressional GOP's standoff with Trump after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered last week an amendment effectively rebuking the president for announcing his intention to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
Defense officials confirm that while some equipment already has been moved out of Syria, plans for withdrawing USA forces are still being formulated with the help of allies and partners on the ground. He hopes to maintain a military presence in the country despite withdrawing troops from Syria and Afghanistan.
In his address, Trump said Islamic State controlled more than 20,000 square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria.
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The Republican Jewish Coalition, by contrast, said Trump's choices for guests sent clear and welcome messages.
"We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement - but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace", he said, indicating that he was still not sure if the talks with the Afghan Taliban will succeed.
Mr Pompeo returned to the need for all coalition partners to redouble efforts, work together militarily but also through intelligence sharing, financial and humanitarian assistance and through cooperation to ensure the total eradication of the militant group and its ideology. A senior administration official said the Islamic State has been promoting an insurgency to destabilize northeastern Syria and Iraq.
Appearing before the House Armed Services Committee for a hearing on the Pentagon's counter terrorism strategy, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Owen West was asked point blank by Democrat Rep. Seth Moulton whether his former boss was wrong to oppose the President's decision.
Although Iraq declared victory over IS more than a year ago, the country's security forces continue to battle pockets of resistance across the country, sometimes with the help of coalition airstrikes.
However, a senior U.S. government researcher on Iran said sanctions have done little to limit Iran's support for armed groups in the Middle East.
The conference did not include representatives from Syria Bashar al-Assad or Russian Federation and Iran, which have said they are seeking to defeat the Islamic State group as they shore up his iron-fisted rule.
Mr Pompeo also held a morning meeting with the Coalition's Small Group that includes Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.