Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the United States remained committed to permanently destroying the Islamic State group despite pulling forces from Syria, as he asked concerned allies to do more.
Pompeo offered assurances as top officials from 79 countries met in Washington on how to move ahead in the fight against the Islamic State movement, also known as ISIS, after President Donald Trump’s sudden decision in December to remove all 2,000 troops from Syria.
“America will continue to lead in giving those who would destroy us no quarter,” Pompeo said.
“We ask each of your countries to stand with us and, through our efforts and God’s help, the day will come when the permanent defeat of ISIS is a reality,” he said.
Pompeo, one of Trump’s most stalwart defenders, described the troop withdrawal as “essentially a tactical change” as extremists scatter around the world.
“It is not a change in the mission,” Pompeo said, adding “our fight will not necessarily always be military-led.”
Published in Daily Times, February 7th 2019.