Tillerson: Iran Should Withdraw 'Destabilizing' Forces From Syria


The Trump administration's Middle East peace plan is "fairly well advanced", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday, as he sought to convince regional allies that the us remains an honest broker despite recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

With U.S. goals expanding and Islamic State nearing defeat, the tangled seven-year war in Syria is growing more complicated as Iran gains the upper hand, Turkey launches a military offensive and Israel is increasingly alarmed by threats to its security.

The task faced is enormous, with large parts of Iraq left in ruins by nearly 15 years of war, dating back to the 2003 US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of the country.

Investors will also be exempt from customs duties and income tax for 10-15 years, Hussein said.

Tillerson is heading the USA delegation to the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL hosted by Kuwait.

His warning came amid escalating US-Turkish tensions over northern Syria, and a diplomatic standoff that has pitted Qatar against Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.

"The US commitment to keep its promise to maintain steady aid to the kingdom reflects the depth of our strategic relationship and a recognition of the kingdom's key role in maintaining regional stability", the official told Reuters.

The war against Daesh must remain the priority even though major combat operations are over, Tillerson said.

USA officials already expected the Friday discussions would be hard and had sought to soothe Erdogan's anger by stressing transparency in their support of the Kurds and commitment to Turkey's security.

Yet the urgency of Iraq's condition is just part of the constellation of conflict revolving around Syria.

It has recruited thousands of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria from around the globe and has leveraged technology to spread its violent extremist ideology and to incite terrorist acts.

The Trump administration has said it would back a two-state solution if the parties agreed to it.

The United States pledges $200 million in support of the anti-IS coalition efforts in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced on Tuesday. Israel's security is a US priority, and the danger is that USA forces could get dragged into direct conflict with Iranian militias. "ISIS's claim of having a functioning caliphate that governs populations is all but thwarted", the report says.

"They know what has to be on the table for conversations", Mr. Tillerson said.

Tillerson said the United States would nonetheless maintain an "ISIS-focused military presence in Syria" and "continue to train local security forces" - a reference to Washington's contentious Kurdish allies.

Although the US government was not expected to pledge direct financial aid at the conference, Tillerson said the official USA export credit agency, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), would sign with Iraq's finance ministry on Tuesday a $3 billion memorandum of understanding "that will set a stage for future cooperation".