US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that part of Washington’s overall strategy in the Middle East is aimed at expelling Iran and its forces and militias from Syria.
“Our strategy is designed to prevent that from happening,” Pompeo said during his testimony at a congressional hearing on the State Department’s budget review on Wednesday in which several congressmen spoke on their concerns about the US troop withdrawal from Syria and the possibility of Iranian influence strengthening there.
“We are working with all the allies so that things in Syria will not lead to strengthening Iran and Russia there. This is a comprehensive strategy,” Pompeo said.
During his testimony, Pompeo defended President Donald Trump’s foreign policy towards Moscow, adding that the Obama administration is responsible for the challenges faced by the current one, as the former “invited the Russians to enter Syria and that is the truth.”
During the hearing, Republican Representative Adam Daniel Kinzinger from Illinois, commented that there was “a perception out there that it is the US and Saudi Arabia that are creating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.”
Kinzinger requested Pompeo to clear the air over the situation in Yemen.
“What is often neglected is that there is an active presence of al-Qaeda in Yemen. The United States is engaged in trying to crush it there,” Pompeo said.
“Remember that Yemen sits on the southern border of Saudi Arabia and have launched hundreds of missiles into Saudi Arabia. They were launched by Houthis and they were Iranian missiles – nearly in every case,” he added.