U.S. Senate passes pro-Israel bill, measure also rebukes Trump

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He claimed a minute later that ISIS had been "decimated" in Iraq and in Syria. Angus King, I-Maine.

Both Iraq's president and prime minister have hit back at Trump's statements to U.S. media this week stating that USA troops should stay at a base in Iraq so that America can "watch Iran".

Trump's December order had caused a rare revolt in the GOP, whose members were particularly shaken when former defense secretary Jim Mattis chose to resign in the wake of Trump's announcement.

"The fight against ISIS and violent extremists is not over, and our mission has not changed", Votel said. And they warned that even once the last of the IS-held territory was liberated, the terror group still would have as many as another 30,000 fighters and supporters dispersed throughout Syria and Iraq.

Votel would not commit to a timeline for the withdrawal.

He said the wall will be built in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and "where walls go up, illegal crossings go way, way down". A US-led coalition provided crucial air support as Iraqi forces regrouped and drove ISIS out in a costly three-year campaign.

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"We do have to keep pressure on this network".

White House officials have pushed back, insisting the time has come for other nations to step up their contributions to the fight.

Gen. Joseph Votel, the top military officer in charge of operations in the Middle East, told Senate lawmakers Tuesday he wasn't consulted before President Donald Trump announced a US withdrawal from Syria.

"I won't speculate publicly here about things we might do but there are certainly different ways we can do this, working with partners, working with our own capabilities to continue to keep pressure on this network which I think is absolutely vital", he added.

The conference comes amid behind-the-scenes efforts to manage the unintended consequences of the U.S. pullout, including keeping peace between Turkey and Kurdish fighters and finding a solution for hundreds of foreign jihadists jailed in Syria who Washington says should be repatriated by their home countries.

The president also received pushback from United States military leaders who argue that ISIL remains a threat and could regroup after the U.S. leaves. He told Trump in a letter he deserved a military chief "whose views are better aligned with yours".

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"It should be formally announced, probably sometime next week, that we will have 100 percent of the caliphate", he added.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Al Hakim, speaking after Mr Pompeo, called on countries to help expose ISIS "sleeper cells" in Iraq and restore stability.

Since then, the White House and other top USA officials have sought to reassure allies it is not abandoning them or their efforts to deal IS a lasting defeat.

Votel also defended United States support to the Saudi-led coalition battling the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.

Iraq "rejects being a launching pad for harming any other country", he said during a meeting with U.N. Iraq envoy Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert at the cleric's base in Najaf.

His comments come amid renewed efforts in both the House and Senate to block USA support to the Saudi-led coalition. But you're going to have them no matter how well we do militarily'.

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"We've eliminated nearly every one of them", he said, referring to their leaders while acknowledging the terrorists' ability to bounce back from adversity.

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