The mission was to take down a piece of real estate about the size of Ohio from the control of the Islamic State (ISIS), US State Secretary Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday (local time), assuring that America did it incredibly successfully.
Praising the efforts of the American Marines in front of a crowd gathered at the White House on the occasion of Veteran's Day, Pompeo said, "I am very proud of the work that our military did alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the diplomatic efforts that are underway now in the Middle East to try and create a political resolution to the horrific situation that Syria continues to find itself with."
"The threat from extremism, the counterterrorism threat, remains. But the real estate that they owned and the ability to network, control villages, raise money, generate tax revenue, we collectively obliterated," he added.
Pompeo continued telling the audience that the United States, beginning when President Trump took office, built out that relationship in a way that America hadn't been able to do as well before.
"But there was already work underway, and we crushed the caliphate. Right?
The Secretary asserted that the 'mission set' was to take down a piece of real estate about the size of Ohio that was under the control of radical Islamic terrorists that denominated themselves as ISIS.
"And we did that incredibly successfully," he said.
Pompeo also noted that the issues in the Middle East are incredibly complicated.
The fact of the matter is that the Trump administration provided enormous resources to protect the Kurds, and not just the Kurds, he said.
"We worked alongside an armed force called the SDF, the Syrian Democratic Forces. There are Kurdish members of that. There are Arabs. There are Christians. It's a multiethnic force," he added.
Pompeo also said that the US State Department officials are continuously working with the SDF on the ground to continue the Counter-ISIS campaign.
Meanwhile, deliberating on the upcoming visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Washington this week, Pompeo said, "President Erdogan will be here on Wednesday. He'll meet with the President. We will talk about what transpired there and how we can do our level best collectively to ensure the protection of all of those in Syria - not just the Kurds but everyone in Syria, create a political resolution, and deliver on behalf of America's interest in the region, which is to ensure that there is not a terror act here in the United States that threatens our homeland."
This will the first visit of the Turkish president to the US post following the launch of Ankara's offensive into Syria to drive out the Kurdish militia, Washington's main partner in the fight against Islamic State, last month.
( With inputs from ANI )