US Secretary of State kicks off Middle East tour to ramp up pressure on Iran
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Jordan's capital of Amman on Tuesday, at the start of an eight-nation trip of the Middle East which aims to strengthen regional pressure on Iran.
Pompeo is set follow the Amman stop with visits to Egypt and Gulf nations, and also aims withdrawal of US troops from Syria
Ahead of his trip, the Secretary of State told reporters he plans to talk to allies about "modalities by which we may continue to apply pressure" on Iran, branded by Washington a sponsor of terrorism.
Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton are also seeking input and support for the specifics of the US plan to withdraw from Syria, according to one official, who said US partners were eager for details.
The withdrawal announcement shocked many US allies last month, leaving many in the dark about how Washington plans to pull its troops out of Syria.
In particular, Kurdish rebels who have fought alongside US forces against the Islamic State group and fear an assault by Turkey following a withdrawal are seeking a clear and public explanation from Washington about their plans.
Pompeo will likely face questions about Washington's plan for leaving northeastern Syria.
"And I am confident that we will continue to ensure that the kind of rise that ISIS had under the Obama administration doesn't occur again," he said on his plane while travelling to Jordan.