Iran security chief: US suffered strategic defeat in Syria
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Iran security chief: US suffered strategic defeat in Syria

Last month, President Donald Trump made an abrupt announcement to withdraw the roughly 2,000 American troops from Syria, claiming that the US had accomplished its goal of defeating Daesh.   Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, however, said, "The US has had no role in defeating Daesh in Syria and has suffered defeat in its strategy there." "In 2019, America's compulsory withdrawal from our region will begin and in the future, they will be forced to start their pullout from the Persian Gulf," the official told an international seminar on defense and security in West Asia that was held in Tehran on Monday. Shamkhani said US withdrawal from Syria and Iraq portends "a dark future" for the United States. "Today, a trend has begun against the forces of instability in our region, which has somehow prompted the compulsory exit of the United States." "Today, the Americans are talking about leaving Afghanistan, while they have fulfilled none of the security components there," Shamkhani said.  Trump has ordered the start of withdrawing some 7,000 troops from Afghanistan, about half of the total number of American boots on the ground in the war-torn country, The New York Times reported last month.   More than 2,400 Americans have died in Afghanistan since 2001, with 13 troops killed this year. US forces have remained bogged down in Afghanistan through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and now Trump since they invaded the country in 2001. Shamkhani said, "Today, US crimes have become embedded in the minds of regional people, and US troops have no choice but to leave the region."  The United States invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of confronting Daesh without the request of the Syrian government or a UN mandate.  Shamkhani also touched on the US military presence in Iraq, where Trump paid a secret visit recently, prompting an outcry from Iraqi politicians and lawmakers.   The Iranian official said Iraqi commanders had snubbed a US invitation to attend Christmas celebrations at the al-Asad Air Base in Anbar Province. The United States, he said, is now faced with a "bitter truth" in the region where Iran's influence is expanding. "We are so powerful that no one can attack us," he said, adding the Islamic Republic would retaliate with far greater force against any act of aggression.  Shamkhani touched on US officials' patronage of anti-Iran terrorists, mentioning National Security Adviser John Bolton who takes his position against Iran according to MKO statements. "It is unbecoming of an administration which lays claim to greatness to base its strategic decision-making against Iran on communiqués" issued by the MKO, he said. US officials have stepped up their support for the MKO. The group has killed thousands of Iranian civilians and officials throughout decades. Bolton and Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have become familiar faces at conventions held by the terrorist group in recent years.

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