While Pompeo and other US officials continue to set the terms and dates of a US withdrawal of troops from Syria, President Edward Donald Trump's statement of December 19 that the troops would "go now" began to have an impact.
Kurds on the front line of the fight against IS tell CNN that their morale has suffered a blow when seeking protection by strengthening other alliances. Arab Allies, feeling the loss of US leverage on Syria, want to improve relations with Damascus by reviving the warmer diplomatic relations.
Relations with Turkey have become even tighter because of US demands to protect the Syrian Kurds. Some analysts said, perhaps most thoroughly, that the government is making contradictory and changing statements that would further undermine confidence in US policy and the authority of its highest officials.
"The most important consequence of the decision to resign is, first and foremost, that our allies must now trust in the question they will have the remarks of our Secretary of State and National Security Advisor and Secretary of Defense," said Robert Satloff, Managing Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "Are these senior officials talking to the president?"
"This is so fundamental to our foreign policy," continued Satloff. "I can not remember a moment, two years after the term, when this basic question was on the table."
Pompeo insisted in a speech in Cairo on Thursday that the US has an unwavering presence in the Middle East under the Trump administration. He told reporters separately that "there is no contradiction in US policy in Syria," arguing that "this is a story invented by the media."
At the same time, the leading US diplomat has denied allies the US withdrawal from Syria. "I think everyone understands what the United States is doing," Pompeo said as he traveled to the Middle East this week. "At least the senior leaders in their governments are doing this."
But Trump's decision was explosive on the ground and in diplomatic circles.
The US allies in the region were blind. Two diplomatic sources state that their countries were neither consulted nor informed, and the news was completely surprising.
"What's going on?"
Even now that the schedule and US intentions are getting less A senior European diplomat told CNN, "We're just like everyone else, trying to figure out what's going on." Will the US stay a la Bolton until the end? Conditions are right or are they traveling in three or four months? " 1
"It affected our morale, and some of the soldiers and commanders asked to stop the fighting," said the commander.
Trump's abrupt move also affected ISIS, the commander said. "It encouraged ISIS and gave them the hope that they could activate sleeping cells and continue to fight hard," he said, noting that he and his men have fought alongside coalition forces, especially the US, for four years against ISIS.
"This decision was not timely," he said.
The Kurds have become the catalyst for the tightening of US tensions with Turkey.
The estimated 2,000 US troops in Syria work closely with a Kurdish group called People's Protection Units (YPG), which is the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the country's main US counterpart.
But Turkey believes that the YPG, which has been controlling a large part of northern Syria for several years, is a terrorist organization.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had already threatened with Trump's approval of operations against the Kurds in a telephone call to leave Syria. Bolton's insistence on protecting the Kurds infuriated Erdogan and caused another nuisance in a deeply tense American-Turkish relationship.
And given the prospect that the US may no longer be able to protect them from a Turkish attack, Kurds turn to the Assad regime and the Russians to protect themselves.
Shifting the Golfland
While the Kurds are making adjustments to protect themselves, there is a marked shift in pace between the Gulf States as US influence on Syria now wanes.
Following Trump's announcement on December 19, the allies of the US Gulf States, including the United Arab Emirates, are stepping up their involvement with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
The Emirates had considered the issue of resumption last fall -opening their embassy in Syria, according to two sources who are familiar with the matter. The US asked them for a break, believing that the opening of embassies could be used as a carrot to include the Assad regime in United Nations political negotiations.
The Emirates agreed. After Trump decided to withdraw from Syria, they changed their minds.
In their opinion, according to the sources, any pressure that the US could exert on the Syrian regime could be greatly mitigated without US troops on the ground. Furthermore, Trump's decision to cooperate with Turkey was not welcomed. The Gulf States believe that Turkey has enabled terrorist groups such as ISIS and Iranian deputies to gain a foothold in Syria as their main focus was on the Kurds.
At the end of December, the Emirates opened their embassy in Damascus. The Foreign Ministry said at the time that "the move confirms that the UAE government wants to restore normal relations between the two fraternal countries."
Bahrain followed the leadership of the Emirates. According to diplomats and experts, there is a conviction that more countries will soon follow in the region. They say that when the Domino effect sets in, things will go quickly as Assad lands look for "brownie points" to get involved again.
On Thursday in Cairo, Pompeo made a speech explaining that the Trump administration was correcting mistakes made by the previous White House in the Middle East. "We've learned that chaos ensues after the US retreat," he said.
Throughout his journey, he insisted that the US fully support the allies, insisting that there was no contradiction between Trump and Bolton's comments on the retreat. He told the press that he believed "that both said the same thing".
After Trump declared that the US would withdraw troops from Syria, an American defense officer told CNN that planning for a "full" and "rapid" withdrawal was planned, Bolton added In addition, a troop departure could postpone indefinitely and refused to discuss schedules.
"They both said we're going out," Pompeo said Monday. "The President said that we will do this in an orderly manner to achieve our goal and that our mission in the region will remain unchanged, which seems to me to be quite consistent."
In the end, it may not matter what Pompeo or Bolton say, Ege Seçkin, a senior analyst with global risk firm IHS Markit, wrote in an analysis that Trump still seems to have the intention of sending US military personnel from Syria deduct.
"His willingness to make unilateral decisions that both ignore the advice of his advisors and contradict their public proclamations means that a withdrawal could still take place," Seçkin said. CNN's Waffa Munayyer, Michelle Kosinski and Barbara Starr contributed to this report