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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called on members of the us -led coalition fighting against the extremist group Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria to commit to the complete defeat of the militants.

Members of a US -led coalition fighting against the Islamic State group pose for a group photograph in Kuwait City, Kuwait, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reiterated a US call for Iran to withdraw from Syria, saying its military presence there is destabilizing the region.

The task faced is enormous, with large parts of Iraq left in ruins by nearly 15 years of war, dating back to the 2003 US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of the country.

In Rome, at a meeting of defense ministers Tuesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis flatly rejected one claim by Turkish officials that the U.S.is leaving pockets of Islamic State militants in Syria to prolong the war.

The campaign also comes ahead of March elections in which President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi faces no serious competitors, after authorities sidelined his opponents using a variety of charges and disqualifications, leaving only a little-known supporter to run against him.

"If communities in Iraq and Syria can not return to normal life, we risk the return of conditions that allowed ISIS (Daesh) to take and control vast territory", US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told a donors' conference for Iraq hosted by Kuwait.

Asked about the article during a visit to Egypt, Tillerson said: "I think it's too early to judge".

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The end of major combat operations against Daesh (the so-called IS) does not mean the United States and its allies have achieved an enduring defeat of the militant group, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday.

"We agreed we would continue our close cooperation on counterterrorism measures", Tillerson said.

"The US commitment to keep its promise to maintain steady aid to the kingdom reflects the depth of our strategic relationship and a recognition of the kingdom's key role in maintaining regional stability", the official told Reuters.

The ability of the U.S.to broker an accord that has eluded a succession of American presidents was thrown into question after Trump broke with decades of precedent in December and declared the USA was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

He made the remarks at the start of a weeklong diplomatic trip through the Middle East that will include stops in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Kuwait. EXIM is the official export credit agency of the USA government.

He also expressed concern over Saturday's confrontation between Israel and "Iranian assets" in Syria.

Tillerson said Washington had to "find a way to continue to work in the same direction".


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