Top U.S. diplomats are stridently pledging the Trump administration's determination to drive Iran out of Syria, even as it prepares to withdraw its military presence. And they're fielding new ideas to further that aim — even if it means withholding crucial aid.
Doubling down on the Trump's administration's anti-Iran message, the senior policy advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Brian Hook, vowed no U.S. reconstruction assistance to the war-torn country until Iranian forces and its proxies are completely driven out.
"We think that if working with everybody in the region, and if we construct our diplomacy the way we want to, that we will be able to get rid of all forces under Iranian control," Hook told CNBC's Hadley Gamble in Abu Dhabi. "We are not going to permit them do in Syria what they did in Lebanon, and we will be withholding reconstruction assistance, we have a number of tools at our disposal to help accomplish that objective."