Remarks to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS ministerial at the Department of State, Pompeo acknowledged that "there is more work ahead of us" to permanently defeat ISIS.
However, Pompeo claimed that the fight against ISIS "might not necessarily be military led."
"That's why President Trump's announcement that US troops will be withdrawing from Syria is not the end of America's fight," he claimed.
"The fight is one that we will continue to wage alongside you," Pompeo continued. "The drawdown of troops is essentially a tactical change, it is not a change in mission. It does not change the structure, design or authorities on which the campaign has been based. It simply represents a new stage in an old fight." 1
That unexpected announcement prompted the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis and the special presidential envoy to the global coalition, Brett McGurk. The conditions and logistics of the US withdrawal remain under negotiation.
Pompeo's address Wednesday was his first opportunity to address the entire 79-member coalition since the announcement and resignations. A senior state department official, previewing the ministerial, said the objectives of the event had not changed.
The official said the ministerial "comes at a critical time, in our mind, because we're near the end of the military operations against (ISIS)."