US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began a visit to the Middle East on Tuesday to talk to regional leaders about ramping up pressure on Iran.

The trip comes amid confusion over conflicting statements by Trump administration about a planned US troop withdrawal from Syria. His first stop is pro-Western Jordan, followed by visits to Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait.

Pompeo told reporters he plans to talk to allies about "modalities by which we may continue to apply pressure" on Iran, branded by Washington a sponsor of "terrorism".

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