northern Syria

  • Donald Trump Nov 7, 2019

    Senior US Envoy in Syria Highly Critical of Troop Withdrawal

    A senior State Department envoy has written a highly critical assessment of the Trump administration’s abrupt withdrawal of troops from northeast Syria, U.S. officials said Thursday. Two officials familiar with the matter said the internal memo by the top American diplomat in northern Syria, William Roebuck, takes the administration to task for not doing enough to prevent Turkey’s invasion of...

  • Daniel Macht Oct 31, 2019

    Islamic State Group Names Successor to Al-Baghdadi

    The Islamic State group declared a new leader Thursday after it confirmed the death of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi days earlier in a U.S raid in Syria. In its audio release by the ISIS central media arm, al-Furqan Foundation, a new spokesman for ISIS identifies the successor as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi — tracing his lineage, like al-Baghdadi, to...

  • Donald Trump Oct 23, 2019

    Iraq Defense Minister: US Troops From Syria to Leave Iraq in 4 Weeks

    U.S troops withdrawing from northeastern Syria to Iraq are “transiting” and will leave the country within four weeks, Iraq’s defense minister said Wednesday. Najah al-Shammari made the remarks to The Associated Press following a meeting in Baghdad with visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who arrived as Iraqi leaders chafed over reports the U.S. may want to increase the number...

  • Syria Oct 22, 2019

    'Trump Betrayed Us': Residents of Northeast Syria City Pelt Departing US Troops

    Angry over the U.S. withdrawal, residents of a Kurdish-dominated Syrian city hurled potatoes at departing American military vehicles as they drove by on Monday. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the U.S. is considering leaving some troops in eastern Syria to protect Kurdish-held oil fields for at least the coming weeks and he was discussing options to keep them there. “Like...

  • Donald Trump Oct 21, 2019

    US Troops in Syria Going to Iraq, Not Home as Trump Claims

    While President Donald Trump insists he’s bringing home Americans from “endless wars” in the Mideast, his Pentagon chief says all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the American military will continue operations against the Islamic State group. They aren’t coming home and the United States isn’t leaving the turbulent Middle East, according to current plans outlined...

  • Donald Trump Oct 20, 2019

    Turkey Wants Syrian Forces to Leave Border Areas, Aide Says

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants Syrian government forces to move out of areas near the Turkish border so he can resettle up to 2 million refugees there, his spokesman told The Associated Press on Saturday. The request will top Erdogan’s talks next week with Syria’s ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin. Arrangements along the Syrian-Turkish border were thrown into disarray...

  • Donald Trump Oct 19, 2019

    Questions Arise About Nuclear Weapons at Base in Turkey

    Frayed U.S. relations with Turkey over its incursion in Syria raise a sensitive question rarely discussed in public: Should the United States remove the nuclear bombs it has long stored at a Turkish air base? It’s a tricky matter for several reasons, including the fact that by longstanding policy, the U.S. government does not publicly acknowledge locations of nuclear weapons...

  • Donald Trump Oct 18, 2019

    Trump Hails Syria Cease-Fire After Playing Role in Crisis

    President Donald Trump framed the U.S.-brokered cease-fire deal with Turkey as “a great day for civilization” but its effect was largely to mitigate a foreign policy crisis widely seen to be of his own making. After hours of negotiation in Ankara, the two nations on Thursday agreed to a five-day cease-fire in the Turks’ deadly attacks on Kurdish fighters in...

  • Donald Trump Oct 16, 2019

    ‘Don't Be a Tough Guy': Trump's Extraordinary Letter to Erdogan

    President Donald Trump wrote Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan an extraordinary letter warning him not to be “a tough guy” or “a fool” as his forces launched their attack on northern Syria, a White House official confirmed to NBC News. “Dear Mr. President,” the Oct. 9 letter began, “Let’s work out a good deal! You don’t want to be responsible for...

  • Donald Trump Oct 15, 2019

    Turkey Widens Invasion as Syrian Army Returns to Northeast

    Syrian government troops moved into towns and villages in northeastern Syria on Monday, including the flashpoint region of Manbij, setting up a potential clash with Turkish-led forces advancing in the area as long-standing alliances in the region began to shift or crumble following the pullback of U.S. forces. The Syrian military’s deployment near the Turkish border came after Syrian Kurdish...

  • Donald Trump Oct 13, 2019

    Syria's Kurds Look to Assad for Protection After US Pullout

    Syria’s Kurds said Syrian government forces agreed Sunday to help them fend off Turkey’s invasion — a major shift in alliances that came after President Donald Trump ordered all U.S. troops withdrawn from the northern border area amid the rapidly deepening chaos. The shift could lead to clashes between Turkey and Syria and raises the specter of a resurgent Islamic...

  • NBC Oct 12, 2019

    Mattis Warns ISIS Could Resurge: ‘Enemy Gets the Vote' After Trump's Announced Troop Pullout

    Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who led the Pentagon through the first two years of the Trump administration, warned during an exclusive interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the president’s decision to pull troops from Syria’s border in advance of a Turkish incursion could have dire consequences and lead to ISIS’s resurgence, NBC News reports. “We have got to...

  • Donald Trump Oct 12, 2019

    Turkish Forces Say They've Captured Key Syrian Border Town

    Turkey’s military said it captured a key Syrian border town under heavy bombardment Saturday in its most significant gain since an offensive against Kurdish fighters began four days ago, with no sign of relenting despite mounting international criticism. Turkish troops entered central Ras al-Ayn, according to Turkey’s Defense Ministry and a war monitor group. The ministry tweeted: “Ras al-Ayn’s residential...

  • United States Oct 11, 2019

    World Leaders Call for End to Turkey's Assault on Syria as Thousands Flee

    Turkey pressed its air and ground assault against U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in northern Syria on Thursday for a second day, pounding the region with airstrikes and an artillery bombardment that raised columns of black smoke in a border town and sent panicked civilians scrambling to get out. Amid the fierce fighting, residents fled with their belongings loaded into cars, pickup...

  • Donald Trump Oct 9, 2019

    Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Halt Arms Sales to Turkey

    A bipartisan Senate bill would halt U.S. military assistance to NATO ally Turkey and clamp sanctions on the U.S. assets of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan because of his country’s invasion Wednesday of northern Syria. The measure effectively rebukes President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to pull U.S. troops from the region. Soon after their withdrawal, Erdogan commenced air and ground...

  • Donald Trump Oct 9, 2019

    Pro-Kurdish Protest in Boston Over Turkish Incursion

    Kurds in Boston held a demonstration as Turkey launched a military operation in their homeland, part of northern Syria, after getting the green light to act against the U.S. allies from President Donald Trump.

  • Donald Trump Oct 8, 2019

    Turkey Says It Won't Bow to US Threat Over Its Syria Plans

    Turkey said Tuesday it will go ahead with a military operation in northeastern Syria and won’t bow to threats over its Syria plans, an apparent reply to U.S. President Donald Trump’s warning to limit the scope of its expected assault. Trump said earlier this week the United States would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on Syrian Kurdish fighters,...

  • Iraq Oct 7, 2019

    For Kurds, US Pull-Back Feels Like Being Abandoned Once More

    For Syria’s Kurds, the United States’ abrupt pull-back from positions in northeast Syria carries a sharp sting, reviving the community’s memories over being abandoned in the past by the Americans and other international allies on whose support they had pinned their aspirations. The Kurdish-led forces have been the U.S.’ partner in fighting the Islamic State group for nearly four years....

  • The Associated Press Apr 23, 2019

    After ISIS Fall, Some Women Who Joined Plead to Come Home

    They came from around the world, four women drawn to the Islamic State group’s “caliphate.” They said it was out of misguided religious faith or naivety or youthful rebellion, but whatever the reason, they tied their lives to a group that became notorious for its atrocities. Now after the militants’ defeat, they say they made a mistake and are pleading...

  • Donald Trump Mar 25, 2019

    Syrian Group Wants International Tribunal for IS Detainees

    The U.S-backed Syrian fighters who drove the Islamic State from its last strongholds called Monday for an international tribunal to prosecute hundreds of foreigners rounded up in the nearly five-year campaign against the extremist group. The administration affiliated with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said such a tribunal is needed “for justice to take its course,” particularly after countries have...

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