World Donald Trump International Affairs The White House has announced that the Pentagon will begin withdrawing troops from Syria, where Russia has outpaced the United States amid their rival military campaigns. U.S. soldiers were deployed to Syria as part of a campaign launched in 2014 to defeat the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), which had taken over half the country as well as neighboring Iraq. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that, amid recent victories against the final pocket of jihadi control off the eastern banks of the Euphrates in Syria, the administration has "started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign." She added that "the United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary, and we will continue to work together to deny radical Islamist terrorist territory, funding, support, and any means of … [Read more...] about Has Russia Won? Donald Trump Is Pulling U.S. Out of Syria and Vladimir Putin’s Ally Is Stronger Than Ever
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World International Affairs A seven-year civil war between the Syrian government and an Islamist-led insurgency has come down to a single province under rebels and jihadi control in the country's northwest, but the stakes may be higher than ever for world powers invested in the conflict. Russia and Iran have helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regain most of the country, but Turkey and a number of Western powers have urged the Syrian leader and his allies not to move in on the northwestern province of Idlib, which is dominated by the Al-Qaeda-linked coalition of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and hosts an inflated population of up to 3 million people. The United States has gone so far as to threaten military action, especially in the event it suspects the Syrian government of using chemical weapons, while Russia has claimed Western governments were conspiring with militants to stage such an attack. A deal struck Monday by Russia and Turkey appears to have stalled any sort of imminent Syrian … [Read more...] about What’s Going On in Syria? Everything You Need to Know About U.S., Russia, Turkey and Iran’s Role in Idlib
A picture showing the destruction after government forces' bombed the town of Al Habit on the southern edges of the rebel-held Idlib province in Syria on September 9th. Photo: AFP A heavily-armed Swiss man has been detained at Bulgaria's eastern border with Turkey and charged with terrorism after allegedly planning to go to Syria, prosecutors announced on Thursday. The man, whose identity has not been revealed, was arrested at Bulgaria's main Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint on Tuesday and charged for "terrorism and arms smuggling," prosecutors said in a statement. Read also: Isis using Swiss-made grenades in Syria - report Two automatic rifles, a smoothbore hunting rifle, a SIG Sauer pistol and ammunition for the weapons were found in his car as well as 24 knives and a map of his route showing the Syrian city of Idlib as his final destination, the statement added. The arrest followed an alert put out by the Swiss authorities after … [Read more...] about Syria-bound Swiss man held in Bulgaria on terror charges
SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgarian authorities have charged a Swiss citizen with terrorism and arms smuggling after he was arrested trying to cross the border with Turkey to reach Syria, the prosecutors office said on Thursday. The man, wanted by the Swiss authorities, was captured in an operation by the national security service, border police and prosecutors at the Kapitan Andreevo border check point on Sept. 11 and charged the following day, prosecutors said. During the search of his Swiss-registered SUV, police found three rifles, a pistol, more than 400 rounds of ammunition and at least 24 knives. They also founded a map with a route that ended in Syria's northern Idlib province. The prosecutors did not reveal the man's name. They said his father had alerted the Swiss authorities that he was missing along with the SUV, weapons and ammunition. They quoted the suspect as saying he wanted to go help civilians in Syria. Idlib and parts of a few neighbouring provinces form the last major … [Read more...] about Swiss citizen charged with terrorism after trying to enter Turkey from Bulgaria
World Israel Syria Golan Heights Jerusalem Donald Trump Palestine Six Day War Bashar al-Assad Iran Israel has been pressuring the U.S. to recognize its self-proclaimed ownership of the Golan Heights, a southwestern Syrian territory seized by Israel during a 1967 conflict and later annexed without international recognition. Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz made the revelation in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, saying such a follow-up to Washington's recognition of the disputed city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would likely come within the upcoming months. Katz said accepting Israeli control of the Golan Heights would target not only longtime foe Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but also an even more powerful enemy: Iran. Israel has targeted Iranian and pro-Iran positions in Syria for years and Katz said President Donald Trump's recent decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and exit from the 2015 nuclear agreement meant it was … [Read more...] about U.S. Gave Jerusalem to Israel, Will Syria’s Golan Heights Be Next?