31 Dec 2018

Syria’s Assad authorizes Iraqi forces to strike ISIS in Syria

Syria and Iraq reached an agreement over the weekend that will allow Iraqi forces to attack ISIS forces inside Syria without having to first receive permission from Syrian authorities. The agreement illustrates the close relationship that has grown up between the two governments in their coordination of anti-ISIS efforts. The

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27 Dec 2018

U.S. forces will stay in Iraq and could reenter Syria from there, Trump says

“President Trump said he has no plans to withdraw American forces from Iraq, a week after announcing a surprise pullout of troops from Syria and ordering the Pentagon to bring home roughly half of the American forces deployed to Afghanistan. The decision allows the United States to maintain a presence

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26 Dec 2018

Trump agrees to visit Turkey after invitation from Turkish president, official says

“A Turkish official says U.S. President Donald Trump has accepted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s invitation to visit the country that straddles Asia and Europe. Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told reporters after a Cabinet meeting on Monday that Trump wants to make the trip in 2019 but a date hasn’t

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21 Dec 2018

Israel to escalate fight against Iran in Syria after U.S. exit: Netanyahu

“Israel will escalate its fight against Iranian-aligned forces in Syria after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday. Some Israeli officials have said U.S. President Donald Trump’s move, announced on Wednesday, could help Iran by removing a U.S. garrison that stems

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20 Dec 2018

Violence against journalists hits unprecedented levels

“The murder of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi in a year when more than half of all journalists killed were targeted deliberately reflects a hatred of the media in many areas of society, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Tuesday. At least 63 professional journalists around the world were killed doing

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13 Dec 2018

Turkey vows military operation against US-backed Kurdish militia in Syria

“Turkey will launch a new military operation against U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria ‘within a few days,’ President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday, a move likely to further strain ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States. In recent months, Turkey has shelled Kurdish positions across the border in

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28 Nov 2018

Americans and Russians have exchanged gunfire in Syria more than once

While not providing specific details, the U.S. special representative for Syria engagement confirmed that the U.S. and Russia have had several engagements in Syria apart from the February incident in which the U.S. conducted airstrikes on a group of Russian mercenaries and pro-Assad fighters trying to seize ground won from

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15 Nov 2018

US Treasury adds Qods Force, Hezbollah officials to list of global terrorists

The U.S. has added four Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps currently operating within Iraq to the Specially Designated Global Terrorists list. The U.S. Treasury also stated that Hezbollah in Iraq is serving as a “terrorist proxy for the Iranian regime that seeks to undermine Iraqi sovereignty and destabilize the Middle East…this

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09 Nov 2018

US will push back at Iran activities in region, says US envoy to Syria

In addition to the sanctions regime and other diplomatic efforts to counter Iran, U.S. Ambassador James Jeffrey has announced that it will also contest “more actively Iran’s activities particularly in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.” Isolating efforts against Iranian activity from Russian activity and others that work with it could prove

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18 Oct 2018

US: Foreign fighters still joining ISIS in Syria

“Foreign fighters continue to flow into Syria to join ISIS despite its forces being largely decimated, Pentagon Joint Chiefs chairman Joe Dunford said Tuesday. Even though the extremist group’s territory has shrunk to a fraction of what it once was, new followers arrive, mostly over the Turkish border, at a

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