Turkey

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Erdogan Played Anti-Kurd Film in Oval Office. It Didn't Go Well

Lindsey Graham among GOP senators left miffed

(Newser) - President Trump had to umpire a tense exchange between Republican senators and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, which reportedly began when Erdogan aired a propaganda film against Syria's Kurds. Axios first reported that five Republican senators critical of Turkey's incursion into Syria watched as Erdogan whipped... More »

Erdogan Announces Capture of Baghdadi Wife, With Trump Dig

Turkey's president appears to reference Trump's post-raid address

(Newser) - Turkey is heralding another victory against the Islamic State: the capture of one of former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's wives. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the announcement Wednesday during a speech at Ankara University, adding an apparent dig at President Trump's post-raid address to the nation. Following... More »

Woman Found in Syrian Trailer Could Be a 'Gold Mine'

Rasmiya Awad, said to have been detained by Turkish forces, is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's sister

(Newser) - US authorities weren't able to question former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before his death in Syria. But they might get to question his older sister. Rasmiya Awad, 65, was seized Monday in a raid near the town of Azaz in Aleppo province, according to Turkish officials who now... More »

House Takes Off Kid Gloves, Votes on 1915 Slaughter

Passes resolution recognizing Armenian genocide 405-11

(Newser) - House lawmakers on Tuesday removed the kid gloves and voted to formally recognize the Armenian genocide. It's the first time a chamber of Congress has branded the 1915 slaughter of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks as such. Lawmakers had been loath to do so because... More »

Trump's Syria Envoy Points to Alleged 'War Crimes'

James Jeffrey talks to Capitol Hill lawmakers

(Newser) - President Trump hailed a "big success" in Syria and lifted sanctions against Turkey on Wednesday as his Syria envoy said war crimes had likely been committed there, USA Today reports. "We haven't seen widespread evidence of ethnic cleansing," said the Syria representative, James Jeffrey, per Reuters... More »

Trump Orders All Sanctions on Turkey Lifted

Says the ceasefire is permanent

(Newser) - The Turkish ceasefire in Syria that was agreed upon last Thursday is a permanent one, said President Trump Wednesday, and so sanctions against Turkey will be lifted—although he allowed that "you will also define permanent in that part of the world as somewhat questionable," reports CNBC . CNN... More »

McConnell Introduces Resolution Opposing Syria Withdrawal

But stops short of suggesting sanctions on Turkey

(Newser) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation Tuesday denouncing Turkey's invasion of northern Syria and gently prodding President Trump to halt his withdrawal of US troops from the embattled country, the AP reports. But McConnell said lawmakers should refrain from imposing sanctions on Turkey for now, saying, "We... More »

New Syria Proposal: Internationally Controlled 'Security Zone'

Ceasefire is set to expire

(Newser) - Germany's defense minister proposed Tuesday the establishment of an internationally controlled security zone in Syria, hours before a five-day ceasefire between Turkish troops and Syrian Kurdish fighters was set to expire in the war-torn country. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told German news agency dpa that "the creation of an internationally... More »

As US Troops Depart, Residents Pelt Them

'Like rats, America is running away,' says one man in Kurdish-dominated city

(Newser) - Angry over the US withdrawal, residents of a Kurdish-dominated Syrian city hurled potatoes at departing American military vehicles as they drove by on Monday, the AP reports. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said a small residual US military force will stay in eastern Syria to protect Kurdish-held oil fields for at... More »

We Won't Forget Letter From Trump: Erdogan

'Necessary steps' will be taken, Turkey's president says

(Newser) - Turkey's president said Friday that “we haven’t forgotten" President Trump's unusual letter and said that, in time, "steps will be taken" in response to it. "Don't be a fool," Trump had warned Recep Tayyip Erdogan the letter about Turkey's military offensive... More »

Fighting in Northern Syria Continues Despite Ceasefire

Kurdish-held Syrian town was shelled

(Newser) - Fighting continued Friday morning in a northeast Syrian border town at the center of the fight between Turkey and Kurdish forces, despite a US-brokered ceasefire that went into effect overnight. Shelling and gunfire could be heard in and around Ras al-Ayn as smoke billowed from locations near the border with... More »

Pence: We've Managed to Cut a Deal in Turkey

The vice president and Mike Pompeo went to Ankara to negotiate

(Newser) - Looks like Turkey's invasion of Syria may be short-lived, ABC News reports. The country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, agreed Thursday to halt the invasion for five days while Kurdish fighters leave a safe zone in northern Syria: "It will be a pause in military operation for 120... More »

Kremlin Comments on Trump's Letter to Turkey

'You don’t often encounter such language in correspondence between heads of state'

(Newser) - Count the Kremlin among those puzzled by the personal letter President Trump sent to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “You don’t often encounter such language in correspondence between heads of state," says spokesman Dmitry Peskov. "It's a highly unusual letter." Among other things, Trump... More »

'Don't Be a Fool,' Trump Said in Strange Letter to Erdogan

'Let's work out a good deal!' he says

(Newser) - A letter from President Trump to his Turkish counterpart surfaced Wednesday—and it was so unusual that many commentators initially had trouble believing it was real. Trump begins the letter to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which was first obtained by Fox , by saying "Let's work out a good a... More »

House Makes Its Thoughts on Troop Withdrawal Known

It voted its bipartisan condemnation of Trump's move 354-60

(Newser) - The House has overwhelmingly voted its bipartisan condemnation of President Trump's withdrawal of American forces from northern Syria. Despite stark divisions over Democrats' Trump impeachment inquiry, Democrats and Republicans banded together Wednesday and approved a nonbinding resolution by 354-60 vote, reports the AP . The resolution states Congress' opposition to... More »

Trump: Kurds Are 'Not Angels,' Have a Lot of Sand to Play With

President's comments seen as dismissive

(Newser) - In what Politico calls "perhaps the president’s most dismissive defense of his widely condemned decision earlier this month to allow Turkey to invade Syria," the president on Wednesday cast the US-allied Kurds as "not angels" who are fighting a battle "that has nothing to do... More »

Turkey Rejects Calls for Syria Ceasefire

Turkish leader says he's 'not concerned' by US sanctions

(Newser) - Russia said it was working to prevent a conflict between advancing Turkish and Syrian government forces on Wednesday, as Turkey's president defied growing pressure and sanctions from Western allies for a ceasefire in northern Syria. Russia moved quickly to further entrench its leadership role in the region after President... More »

Russian Troops Quickly Move to Fill US Void

Kremlin says units now patrolling in northern Syria

(Newser) - Russia isn't wasting much time getting troops on the ground in the part of Syria vacated by American forces. On Tuesday, the Kremlin announced that Russian troops were on patrol between Syrian and Turkish troops near the northern town of Manbij. The Washington Post and the New York Times ... More »

Trump Authorizes Tariffs, Sanctions on Turkey

As US scrambles for Syria exit

(Newser) - Targeting Turkey's economy, President Trump announced sanctions Monday aimed at restraining the Turks' assault against Kurdish fighters and civilians in Syria—an assault Turkey began after Trump announced he was moving US troops out of the way. Meanwhile, the Americans were scrambling for Syria's exits, a move criticized... More »

One More Wrinkle in Turkey Chaos: 50 US Nukes

Pentagon reportedly rethinking whether it's still safe to keep them there

(Newser) - The military situation near the Turkish border in Syria remains in flux, with allegiances shifting quickly amid uncertainty of how everything will shake out. But the fast-moving developments also have drawn attention to a lesser-known fact of US foreign policy: The Pentagon has about 50 tactical nuclear weapons stored in... More »

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