Kurds

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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 »

Before ISIS Raid, an Underwear Theft

Syrian Kurds say their spy got the briefs and a blood sample to help confirm identity

(Newser) - Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's downfall began when a spy planted in his inner circle managed to steal the ISIS leader's underwear. That's according to a commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which fought ISIS alongside the US. Gen. Mazloum Abdi tells NBC News that an informant serving... More »

US Thinks It Took Out ISIS Chief in Raid

Baghdadi believed killed in coalition raid in northern Syria; president will make announcement at 9am

(Newser) - Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy leader of the Islamic State who presided over its global jihad and became arguably the world's most wanted man, is believed dead after being targeted by a US military raid in Syria. A US official told the AP late Saturday that al-Baghdadi was targeted... More »

US Military Rolls Back Into Syria

Washington hopes to secure oil fields from ISIS

(Newser) - Syria, we just can't quit you: As planned , US troops rolled back into the war-torn nation Saturday to help protect oil fields from ISIS, the Washington Post reports. Roughly a dozen Army vehicles with big American flags entered the Deir ez-Zor region to team up with Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic... More »

Report: Trump Now Plans to Send Tanks, More Troops to Syria

He says Kurds should 'head to oil region'

(Newser) - America will never desert Syria's oil, President Trump promised Thursday—and he suggested that if the Kurds want protection, they should move closer to the oil. Syria's oil fields "were held by ISIS until the United States took them over with the help of the Kurds,"... 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 »

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 »

'Error-Ridden' Trump Tweet Draws Derision

For one thing, he called the defense secretary 'Mark Esperanto'

(Newser) - President Trump wrote an "error-ridden" tweet Sunday that inspired reporters to take it apart pretty much word by word, Newsweek reports. Now deleted—after thousands of shares—the tweet referred to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper as "Mark Esperanto" and made claims that raised a few eyebrows: "... 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 »

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 »

ABC Airs Fake Video of Syria Bombing

Trump calls it a 'big scandal'

(Newser) - With the headline "Slaughter in Syria," ABC aired footage of what it said was a Turkish attack on a Syrian border town on Sunday and Monday. One problem: The video was actually of a popular military gun demonstration in Kentucky, Mediaite reports. ABC apologized after the video was... 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 »

Kurds Strike Last-Minute Deal to Avoid 'Genocide'

Syria agrees to protect Kurds from invading Turkish forces

(Newser) - This might be a last-minute, desperation deal—but now Syrian Kurds have some protection. They said Sunday the Syrian government has agreed to send army forces to the nation's northern border to try to curb Turkey's assault, the BBC reports. Russia brokered the deal over three days between... More »

SecDef: US Troops Caught Between Advancing Armies

Esper says US 'preparing to evacuate' troops from Syrian north

(Newser) - Amid growing chaos in Syria, the US is "preparing to evacuate" and President Trump has ordered all US troops to withdraw from the country's north to avoid a conflict between Turkey and Kurdish fighters, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday. The approximately 1,... More »

Pentagon: Turkey Attacked Where It Knew US Troops Were

Meanwhile, a reported ISIS escape and a climbing death toll

(Newser) - As Turkey's push into Syria continues into its fourth day, with further ground and air assaults in the region, news is trickling in on the casualties. Per Reuters , the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that 74 Syrian fighters led by Kurds have died so far, with civilian deaths... More »

Thousands of 'Betrayed' Kurds Flee Offensive

Turkey says it has lost one soldier and 'neutralized' hundreds of 'terrorists'

(Newser) - More than 60,000 people in northern Syria have fled a Turkish offensive that is now in its third day, aid groups say. Turkish forces pushed further into the region Thursday, carrying out air and ground attacks against Syrian Kurdish fighters, reports Reuters . The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says... More »

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