In The News

Jen Kirby October 18, 2019
After the US withdrew troops from Kurdish-held areas in northern Syria, Turkey moved in to take control. Supporters and opponents of the US president lashed out with criticism for abandoning Kurdish allies who fought the Islamic State. A week later the US hastily organized a ceasefire that gives Turkey control over northern Syria. The Kurdish people have five days to leave their homes. The ethnic...
Bilal Y. Saab October 17, 2019
Donald Trump is sending 1,800 more troops to Saudi Arabia. During a meeting with congressional leaders, Trump suggested that Saudi Arabia will cover the costs. Abrupt US withdrawal from Syria left Kurds, key allies in the fight against the Islamic State, to fend for themselves against a Turkish invasion. A hasty ceasefire has since been announced by the US and Turkey, both NATO members. Nations...
Bahauddin Foizee October 16, 2019
China continues to build up islets as military bases, moving slowly to press claims in the South China Sea. ASEAN, traditionally focused on trade, no longer sits back, and the 10 nations joined the US Navy in maritime drills that extended into the South China Sea. ASEAN may worry that the Trump administration, distracted by an impeachment inquiry, won't make control of the South China Sea a...
Samuel Stolton October 14, 2019
Kurdish fighters, in alliance with US forces, were key to reducing the Islamic State throughout Syria. US troop withdrawal from the area prompted Turkey’s military operation against these same Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. The operation divides NATO and risks destabilizing the region, reports Samuel Stolton for Al Jazeera. “After meetings on Friday with Turkish officials in Istanbul,...
October 11, 2019
The United States began withdrawing troops from the region. Turkey wasted no time, launching an invasion of the border area with Syria – home to Kurdish people, many of whom stepped up at US urging to battle Islamic State terrorists. The invasion causes thousands of people to flee. “Turkish troops have encircled the border towns of Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad and aid agencies fear the exodus could...
October 9, 2019
Kurdish forces were key to defeating Islamic State extremists in northern Syria. The ethnic group is a sizable minority in Iran, Iraq and Turkey. But Turkish leaders regard Kurdish hopes for autonomy and their own country as a terrorist endeavor. The US president announced a withdrawal of US forces from the border region, despite questions about the welfare of Kurdish allies known as the Syrian...
Peter Baker and Lara Jakes October 8, 2019
Civil war in Syria began soon after the Arab Spring in 2011. Islamic State terrorists took advantage of chaos, gaining territory and control, and the United States supported Kurdish fighters in containing ISIS. But Turkey resents the Kurds – a large and marginalized minority in that country as well as Syria, Iraq and Iran – and labels them terrorists. President Donald Trump announced withdrawal...