Tag: Kurds

Erdoğan Stopped His Oval Office Meeting to Show Trump an Anti-Kurd Propaganda Video

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stopped an Oval Office meeting in its tracks to whip out an iPad and show President Donald Trump a propaganda film that portrayed the Kurds as terrorists. Republican senators in the room on Wednesday pushed back to defend the Kurds — longtime U.S. allies abandoned by Trump’s decision to pull […]

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In Meeting Erdogan, Trump Courts Another Tyrant

There is every reason President Trump should not have hosted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey at the White House, including Turkey’s attack on America’s Kurdish allies in Syria, its purchase of antimissile systems from Russia and the brutal continuing crackdown on Turkish journalists and opposition figures. That was obvious to legislators from both parties […]

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U.S. Struggles to Keep Allies in Fight Against ISIS in Syria

WASHINGTON — As Trump administration officials try to convince allies that the United States remains committed to the fight against the Islamic State in Syria they are facing a significant roadblock: President Trump’s own policy reversals. At a high-level State Department meeting scheduled for Thursday, diplomats from 35 nations and international organizations will be asked […]

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Turkey Starts Sending Captured Foreign Fighters Home From Syria

ISTANBUL — Turkey on Monday started making good on its vow to send foreign fighters who were captured in Syria back to their home countries, including one it sent to the United States, the Interior Ministry told the state-run news agency. “One American foreign terrorist fighter whose proceedings are completed has been deported,” a ministry […]

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U.S. Envoy in Syria Says Not Enough Was Done to Avert Turkish Attack

WASHINGTON — The top American diplomat on the ground in northern Syria has criticized the Trump administration for not trying harder to prevent Turkey’s military offensive there last month — and said Turkish-backed militia fighters committed “war crimes and ethnic cleansing.” In a searing internal memo, the diplomat, William V. Roebuck, raised the question of […]

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‘The Bombs Are Drawing Close’

Many guests once visited us at the autonomous women’s village called Jinwar in northern Syria: journalists, politicians, friends from all over the world. They got to know us, our village and our daily lives. They saw the houses of clay in which we lived together; the school where our children studied Kurdish; the center for […]

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Turkey Wants Refugees to Move to a ‘Safe Zone.’ It’s a Tough Sell.

AKCAKALE, Turkey — Syrian refugees in this Turkish border town have been celebrating. Every day, news trickles of advances by Turkish-backed troops in carving out a safe zone in northeastern Syria and opening the way for the refugees to return home. Syrians like Hassan Khalil, 37, one of eight brothers and several cousins who rent […]

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Syria’s Kurds Deserve Refuge With Us, and Fast

The abrupt withdrawal of American forces from northeastern Syria generated a rare moment of bipartisanship in Washington, though not the kind the Trump administration wanted. Reactions ranged from confusion to outrage. But agreeing on the disastrous consequences of the pullout is easier than figuring out how to manage them. That’s one reason that the House […]

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As Kurds Tracked ISIS Leader, U.S. Withdrawal Threw Raid Into Turmoil

QAMISHLI, Syria — When the international manhunt for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, zoomed in on a village in northwestern Syria, the United States turned to its local allies to help track the world’s most-wanted terrorist. The American allies, a Kurdish-led force that had partnered with the United States to fight […]

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“Blood for Oil” Is Official U.S. Policy Now

In between playing five hours of golf on Saturday and getting booed at a baseball game on Sunday, President Donald Trump caught up on his other favorite sport: playing military. American service members in Syria cornered and killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the titular leader of ISIS, as Trump spectated; the following morning, in advance of […]

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U.S. Could Send Troops to Guard Oil Fields in Syria, Esper Says

BRUSSELS — Defense officials said on Friday that the Pentagon was considering sending additional troops to guard eastern oil fields in Syria against the Islamic State, another potential lurch in President Trump’s zigzagging military policy in the country. Speaking at a news conference in Brussels, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said that the United States […]

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Donald Trump’s ‘Very Special’ Victory in Syria

In announcing a “permanent” cease-fire along the Turkish-Syrian border on Wednesday, President Trump smugly declared that “this was an outcome created by us, the United States, and nobody else.” The president, incapable of irony, probably not referring to his own abrupt decision on Oct. 6 to stab Syrian Kurds in the back by giving Turkey […]

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The Syria Withdrawal’s Other Victims

In Deir Ezzor, the largest city in eastern Syria, on the banks of the Euphrates River, protesters last week chanted and raised signs calling for the downfall of Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorial regime. But they also raised U.S. and French flags, hoping the anti-ISIS coalition might keep its forces in the region. “I remember when we […]

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The Weapons America Is Leaving Behind in Syria

Less than a week after President Donald Trump formally ordered the U.S. military to withdraw the majority of its forces from Syria, the Pentagon carried out an unusual mission in the northeastern part of the country. A pair of F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets delivered a precision airstrike, not to protect a joint U.S.-Turkish patrol […]

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It Always Comes Back to Syria

Until this month, the Syrian revolution-turned-war had largely slipped from the news pages. It bursts into view in snapshots: the image of a drowned toddler, face down on a Turkish beach as his family fled a war that has killed at least half a million people; the black flags of the Islamic State fluttering, and […]

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Turkey Halts Syrian Incursion, Hours After Deal with Russia

AKCAKALE, Turkey — The Turkish Army halted its incursion into a Kurdish-run area of northern Syria on Wednesday morning, after a deal between the Turkish and Russian governments promised that Kurdish fighters would retreat from the Turkish-Syrian border. In a statement, the Turkish defense ministry said it would not advance beyond an area of roughly […]

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Trump’s Syria Trifecta: A Win for Putin, a Loss for the Kurds and Lots of Uncertainty for Our Allies

On the eve of the Iraq war, in 2003, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain addressed a joint session of Congress about America’s foreign policy mission: “In some small corner of this vast country, out in Nevada or Idaho or these places I’ve never been to but always wanted to go,” said Blair, “there’s a […]

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Erdogan and Putin Meet as Syria Cease-Fire Nears an End

SOCHI, Russia — The leaders of Turkey and Russia were meeting at this Black Sea resort city on Tuesday, an opportunity for both of them to consolidate their gains in Syria in the wake of President Trump’s sudden withdrawal of American troops. The meeting began hours before the end of an American-brokered truce between Turkish […]

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Trapped in Syria, Part II: A Plea to Parliament

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device: Via Apple Podcasts | Via RadioPublic | Via Stitcher Yesterday on “The Daily,” we met Kamalle Dabboussy, who said his daughter had been tricked by her husband into joining the Islamic State. His daughter and three grandchildren are being held in a Syrian detention camp […]

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