Tag: Syrian Democratic Forces

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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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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ISIS Leader Paid Rival for Protection but Was Betrayed by His Own

The Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was able to hide out in an unlikely part of Syria, the base of a rival group, because he was paying protection money to its members, according to receipts for the payments recovered by researchers. The receipts, typical of the Islamic State’s meticulous bookkeeping, showed that the group […]

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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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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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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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Despite Vow to End ‘Endless Wars,’ Here’s Where About 200,000 Troops Remain

President Trump has repeatedly promised to end what he calls America’s “endless wars,” fulfilling a promise he made during the campaign. No wars have ended, though, and more troops have deployed to the Middle East in recent months than have come home. Mr. Trump is not so much ending wars, as he is moving troops […]

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ISIS Reaps Gains of U.S. Pullout From Syria

American forces and their Kurdish-led partners in Syria had been conducting as many as a dozen counterterrorism missions a day against Islamic State militants, officials said. That has stopped. Those same partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces, had also been quietly releasing some Islamic State prisoners and incorporating them into their ranks, in part as a […]

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U.S. Withdrawal From Syria Gathers Speed, Amid Accusations of Betrayal

QAMISHLI, Syria — A long convoy of United States troops crossed into Iraq from Syria early Monday, accelerating a withdrawal of American forces from northern Syria that set the stage for the Turkish invasion of Kurdish-controlled land. More than 100 American military vehicles left Syrian Kurdish territory in the early hours of the morning, according […]

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Kurds’ Sense of Betrayal Compounded by Empowerment of Unsavory Rivals

DOHUK, Iraq — The United States had encouraged its Kurdish allies to dismantle their defenses in northern Syria, saying it would make it easier to assure Turkey that the Kurds posed no threat. So in recent months, according to three American officials involved, the Kurds blew up tunnels and destroyed trenches, leaving themselves vulnerable as […]

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Assad Forces Surge Forward in Syria as U.S. Pulls Back

DOHUK, Iraq — Syrian government forces streamed into the country’s northeast on Monday, seizing towns where they had not stepped foot in years and filling a vacuum opened up by President Trump’s decision to abandon the United States’ Syrian Kurdish allies. Less than a week after Turkey launched an incursion into northern Syria with Mr. […]

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Who Are the Kurds, and Why Is Turkey Attacking Them in Syria?

The Turkish invasion of Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria has complicated an already chaotic war. What began eight years ago as a series of nonviolent protests against the Syrian government morphed into an international conflict, between dozens of local factions, the Islamic State and several foreign countries. Now, an American ally is attacking a group […]

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Syria Live Updates: Assad’s Forces Move Into Area Hit by Turkey

Here’s what you need to know: Syrian Army joins Kurds in a major power shift. ImageSyrian troops entered Tel Tamer on Monday shortly after the government forged an alliance with Kurdish forces.CreditDelil Souleiman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images The Syrian Army entered the town of Tel Tamer in northeastern Syria, the state news media reported on […]

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Syria Live Updates: Assad’s Army Faces Off With Turkey

ImageSyrian Democratic Forces fighters killed during the Turkish advance in the Syrian town of Qamishli are buried on Saturday.CreditBaderkhan Ahmad/Associated Press Kurds seek help from a surprising new ally: Assad. It has been only a week since President Trump pulled back American forces in Syria and effectively gave Turkey the green light to cross the […]

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The Kurds’ Prisons and Detention Camps for ISIS Members, Explained

WASHINGTON — The escalating chaos in northern Syria as Turkey presses forward with its attack on the United States’ erstwhile Kurdish allies is raising fears about the fate of thousands of Islamic State detainees that the Kurds have been holding in makeshift wartime prisons. When announcing that he had cleared the way for the Turkish […]

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Defense Secretary Announces Withdrawal From Northern Syria

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Sunday that President Trump ordered a withdrawal of American forces from northern Syria, a decision that will effectively cede control of the area to the Syrian government and Russia, and could allow a resurgence of the Islamic State. Mr. Esper, appearing on both Fox News and CBS […]

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Pullback Leaves Green Berets Feeling ‘Ashamed,’ and Kurdish Allies Describing ‘Betrayal’

WASHINGTON — American commandos were working alongside Kurdish forces at an outpost in eastern Syria last year when they were attacked by columns of Syrian government tanks and hundreds of troops, including Russian mercenaries. In the next hours, the Americans threw the Pentagon’s arsenal at them, including B-52 strategic bombers. The attack was stopped. That […]

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Hundreds of ISIS Supporters Flee Detention Amid Turkish Airstrikes

AKCAKALE, Turkey — Hundreds of relatives of Islamic State fighters fled a Kurdish-run detention camp on Sunday morning after Turkish airstrikes hit the surrounding area, an aid group said, deepening the crisis prompted by the Turkish-led invasion of northern Syria. The escapes raised fears that the attempts to contain affiliates of the militant group were […]

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Militants Backed by Turkey Kill at Least Two Prisoners in Syria

Turkish-backed militants fighting in Syria killed at least two Kurdish prisoners on Saturday, one of them lying on the side of the road with his hands bound behind his back, according to a video from the scene and a fighter who said he witnessed the killings. In the video, two of the rebels fire bullets […]

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Goodbye, America. Goodbye, Freedom Man.

The time is the early 1980s. The place is the South China Sea. A sailor aboard the U.S.S. Midway, an aircraft carrier, spots a leaky boat jammed with people fleeing tyranny in Indochina. As he helps bring the desperate refugees to safety, one of them calls out: “Hello, American sailor — Hello, Freedom Man.” It’s […]

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Turmoil Spreads in Kurdish-Held Syria as Turkish Invasion Enters 3rd Day

AKCAKALE, Turkey — A mounting sense of turmoil spread across Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria as a Turkish-led incursion of the region entered its third day on Friday, with tens of thousands of civilians fleeing the bombardment, the abandonment of a major hospital on the front line and warnings of an imminent revival of the […]

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