Hagel Stepping Down as Defense Chief Under Pressure

New York Times, By Helene Cooper, November 24

Washington – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises…

The officials described […]

Fence-mending in Turkey, Biden commits to ‘transition’ in Syria

McClatchy, By Roy Gutman, November 22

Istanbul — Vice President Joe Biden assured Turkey Saturday that the U.S. plans to strengthen Syrian rebels and ensure a political transition “away from the Assad regime,” but he stopped short of committing to regime change in Damascus demanded by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On a fence-mending trip […]

Group: Death toll of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria tops 900

CNN, By Salma Abdelaziz & Mariano Castillo, November 23

In the two months since the United States and coalition allies first launched airstrikes against ISIS targets inside of Syria, the missions have killed more than 900 people, nearly all militants, a monitoring group said Saturday.

But 52 civilians, including eight children and five women, are […]

Syria conflict: ‘200 air force strikes’ in 36 hours

BBC, October 22

The Syrian military has stepped up air strikes on rebel areas dramatically, carrying out more than 200 in recent days, opposition activists say.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the raids took place mostly in western areas between midnight on Sunday and noon on Tuesday.

The UK-based group said there were […]

Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The Voice of America, By Scott Bobb, October 19

Suruc, Turkey -The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed.

Morning in Suruc, southeastern Turkey. Rojava […]

U.S. airstrikes in Syria are now dwarfing those in Iraq, thanks to the fight for one town

Washington Post, By Dan Lamothe, October 19

The Syrian border town of Kobane is still in danger of falling to the Islamic State, more than a week after the U.S. military began launching airstrikes on militants there regularly. Hundreds of fighters have been killed, the Pentagon’s press secretary said Wednesday, but even more are swarming […]

It’s official: U.S. will build new Syrian rebel force to battle Islamic State

McClatchy, By Hannah Allam, October 15

Washington — John Allen, the retired Marine general in charge of coordinating the U.S.-led coalition’s response to the Islamic State, confirmed Wednesday what Syrian rebel commanders have complained about for months – that the United States is ditching the old Free Syrian Army and building its own local ground […]

U.S.-led air war in Syria is off to a difficult start

Washington Post, By Liz Sly, October 10

Reyhanli, Turkey — The U.S.-led air war in Syria has gotten off to a rocky start, with even the Syrian rebel groups closest to the United States turning against it, U.S. ally Turkey refusing to contribute and the plight of a beleaguered Kurdish town exposing the limitations of […]

Turkish action against IS in Syria ‘unrealistic’

BBC, October 9

Turkey’s foreign minister says it cannot be expected to lead a ground operation against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria on its own.

Mevlut Cavusoglu also called for the creation of a no-fly zone over its border with Syria after talks in Ankara with new Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg.

Turkey is under […]

US launches air strikes on Syria Islamic State militants

(BBC)- The US and allied nations have launched the first air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, the Pentagon has said.

Spokesman Rear Adm John Kirby said fighter and bomber jets and Tomahawk missiles were used in the attack.

The strikes were expected as part of President Barack Obama’s pledge to “degrade and […]

France launches first air strikes on IS in Iraq

BBC, September 19

French jets have carried out their first strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq, the office of President Francois Hollande says.

A statement said planes had attacked an IS depot in north-east Iraq, and there would be more raids in the coming days.

The US has carried out more than 170 […]

A Climate of Unaccountability

They’re back! John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bill Kristol, Dick Cheney – the people who pushed the U.S. into the devastating mistake that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq, have discovered yet another existential threat ready and able to destroy the world. Back then it was Saddam Hussein and his mythical cache of Weapons of Mass […]

Watch and weep

The covert origins of ISIS.

US ‘set to launch air strikes’ on senior Isis terror chiefs in Syria

White House will ‘take action’ against threats as Turkey comes under pressure to halt flow of jihadists across its border

The Observer, By Toby Helm & Martin Chulov, August 23

The United States was said to be considering air strikes aimed at eliminating individual leaders of Islamic State as Turkey came under mounting pressure to […]

Turkey’s Premier Is Proclaimed Winner of Presidential Election

New York Times, By Ceylan Yeginsu & Sebnem Arsu, August 10

Istanbul – Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has led Turkey for more than a decade, is set to become the country’s first popularly elected president, apparently cruising to a victory on Sunday that positioned him to be the dominant political figure here for […]

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