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January 14, 2019 2:25 PM Trump threat to Turkey shows U.S. commitment to Kurds, says Pompeo

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA—U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that President Donald Trump’s threat to devastate NATO ally Turkey’s economy if it attacks U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria underscores America’s commitment to its partners. Pompeo said he had yet to speak with Turkish officials or Trump about the president’s tweeted threat and that he assumed 6

January 11, 2019 5:42 PM A Timeline of the US involvement in Syria’s conflict

Summer of 2014: The U.S. administration reveals that several dozen special operations troops had been on the ground in Syria briefly in an effort to rescue foreign hostages taken by the Islamic State group, but did not find them. Sept. 22, 2014: Obama launches a U.S. air campaign against the Islamic State in Syria, one month after launching airstrikes 12

January 11, 2019 1:52 PM The Latest: US withdrawal from Syria so far limited to cargo

Ahmed spoke to The Associated Press Friday hours after an American official said the process of withdrawing American troops from Syria has begun. Russia’s Foreign Ministry says the Americans are not serious about withdrawing from Syria. Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Friday that it appears to Moscow that the U.S. “is looking for a reason 7

January 11, 2019 1:23 PM Iraq: Blast kills 2 in border city rehousing its displaced

BAGHDAD - Iraq’s Health Ministry says two people have been killed in an explosion in a city to which displaced families are being encouraged to return. The ministry said 25 others were wounded in the blast in Al-Qaim, Friday. It did not give further details. Al-Qaim, a city along the border with Syria in Iraq’s western Anbar province, was one of the last cities 5

January 11, 2019 10:13 AM US official says troop withdrawal from Syria has started

BAGHDAD - The U.S.-led military coalition in Syria has begun the process of withdrawing troops from Syria, a U.S. military official said Friday, declining to comment on specific timetables or movements. Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the coalition fighting the Islamic State group, said the U.S. started “the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria 7

January 9, 2019 1:15 PM On his Mideast trip, Pompeo makes unannounced Iraq stop

BAGHDAD—U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Iraq on Wednesday in an unannounced stop on his Mideast tour meant to promote the White House’s hard-line position on Iran. The trip comes amid confusion over conflicting statements by U.S. President Donald Trump and senior U.S. officials about a planned U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria, where Iran is backing 6

December 31, 2018 4:11 PM Russia arrests U.S. citizen on suspicion of spying

MOSCOW—An American citizen has been arrested in Moscow on suspicion of espionage, Russia’s domestic security service, the FSB, said on Monday. “On December 28, staff members of the Russian Federal Security Service detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan in Moscow while on a spy mission,” the FSB said in a statement on its website. No other details were given 10

December 28, 2018 11:06 PM Syria’s Kurds, feeling betrayed by the U.S., ask Assad government for protection

BEIRUT—Feeling betrayed by the United States, its Kurdish allies in Syria asked the Syrian government on Friday to protect them from possible attack by Turkey. The request appeared to help open the way for the forces of President Bashar Assad of Syria, backed by Russia and Iran, to start retaking the Kurdish-held part of the country near Turkey’s border 9

December 26, 2018 8:32 PM Trump visits U.S. troops in Iraq for first trip to a conflict zone

Trump’s unannounced visit on the day after Christmas continues a holiday tradition followed by previous presidents. Vice President Pence visited Afghanistan on Dec. 22, 2017, to address troops and meet with commanders at Bagram Airfield near Kabul. Although Trump has previously addressed U.S. troops stationed overseas, including in Italy, Japan and South 14

December 23, 2018 4:30 PM Turkey masses troops near Kurdish-held Syrian town

On Sunday, the Turkish IHA news agency reported that a convoy of Turkish troops — a commando unit — had been sent into Syria overnight. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the reinforcements were sent to the front line with Manbij, where U.S. troops have been based. The Observatory said 50 vehicles crossed into Syria — carrying troops and equipment 22