World Tangled fight in Syria poses new dangers to US

10:47  14 february  2018
10:47  14 february  2018 Source:

US tells anti-IS coalition to 'keep eyes on prize'

  US tells anti-IS coalition to 'keep eyes on prize' <p>The Trump administration, increasingly concerned that the 74-strong coalition it cobbled together to destroy the Islamic State group is losing sight of the prime objective, pressed its partners on Tuesday to refocus their efforts, overcome rivalries and concentrate on the task at hand: the eradication from Iraq and Syria of the extremist group.</p>The alarm U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sounded at a coalition gathering in Kuwait came with the fight at a critical moment and the mission shifting from offensive military operations to stabilization.

‹ › × BEIRUT -- With U . S . goals expanding and Islamic State nearing defeat, the tangled seven-year war in Syria is growing more complicated as Iran gains the upper hand, Turkey launches a military offensive and Israel is "The Syrian and Iranian governments, and Russia, all want us out of Syria ."

With U . S . goals for the region expanding and Islamic State near defeat, the tangled fight in Syria grows more complicated as Iran gains an upper hand, Turkey launches its own separate offensive and Israel becomes "The Syrian and Iranian governments, and Russia, all want us out of Syria ."

US troops sit atop an armoured vehicle on a road near the northern Syrian village of Ain Issa on June 3, 2017.© DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images US troops sit atop an armoured vehicle on a road near the northern Syrian village of Ain Issa on June 3, 2017. BEIRUT — With U.S. goals expanding and Islamic State nearing defeat, the tangled seven-year war in Syria is growing more complicated as Iran gains the upper hand, Turkey launches a military offensive and Israel is increasingly alarmed by threats to its security.

The risk of a dangerous escalation was clear Tuesday with reports that U.S. airstrikes last week had killed several Russian paramilitary contractors during an attack by pro-government forces on a U.S.-backed militia base in eastern Syria that housed a small number of U.S. troops.

Syria 'repels' Israeli surveillance aircraft: state media

  Syria 'repels' Israeli surveillance aircraft: state media Syria on Wednesday repelled Israeli surveillance planes that breached its southern border, state media reported, days after an Israeli fighter jet was downed during raids on the war-torn country. "Syrian air defences have repelled Israeli surveillance planes over Quneitra, forcing them to leave Syrian airspace," the official SANA news agency said.On Saturday, the Syrian government said it fended off an Israeli raid on a military base in the centre of the country, hitting more than one warplane.

00:00 Clerk who got IDs for people in US illegally gets prison. 00:00 Chelsea bomber gets multiple life prison sentences for New York blast that injured 30. With U . S . goals expanding and Islamic State nearing defeat, the tangled seven-year war in Syria is growing more complicated as Iran gains the

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs. U . S .-Russia military cooperation in Syria poses dangers . Jim Michaels, USA TODAY Published 7:01 a.m. ET Sept.


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That comes after a week in which Turkey, Russia, Iran and Israel all lost aircraft to hostile fire in the country's increasingly crowded skies.

What began as a civil war in 2011, with U.S.-backed rebels opposed to President Bashar Assad, is now a free-for-all of outside states trying to divide the spoils and expand influence in the Middle East. Assad remains in power and Washington and its allies appear most at risk of losing out, according to diplomats, aid workers and other analysts.

The U.S. role in Syria has expanded under the Trump administration. Until recently, U.S. policy focused primarily on defeating Islamic State, delivering humanitarian aid to civilian communities after critical battles, supporting diplomatic efforts to end the conflict. The U.S. otherwise sought to avoid a broader entanglement in another Middle East war.

Russia says five of its civilians may have been killed in Syria by U.S.-led forces

  Russia says five of its civilians may have been killed in Syria by U.S.-led forces <p>Five Russian citizens may have been killed in Syria in clashes with U.S.-led coalition forces this month, but they were not Russian military personnel, the Russian foreign ministry said.</p>"Based on preliminary information, as a result of an armed encounter, the reasons for which are now being investigated, we could be talking about the deaths of five people," the spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told a briefing.

The most danger in Syria is coming from US -patronaged foreign terrorists who stick to those groups of armed opposition that are supported by the United States , Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced at a briefing on Nov 14.

"So I'm afraid we have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to us , and unfortunately, the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case Syria war winds down but tangled map belies conflict ahead. AP Exclusive: Uighurs fighting in Syria take aim at China.

Last month, however, the State Department announced that the Pentagon would keep 2,000 U.S. special operations forces, as well as diplomatic teams and others, in the country indefinitely to mop up the remaining militants and to ensure "Iranian influence in Syria is diminished, and Syria's neighbors are secure," a much murkier goal.

"Our military and civilian personnel on the ground in Syria will be targeted, eventually," Robert S. Ford, who left Syria in 2011 as the last U.S. ambassador to serve in Damascus, warned Congress last week. "The Syrian and Iranian governments, and Russia, all want us out of Syria."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on a six-day mission through the Middle East, emphasized the effort to finish off Islamic State, which has been pushed into a sliver of territory in eastern Syria.

The group "remains a very determined enemy and is not yet defeated," Tillerson said Tuesday in Kuwait City at a conference dedicated to raising money for reconstruction in Iraq.

American strike in Syria killed 5 Russians, Moscow says

  American strike in Syria killed 5 Russians, Moscow says The incident marks the first time Russians and Americans have become directly engaged in combat in Syria.Maria Zakharova, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, told a briefing that none of the dead were military personnel. They were killed in a clash in the eastern Deir el-Zour province on Feb. 7.

This is the beginning of a dangerous new phase of the international intervention in the Syrian civil Russia’s warplanes and missiles in Syria could pose a threat to America’s own aircraft flying over “Instead of waiting for them to return home we should help President al-Assad fight them there, in

Clapper also warned that the Syrian conflict had become a “huge magnet” for Islamist extremists, claiming that those elements pose a direct danger to US and its allies, as around 7,000 RT:Does Clapper’s remark on potential biological arsenal open an new diplomatic problem for Syria , similar to

Baghdad estimates it needs $88 billion to rebuild from the widespread destruction left by Islamic State's occupation of cities and towns, and the bitter battle to eject them, which ended in December.

"If communities in Iraq and Syria cannot return to normal life, we risk the return of conditions that allowed (Islamic State) to take and control vast territory," he said.

But Tillerson offered no U.S. funds for the reconstruction, urging other countries to foot the bill instead, a sign of the growing frustration at the White House with the effect of foreign aid.

On Monday, President Donald Trump complained at the White House that U.S. aid expenditures in the Middle East were "a mistake" and were "stupidly" spent, erroneously claiming that the United States had spent $7 trillion in the region since 2001.

U.S. aid is substantial, but far less than that. In the first decade after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States spent $60 billion in what a Pentagon audit report later concluded was a largely failed effort to rebuild the war-torn country.

US and Turkey 'to defuse N Syria crisis'

  US and Turkey 'to defuse N Syria crisis' The threat of military confrontation in northern Syria between the two Nato allies has been brewing.The Nato allies said joint teams would meet straight away to work through their diplomatic differences, including a dispute over the city of Manbij.

Video footage of an alleged German jihadist fighting in Syria , in a wheelchair. And as we 've seen, this [training and radicalisation] might lead to a serious threat when they get back”. The combat training that these new foreign militants receive is extensive.

It is limited geographically, but also not a long-term rebuilding of a destroyed Syria .” The struggle for the US is not to please everyone, but someone. If US forces left immediately after ISIS was routed, their Syrian Kurdish allies who did the fighting would risk encroachment from the nearby Syrian regime or

Yet the urgency of Iraq's condition is just part of the constellation of conflict revolving around Syria.

U.S.-backed Syrian militias continue to fight in eastern Syria, where Islamic State retains a foothold in the Euphrates River Valley, near the border with Iraq.

Turkish military forces have assaulted Afrin, a Syrian enclave near the Turkish border that is controlled by U.S.-backed Kurds. Ankara views the Kurds as an extension of a group that has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey, and has threatened to advance on Manjib, another Kurdish-controlled area where U.S. troops are based.

Israel, in turn, has grown increasingly alarmed about the presence of Iranian forces and allied militias, including the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, in southern Syria near the Israeli-controlled portion of the Golan Heights. Their presence and influence has grown as Assad has become more secure.

On Saturday, Israel launched a series of air strikes in Syria after it detected an Iranian surveillance drone in Israeli airspace, and an Israeli jet was downed in Syria. Israel's security is a U.S. priority, and the danger is that U.S. forces could get dragged into direct conflict with Iranian militias.

With reconstruction of Syria looming, Iraq has served as a dramatic sign of what's to come. It has essentially been bombed back a decade.

Russia to U.S.: Don’t ‘play with fire’ in Syria

  Russia to U.S.: Don’t ‘play with fire’ in Syria Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued a stark warning to the U.S. on Monday for its support of the Kurds in Syria, saying Washington should not "play with fire" in the region."The U.S. should stop playing very dangerous games which could lead to the dismemberment of the Syrian state," Lavrov said at a Middle East Conference in Moscow on Monday, according to Bloomberg.

“Nobody invited them there,” Vasily Nebenzya stated , emphasizing that a hard fought for stability in Syria is being jeopardized by US actions. The Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova affirmed that the US military presence in Syria poses a dangerous threat to the political

During America’s messy occupation of Iraq, militias trained and funded by Iran were able to pose the most sustained military challenge to US troops. Many PMF units are directly under Iran’s control but fought hand in glove with the United States in the campaign against ISIS.

Islamic State's black flags no longer fly over Iraqi towns and villages. But the recapture of the vast territory it once held, especially in the north and west, came at an enormous cost to their residents.

Months of punishing air strikes and door-to-door fighting left neighborhoods in ruins. As the militants withdrew, they destroyed schools, hospitals, bridges, electricity and water systems. The United Nations estimated 40,000 homes were damaged or destroyed just in Mosul, the largest city to fall under Islamic State control.

Residents are dipping into savings, selling family gold or borrowing money to make needed repairs. But the scale of the destruction in sectors that suffered the worst of the fighting is overwhelming.

At a meeting Monday on the sidelines of the Kuwait conference, nongovernmental groups pledged more than $330,000 in aid for Iraq. The country will look to the private sector to foot most of the bill, arguing there are profits to be made in reconstruction.

Iraqi officials sought to reassure potential investors that they are taking serious steps to cut red tape and curb rampant corruption, but convincing them may be a challenge. Just about every country represented has companies that are owed money by the Iraqi government.

"I think it's impressive the government is addressing this honestly and openly," said Lise Grande, the U.N. Development Program's representative in Iraq. But, she added, "I think many investors need to see the track record on these reforms."

The Trump administration and its Western allies have been counting on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to underwrite the long-term reconstruction. But a costly Saudi war in Yemen and a sharp decline in oil prices have limited their interest.

A failure at the Kuwait conference could jeopardize the hard-won successes against Islamic State, experts warn.

The militants have proved adept at exploiting festering grievances among Sunni Arabs against Iraq's Shiite-led government. A failure to rebuild also would play into the hands of Iran, which long has argued to Iraq's leaders that they can't rely on their Western allies.

"If you don't help these areas recover, then you are basically setting yourself up for the next fight," said Joost Hiltermann, the Middle East and North Africa program director at the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank.


(Los Angeles Times staff writer Zavis reported from Beirut and Wilkinson of the Tribune Washington Bureau from Washington, D.C.)

US-led anti-IS coalition acknowledges 10 more civilian deaths .
The US-led coalition fighting the IS group in Syria and Iraq acknowledged Thursday the deaths of another 10 civilians, increasing the overall toll of non-fighters killed to at least 841. The coalition said in a statement that it had completed a review in January of 116 reports of potential civilian casualties from air and artillery strikes, of which all but four were deemed to be duplicates or not credible.These four incidents occurred in Syria between October 2016 and November 2017.In one instance, five civilians were killed during a coalition attack on IS trucks and fuel tankers.


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