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Post by Way2Old4Dis on Tue 01 Oct 2019, 14:18

I'm so sick of the constant tally of the percentage of Americans who do or don't support impeachment. That does not matter one iota. None. Congress has a DUTY to this country. They are our ultimate line of defense against criminals like Individual 1, and when all other measures of executive oversight fail - which they have, and badly - they must act in our interest, whether the majority of us want them to or not.

By the time this is over, so much will be exposed about the ongoing family criminal enterprise operating out of our White House that tRump apologists and enablers just might STFU for once.

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Post by LizzyNY on Tue 01 Oct 2019, 15:34

Way2Old - I wish you were right, but I think too many Republicans have too much invested in drumpf succeeding. They've sold their souls by convincing their constituents to support this criminal. If they turn on him now many in their base will turn on them for making them feel stupid that they were fooled. Bye-bye re-election and political power.

His enablers are STFU because they don't want to commit themselves to opposing drumpf. They've been silent all along. That's how we got where we are today.
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Post by annemarie on Tue 01 Oct 2019, 17:36

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7525231/Trump-demands-identity-whistle-blower-asking-interviewed.html

[size=34]'Why aren't we entitled to interview & learn everything about the Whistleblower?' Donald Trump demands identity of CIA agent who accuses him of abusing power and 'the person who gave false information'[/size]


  • Donald Trump stepped up his demand to know the identity of the whistle-blower 

  • Trump has called on the person to be publicly identified despite legal protects in place to protect against such a thing 

  • 'Why aren’t we entitled to interview & learn everything about the Whistleblower, and also the person who gave all of the false information to him,' Trump tweeted

  • The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 allows whistle-blowers to stay anonymous if they fit into a prescribed category, such as fear for their safety 

  • Trump has argued the whistle-blower's complaint was full of false information 

  • But the transcript of the July 25 call and other reports show the details offered by the whistle-blower about the call were correct 

  • Little is known about the whistle-blower's identity other than it was a CIA officer who has been detailed to the White House and has returned to the agency 


By EMILY GOODIN, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 10:39 EDT, 1 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:39 EDT, 1 October 2019

     




Donald Trump on Tuesday stepped up his demand to know the identity of the whistle-blower who outed his call with the Ukrainian president, asking why he wasn't entitled to 'learn everything' about the person. 
The president has called for the person to be publicly identified despite legal protects in place to protect against such a thing and concerns the person may be in physical danger because of their actions. 
Trump again grumbled about the fact the whistle-blower was not on his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and got in a shot at Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff during his complaint.
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Donald Trump stepped up his demand to know the identity of the whistle-blower
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'So if the so-called “Whistleblower” has all second hand information, and almost everything he has said about my “perfect” call with the Ukrainian President is wrong (much to the embarrassment of Pelosi & Schiff), why aren’t we entitled to interview & learn everything about the Whistleblower, and also the person who gave all of the false information to him,' Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning.

'This is simply about a phone conversation that could not have been nicer, warmer, or better. No pressure at all (as confirmed by Ukrainian Pres.). It is just another Democrat Hoax!,' he added.
Trump has argued the whistle-blower's complaint was full of false information about his conversation with Zelensky despite the transcript of the July 25 call and statements from the White House showing the details offered by the whistle-blower were correct.
Little is known about the whistle-blower's identity other than it was a CIA officer who has been detailed to the White House and the agent, identified as a man, has returned to working at the CIA, the New York Times reported.  
The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 allows whistle-blowers to stay anonymous if they fit into a prescribed category, such as fear for their safety.
Lawyers for the White House whistle-blower have said the person fears just that.  


Numerous officials from government agencies cycle through the White House on 'detail,' lending their expertise to political appointees. The whistle-blower's complaint, which was declassified Thursday, reveals detailed understanding of the competing and rotating factions within in Ukrainian politics.
In addition to pointing to his expertise, the whistle-blower complaint reveals his access to information. 
Although he wasn't on the infamous Ukraine call itself, he was able to obtain information about it, about Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani's outreach to top Ukrainian officials, to information about a cancelled trip by Vice President Mike Pence to Ukraine, and about the president's alleged conditions for meeting with and speaking to the Ukrainian president. 
Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire said during House testimony Thursday that he would protect the whistle-blower from any reprisals, and said his decision to come forward through channels was the 'right thing to do.' 
The president has been on Twitter tirade since Pelosi announced the formal impeachment inquiry into him last week.
He has targeted the whistle-blower, Schiff in particular and Democrats in general, along with the media as he fights the investigation into his actions with Zelensky, whom he urged to investigate Joe Biden and Hunter Biden.   
Trump told reporters on Monday the White House is trying to find out the identity of the whistle-blower.
'We're trying to find out who the whistleblower is who reports things incorrectly,' he said in the Oval Office. 'The statement I made to the president of Ukraine, good man, nice man, knew, was perfect. It was perfect. But the whistleblower blower reported a totally different statement, like the statement was not even made.'
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Rep. Adam Schiff wants the whistle-blower to testify before The House Intelligence Committee and said steps would be taken to protect the person's identity
[size=18]Intelligence chief refuses to deny discussing report with Trump




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Schiff, who wants the whistle-blower to testify before his committee, said the whistle-blower's identity would be protected during the testimony.
'We are taking all the precautions we can to make sure that we allow that testimony to go forward in a way to protect the whistleblower's identity. Because - as you can imagine - with the president issuing threats like we ought to treat these people who expose my wrongdoing as we used to treat traitors and spies and we used to execute traitors and spies, you can imagine the security concerns here,' he said Sunday on ABC's 'This Week.'   
Last week, a lawyer for the whistle-blower said the person fears for their safety in light of the president's criticism. Trump has called the person a spy and has demanded to meet him or her. He's also threatened 'big consequences' against the person.
On Sunday, Trump wrote on Twitter: 'In addition, I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented SECOND & THIRD HAND INFORMATION, but also the person who illegally gave this information, which was largely incorrect, to the “Whistleblower.” Was this person SPYING on the U.S. President? Big Consequences!' 
Andrew Bakaj, the lead attorney for the whistle-blower wrote a letter to acting Director of National Intelligence Director Joseph Maguire expressing concern.  
'The events of the past week have heightened our concerns that our client's identity will be disclosed publicly and that, as a result, our client will be put in harm's way,' he wrote on Saturday. 
Bakaj cited the president's tweet calling for the person to be identified.
'The fact that the President's statement was directed to "the person that gave the Whistleblower the information" does nothing to assuage our concerns for our client's safety,' Bakaj wrote. 
'Unfortunately, we expect this situation to worsen, and to become even more dangerous for our client and any other whistleblowers, as Congress seeks to investigate this matter,' he noted.  
READ THE FULL COMPLAINT  
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[size=34]READ THE WHOLE DECLASSIFIED TRANSCRIPT OF DONALD TRUMP'S CALL WITH UKRAINE'S VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY[/size]


Spelling in this transcript is per the White House 
Declassified by order of the President' September 24, 2019 
MEMORANDUM OF TELEPHONE CONVERSATION 
SUBJECT: Telephone Conversation with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine
PARTICIPANTS: President Zelenskyy of Ukraine 
                                Notetakers: The White House Situation Room 
DATE, TIME AND PLACE: July 25, 2019, 9:03 - 9:33 a.m. EDT Residence
The President: Congratulations on a great victory. We all watched from the United States and you did a terrific job. The way you came from behind,  somebody who wasn't given much of a chance, and you ended up winning easily. It's a fantastic achievement. Congratulations. 
President Zelenskyy: You are absolutely right Mr. President. We did win big and we worked hard for this. We worked a lot but I would like to confess to you that I had an opportunity to learn from you. We used quite a few of your skills and knowledge and were able to use it as an example for our elections - and yes it is true that these were unique elections. We were in a unique situation that we were able to achieve a unique success. I'm able to tell you the following; the first time, you called me to congratulate me when I won my presidential election, and the second time you are now calling me when my party won the parliamentary election. I think I should run more often so you can call me more often and we can talk over the phone more often.
The President: [laughter] That's a very good idea. I think your country is very happy about that. 
President Zelenskyy: Well yes, to tell you the truth, we are trying to work hard because we wanted to drain the swamp here in our country. We brought in many many new people. Not the old politicians, not the typical politicians, because we want to have a new format and a new type of government . You are a great teacher for us and in that.
The President: Well it is very nice of you to say that. I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it's something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she doesn't do anything. A lot of the European countries are the same way so I think it's.something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn't say that it's reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. 
President Zelenskyy: Yes you are absolutely right. Not only 100%, but actually 1000% and I can tell you the following; I did talk to Angela Merkel and I did meet.with her. I also met and talked with Macron and I told them that they are not doing quite as much as they need to be doing on the issues with the sanctions. They are not enforcing the sanctions. They are not working as much as they should work for Ukraine. It turns out that even though logically, the European Union should be our biggest partner but technically the United States is a much bigger partner than the European Union and I'm very grateful to you for that because the United States is doing quite a lot for Ukraine. Much more than the European Union especially when we are talking about sanctions against the Russian Federation. I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps. specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes. 
The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike ... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There- are a lot. of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you are surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it if that's possible. 
President Zelenskyy: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more so. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once  he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. That I can assure you. 
The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine .were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it ... It sounds horrible to me. 
President Zelenskyy: I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all I understand and I'm knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first one. who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.
The President: Well, she' s going to go through some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I'm sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything. Your economy is going to get better and better I predict. You have a lot of assets. It's a great country. I have many Ukrainian friends, their incredible people.
President Zelenskyy: I would like to tell you that I also have quite a few Ukrainian friends that live in the United States. Actually last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York near Central Park and I stayed at the Trump Tower. I will talk to them and I hope to see them again in the future. I also wanted to thank you for your invitation to visit the United States, specifically Washington DC. On ,the other hand, I also wanted to ensure you that we will be very serious about the case and will work on the investigation. As to the economy, there is much potential for our two countries and one of the issues. that is very important for Ukraine is energy independence. I believe we can be very successful and cooperating on energy independence with United States. We are already working on cooperation. We are buying American oil but I am very hopeful for a future meeting. We will have more time and more opportunities to discuss these opportunities and get to know each other better. I would like to thank you very much for your support .
The President: Good. Well, thank you very much and I appreciate that. I will tell Rudy and Attorney General Barr to call. Thank you. Whenever you would like to come to the White House, feel free to call. Give us a date and we'll work that. out. I look forward to seeing you. 
President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much. I would be very happy to come and would be happy to meet with you personally and I get to know you better. I am looking forward to our meeting and I also would like to invite you to visit Ukraine and come to the city of Kyiv which is a beautiful city. We have a beautiful country which would welcome you. On the other hand, I believe that on September 1 we will be in Poland and we can meet in Poland hopefully. After that, it might be a very good idea for you to travel to Ukraine. We can either take my plane and go to Ukraine or we can take your plane, which is probably much better than mine. 
The President: Okay, we can work that out. I look forward to seeing you in Washington and maybe in Poland because I think we are going to be there at that time.
President Zelenskyy: Thank you very much Mr. President. 
The President: Congratulations on a fantastic job you've done. The whole world was watching. I'm not sure it was so much of an upset but congratulations. 

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Post by annemarie on Tue 01 Oct 2019, 17:47

It really boggles the mind how stupid this fool is.

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Post by LizzyNY on Tue 01 Oct 2019, 18:15

What really boggles the mind is that anybody supports him.
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Post by Donnamarie on Tue 01 Oct 2019, 19:18

Yep it’s a question that I don’t know if it will ever be adequately answered. I was shocked that this idiot won the election knowing what we knew at the time. It’s so black and white in my mind. Every day the media asks when will Republicans break with Trump. Who the hell knows. It’s definitely cult like this unswerving support for Trump. As long as the majority of their constituents support Trump most Republican Members of Congress will not budge. They are as scared of them as they are the NRA! It’s shameful. It’s embarrassing for our country. And they are all complicit in Trump’s abuse of power. I hope Republican Members of Congress pay the price for their culpability. I hope people don’t forget in a couple of years. I’m not optimistic.

It doesn’t matter if the Senate votes to impeach or not. The House is doing the right thing. It’s about the Constitution, not Trump, and upholding the rule of law.
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Post by party animal - not! on Tue 01 Oct 2019, 19:45

Very true, Donnamarie.

My own theory is that some people who own shares will not rock the boat unduly. They're busy making money from all the economic rewards Obama put in place!

But things are mounting up now - and I love this tweet from Louise Mensch about Pompeo

https://twitter.com/LouiseMensch/status/1179050000086646785

Who was it who said Trump will not go quietly...?

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Post by annemarie on Tue 01 Oct 2019, 21:06

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7525083/Donald-Trump-CONGRATULATES-China-70-years-Communist-Party-rule.html

[size=34]Donald Trump CONGRATULATES China on 70 years of Communist Party rule on day police officer is filmed shooting 18-year old protester amid violent clashes in Hong Kong and GOP lawmakers warn: 'It's not a day for celebration'[/size]


  • A demonstrator was shot Tuesday as protest in Hong Kong continued and the city was on lock-down

  • Trump congratulated President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people on twitter - after the footage was posted

  • Trump has thrust the U.S. and China into a bitter trade war that has rattled markets

  • The U.S. backed the nationalists during China's communist revolution, then established full diplomatic relations with Communist under President Nixon 

  • Republican lawmakers were sharply critical of China but did not name Trump; Fox News political analyst Brit Hume called Trump's tweet 'gross'

  • Sen. Tom Cotton called out 'a ghoulish 70 years of Chinese Communist Party control' and Rep. Liz Cheney: 'This is not a day for celebration' 


By GEOFF EARLE, DEPUTY U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and BILLIE THOMSON FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 10:01 EDT, 1 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:06 EDT, 1 October 2019


President Donald Trump congratulated Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people on the 70th anniversary of Communist rule Tuesday - on the day police in Hong Kong shot a protester in a dramatic escalation of violence there.
The president's congratulations came in a tweet posted after the news that a riot control officer shot the 18-year-old protester in the chest during pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong. 
Other Republicans, including Liz Cheney, the party's third most senior member of the House, criticized China as it marked its anniversary and offered veiled rebukes to Trump for the tone of his tweet, while a Fox News analyst called Trump's tweet 'gross.'
The tweet was issued after footage posted by The Hong Kong University Students' Union showed a police officer drawing the gun and shooting a male activist at close range as the protester beat the officer with a baton.   

The day featured the most extensive clashes between protests and police since protests began four months ago as China marked the anniversary of the declaration of the current Communist government in 1949.
A policeman was also filmed shouting at onlookers, demanding they throw Molotov cocktails at anti-government 'rioter' protesters.
And in Beijing, China showed off its military might with a massive parade of 15,000 troops, new drones, and ICBMs capable of hitting the U.S. - another cause of concern for Republicans.
[size=10][size=18]Shocking footage shows Hong Kong protestor shot by police




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Trump issued his 'congratulations' on the anniversary of the PRC
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Longtime Fox News political analyst Brit Hume responded to Trump's tweet, writing: 'This is gross'
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A picture shows the injured activist being given first aid before being taken to Princess Margaret Hospital
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The wounded activist is seen being taken to hospital. He is said to be in critical condition after being shot in the chest
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A riot police officer in Hong Kong is pictures shooting an 18-year old protester in the chest
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A pro-democracy protester walks in front of a burning barricade during clashes with police in Wan Chai on October 01, 2019 in Hong Kong, China
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An anti-government protester reacts from tear gas during a demonstration on China's National Day, in Wong Tai Sin, Hong Kong, China October 1, 2019
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A pro-democracy protester runs from police as they arrest protesters during clashes in Wan Chai on October 01, 2019 in Hong Kong, China
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Police arrest a protester in the Wanchai area of Hong Kong on October 1, 2019, as the city observes the National Day holiday to mark the 70th anniversary of communist China's founding
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A protester throws a gasoline bomb in the Wanchai area of Hong Kong on October 1, 2019


Trump has regularly signaled personal respect for President Xi, praising their relationship, even as the two sides have failed to find an end to the trade war. Xi in 2018 was able to remove term limits on his office an effectively become president for life.
Back in July, he praised Xi's handling of the protests even after protests had left dozens injured hours earlier.
'I'm not involved in it very much but I think President Xi of China has acted responsibly, very responsibly,' Trump said when asked about the clashes last month. 'They've been out there protesting for a long time.' 
Trump and his negotiators regularly complain that China allows for the stealing of intellectual property of U.S. businesses, while admonishing its aggressive military posture in the South China Sea. 
Some fellow Republicans took a pointedly different tack in acknowledging the anniversary, a pivotal moment that allowed China to break free from years of subjugation by great powers, but also heralded famine, and crackdown on individual freedoms.  
Modern China has become an economic powerhouse that is communist in name only while still maintaining the political structures set up after the revolution.
Ben Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska, said: 'Today Chinese tyrants celebrated 70 years of communist oppression with their typically brutal symbolism: by sending a police officer to shoot a pro-democracy protester at point-blank range.
'The freedom-seekers in Hong Kong mourn this anniversary, and the American people stand with them against those who deny their God-given dignity.'
Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas was also critical and said: 'To see the price of the PRC's anniversary celebration, look no further than what's happening in Hong Kong: a ceaseless war against those who wish to live in freedom.
'From the Great Leap Forward to the Cultural Revolution to the camps in Xinjiang today, it has been a ghoulish 70 years of Chinese Communist Party control.' 
Longtime Fox News anchor Brit Hume responded with a scathing retweet of the president. 'This is gross. Celebrating a brutal dictatorship on its survival,' he wrote.  
Cheney, the Republican from Wyoming and the GOP Conference chair, as well as the daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, issued a searing statement along with Wisconsin GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher.


It did not mention Trump's tweet but was clear in its criticism. 
'This is not a day for celebration. Rather, it is an opportunity to remember the victims, past and present, of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP),' the lawmakers said in a statement.
'Since its founding, the People's Republic of China has deprived its citizens of their fundamental human rights and human dignity. 
'From the tens of millions who starved to death during Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward, to the students who stared down tanks in Tiananmen Square, to the millions of Uighurs who have languished in concentration camps, and now to the courageous people of Hong Kong, the CCP's appalling record of repression is clear,' they wrote.
'Today the CCP continues to wage a campaign of aggression at home and abroad. Chinese citizens are every day subject to a nightmarish totalitarian dystopia with the PRC's ever-expanding surveillance state and social credit system. 
'The Chinese government uses the same totalitarian tactics beyond its borders, bullying its neighbors and seeking to undermine sovereignty throughout the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
'On the anniversary of the PRC, the U.S. stands with the foremost victims of the Chinese Communist Party: Chinese citizens themselves. 
'It is for their future, as well as that of their fellow victims in Xinjiang, in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and beyond, that we rededicate ourselves to ensuring that the Chinese Communist Party is left on the ash heap of history,' they wrote. 
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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!  President Donald Trump offered 'congratulations' to China on the 70th anniversary of Communist Party Rule
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GREAT LEAP: Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, with former presidents Jiang Zemin, right, and Hu Jintao, left, attend the celebration to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of Communist China in Beijing, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. Xi was effectively made president for life when he was able to remove term limits
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The parade in Beijing featured DF-100 missiles
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Chinese female soldiers shout as they march in formation during a parade to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, at Tiananmen Square in 1949, on October 1, 2019 in Beijing, China






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Also unveiled during the parade was the Dongfeng 17 hypersonic missile, an intercontinental-rage weapon which releases its warhead in low-earth orbit. The warhead then travels at hypersonic speeds to its target and is capable of changing target mid-air, which Beijing claims makes it impossible to counter. Washington believes it can also be tipped with a nuclear warhead  
U.S. leaders have taken flack in the past while trying to acknowledge China's desire for respect and legitimacy while minimizing the potential for political blowback at home.
Republicans ridiculed former President Barack Obama when he bowed upon greeting Chinese President Hu Jintao. 
In Beijing, there was no mention by name of the United States or Trump as Xi oversaw a massive military parade which included new nuclear weapons which can reach anywhere in the U.S. in 30 minutes.
The display was presided over by Xi, wearing a grey jacket in echoes of Mao Zedong. Standing in an open-topped car, he watched the show from the Gate of Heavenly Peace, from where Mao proclaimed the founding of the modern nation in 1949.
The military parade was China's first large-scale display of arms since 2015 and was used to showcase the leaps that its military - which has the second-largest budget in the world behind the US - has made since then.
Included in the display was a new intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting anywhere in America within 30 minutes, a hypersonic nuclear missile that is theoretically capable of evading all known missile defence systems, along with new stealth drones and aircraft.
'No force can ever shake the status of China, or stop the Chinese people and nation from marching forward,' Xi said as he inspected rows of vehicles, troops and gleaming missiles.
The Dongfeng 41 intercontinental ballistic missile, which is believed to be one of the most powerful nuclear weapons on the planet, was the centerpiece.
Analysts believe the missile is capable of ranging anywhere in the US and can hit targets within just 30 minutes of being fired with 10 nuclear warheads that are capable of striking multiple targets simultaneously.
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President Barack Obama (L) took flak when he bowed while greeting Chinese President Hu Jintao at the the Nuclear Security Summit at the Washington Convention Center April 12, 2010 in Washingto
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Chairman Mao Tse Tung announces the founding of the People's Republic of China. October 1, 1949. Peking (Beijing), China. Critics of the regime pointed to the deprivations caused by the Great Leap forward, the use of the gulag, and the horrors of the Cultural Revolution amid the celebration
Also unveiled for the first time was the Dongfeng-17, a hypersonic nuclear missile that is also though to carry multiple warheads, fly faster than conventional weapons to evade defense systems, and at a lower altitude to avoid detection before impact.
Helicopters flew in a '70' formation over the city as troops goosestepped across Tiananmen Square in what state media described as the country's biggest ever military parade.
He also called for the 'peaceful development' of relations with Taiwan - the self-governed island that Beijing considers a renegade province - but said China should 'continue to fight for the full reunification of the country.'
U.S. policy is for Taiwan to remain independent, in line with majority opinion there. 
Xi, whose military modernization program has rattled nerves around the region, then descended to the street and inspected row upon row of military hardware and immaculately presented troops.
Riding past in a black limousine, Xi bellowed; 'Hello comrades, hard-working comrades!'
The massed ranks of soldiers shouted back: 'Follow the Party! Fight to win! Forge exemplary conduct!'   
 


[size=34]'The world's most powerful nuke' that can hit the US in 30 minutes, hypersonic drones and 'carrier killer' missiles: China shows off bristling array of new military technology during 70th anniversary parade[/size]


China unveiled a bristling array of new military technology during the parade to mark the founding of the Communist nation 70 years ago.
Nearly 30 types of weapon - including tanks,  missiles, fighter drones and unmanned submarines - were unveiled for the first time. 
Here, DailyMail.com examines Beijing's new arsenal...
 

Missiles
DF-41 
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China's latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is said to be capable of ranging up to 9,300 miles - putting the entirety of America within its reach.
The missile is said to carry up to 10 nuclear warheads which can be independently manoeuvred, meaning it can strike 10 targets simultaneously.
In order to evade defence systems it also carries decoys and can hit the US within 30 minutes of launch, limiting the amount of time defence systems have to respond.
DF-41, which took 10 years to develop, is 'the pillar of Beijing's strategic nuclear power', an anchor of the parade said.
DF, the short form of Dongfeng, means 'east wind' in Chinese.  
DF-17
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Another intercontinental ballistic missile, this one is fitted with a warhead that can travel at hypersonic speeds (see the flared nose-cone, above).
The warhead is also designed to fly lower than traditional ICBMs, making it much harder for radar defence systems to detect before it strikes.
China claims the weapon is capable of penetrating all known missile defences, including those of the US, and can destroy targets at medium or close range with high precision. 
DF-17 means 'a death sentence' to all aircraft carriers within its range, which is said to be up to 1,553 miles, according to previous reports. 
While Beijing said the weapon was 'conventional' - meaning non-nuclear - during the parade, Washington believes it can be tipped with a nuclear warhead.
DF-100 
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A hypersonic intermediate-range cruise missile that is designed as a 'carrier killer' to be used against aircraft carriers and other large ships.
The weapon has a range of up to 1,800 miles meaning it would have been banned under the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which America and Russia recently tore up, sparking fears of a new Cold War arms race.
The US said it was the development of weapons such as this by China - which was never a signatory to the treaty - which prompted it to rip up the deal, as it needs to counter the threat.
The cruise missile can carry out secretive missions by flying at a super low range, according to Chinese media. 
It is said to be capable of striking targets in sea and on land. 
JL-2
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China's second-generation submarine-launched ballistic missile, the weapon known as 'giant wave' has been active for some time but has never been seen at a parade before.
Like its ICBM cousins, the SLBM is designed to deliver multiple nuclear warheads, but because it is mounted on a submarine it can fill in gaps in the range of ground-launched missiles.
The ability of a submarine to surface, fire its missiles and then disappear again also makes it much more difficult to counter the weapon. 
YJ-18 and YJ-18A
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YJ-18 and YJ-18A are Beijing's latest anti-ship cruise missiles. 
Being paraded for the first time, the two missiles can be launched from submarines as well as ships.
They have been described as China's 'secret weapons' for naval warfare. 
Both missiles can be launched vertically from vessels and travel as fast as three times the speed of sound, it is claimed.
YJ is the acronym for 'eagle strike' in Chinese. 
YJ-12B
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An upgraded version of YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missile, YJ-12B boasts a maximum range of 310 miles and could be stationed in remote islands, such as those in the South China Sea. 
China claims that the missile can sink medium to large vessels during surprise attacks and will server as a cornerstone for the country's naval defence system. 
HQ-9B and HQ-22
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HQ-9B long-range ground-to-air missile and HQ-22 mid-to-long-range ground-to-air missile are capable of intercepting various weapons in complex electromagnetic environment.
They are described by China as its 'strong shields' and can help the nation safeguard its vast airspace.   
Also known as the 'red flag' missiles, both models appeared in a military parade in 2017 to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army. 
DF-31 launcher
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The DF-31 is an older Chinese ICBM, and the predecessor to the DF-41 that was unveiled Tuesday. 
While the existence of the nuke is nothing new, it appeared on the back of a new launcher which appears to be capable of going off-road.
That would make potential launch sites much harder for an enemy to identify and prevent them from blowing the weapons up before they could be used. 
 

Aircraft
W-8 hypersonic reconnaissance drone 
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A reconnaissance drone that can range as far as the western Pacific and is designed to acquire targets for China's new missiles.
The drone would likely be used to seek out aircraft carriers which could then be destroyed using the DF-21 or new DF-100 anti-ship missiles. 
Its speed - faster than that of sound - and streamlined body are designed to make it near-invisible to radar and difficult to hit, even if it can be detected.
G-11 Sharp Sword long-range stealth attack drone 
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A long-range attack drone that is designed for stealth, it is thought the craft can be armed with missiles and laser-guided bombs.
In the event of a conflict the drone could be be used offensively to sneak into enemy territory and destroy strategic targets, or defensively to extend the range of China's new anti-ship weapons.
J-20 stealth fighter 
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China's fifth-generation stealth fighter that is designed to rival America's F-35 Lightning II and Russia's Su-57.
Armed with air-to-air missiles to take out enemy jets, the J-20 is an 'air superiority' fighter - aimed at establishing dominance over the battlefield.
Once it has cleared the skies of other fighters, the J-20 is then capable of striking ground targets with a range of bombs 
H-6N bomber 
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The H-6 is China's mainstay long-range bomber, but Tuesday's parade saw a new variant unveiled, the H-6N.
One of the new features, which was showed off in the skies over Beijing, is the ability to refuel mid-flight, extending the range of China's jets.
The other feature is the ability to carry some of China's latest missiles including the DF-21, extending the range of the country's defences. 
 

Tanks 
Type 15 
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The Type 15 main battle tank is a modified version of the Type 99, designed to be smaller and lighter, and therefore more manoeuvrable on the battlefield.
It boasts a 105mm gun capable of firing armour-piercing shells and guided missiles.
The tank is deigned primarily for overcoming sea obstacles and navigating coastal regions, which could earmark it for use on disputed island in the South China Sea.

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Post by annemarie on Wed 02 Oct 2019, 11:17

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7526347/Maxine-Waters-says-Donald-Trump-deserves-SOLITARY-confinement.html

[size=34]'Impeachment is too good!' Maxine Waters says Donald Trump deserves to be in SOLITARY confinement as she accuses him of 'dog whistling to his white supremacists to create fear'[/size]


  • Maxine Waters raged against Donald Trump on Twitter Tuesday, arguing 'impeachment is too good' for the president 

  • 'Impeachment is not good enough for Trump. He needs to be imprisoned & placed in solitary confinement,' she wrote on Twitter 

  • She also attacked Attorney General William Barr and Rudy Giuliani

  • Waters and Trump have long battled in the public arena over her criticism of his administration and his insults

  • Neither of them are known for mincing words


By EMILY GOODIN, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 15:56 EDT, 1 October 2019 | UPDATED: 18:18 EDT, 1 October 2019



Democratic Representative Maxine Waters raged against Donald Trump on Twitter Tuesday, arguing 'impeachment is too good' for the president and argued he should be in solitary confinement instead. 
'Impeachment is not good enough for Trump. He needs to be imprisoned & placed in solitary confinement,' she tweeted. 
Waters was an early supporter of an impeachment inquiry into Trump and she and the president have long battled in the public arena over her criticism of his administration and his insults.
Neither of them are known for mincing words.  
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Maxine Waters raged against Donald Trump on Twitter Tuesday, arguing 'impeachment is too good' for the president and argued he should be in solitary confinement instead
But Waters unleashed a new round of fury on the president after Trump spent the past week in his own Twitter rant, where he criticized the whistle-blower who revealed details of his call with the president of the Ukraine and attacked Congressman Adam Schiff, who is leading the Democrats' impeachment inquiry. 

Waters, in a string of five tweets, attacked Trump on a number of topics - including his claim Democrats would cause a 'civil war' with their impeachment inquiry and his labeling the whistle-blower a 'spy' - which she called 'mob language' in reference to concerns the whistle-blower will come to physical harm for his actions.
She also brought up allegations of racism against the president, saying he was 'dog whistling to his white supremacists' with his words. 
'Trump is so irresponsible & so hungry for power & control, he would dare imply that a civil war will ensue if he's impeached. He is dog whistling to his white supremacists to create fear & intimidation b/c he knows he is going to be impeached. He knows he deserves impeachment,' Waters wrote.
'I'm calling on the GOP to stop Trump's filthy talk of whistleblowers being spies & using mob language implying they should be killed. Impeachment is not good enough for Trump. He needs to be imprisoned & placed in solitary confinement. But for now, impeachment is the imperative,' the California Democrat added.  


She then went on to attack Attorney General William Barr, who was revealed to have spoken to foreign officials about his investigation into the how Robert Mueller's Russia probe began. 
'AG Barr is the highest law enforcement officer & the worst. He's supposed to be the people’s lawyer, but he’s just Trump’s puppet. He's been caught soliciting foreign countries' help in undermining his FBI & our Intel agencies. He should be Trump’s companion w/impeachment,' Waters noted.
Waters, who, as chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee is one of the six Democratic chairs investigating the president, also attacked Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
'It’s certainly past time for Giuliani's docs/texts to have been subpoenaed by our committees. His brazen lies, outrageous distortions, & attempts to do anything Trump wants him to do have got to be stopped. His unintended revelations will help us solidify Trump's impeachment,' she wrote.
Three House committees subpoenaed documents from Giuliani on Tuesday as part of the impeachment inquiry. 
Giuliani has pushed a theory that Joe Biden, when he was vice president, pressured the Ukrainian government to fire the country's top prosecutor to protect his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma Holdings, accused of corrupt practices.
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Maxine Waters and Donald Trump have long battled in the public arena
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Maxine Waters also attacked Attorney General William Barr and Rudy Giuliani
[size=18]House Democrats subpoena Rudy Giuliani over Ukraine phone call




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Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate that claim - which has not been substantiated - when he spoke to him on July 25. 
The revelation about the president's action led to Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call for a formal impeachment inquiry into him. 
'Trump has corrupted so many members of his admin. The lies, coverups, shaking down foreign countries & undermining our democracy will be recorded as one of the worst periods in the history of our country, all led by a dishonorable con man. Follow the facts, impeachment on the way,' Waters concluded.
Waters and Trump have a history of combat.
In June of last year, at a rally in her Los Angeles House district, Waters encouraged members of the public to confront members of Trump's administration about his policy of separating migrant children from their parents.
At the time, Trump had the controversial policy in place and members of his staff, like then-White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, were hounded at restaurants by opponents. 
'Let's make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere. We've got to get the children connected to their parents,' Waters said at the time.
Trump called her 'crazy' and a 'low IQ person' in his response.  She is also a standard attack line in many of his campaign rallies as he tries to paint her as the face of the Democratic Party.

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Post by LizzyNY on Wed 02 Oct 2019, 14:41

God bless Maxine Waters for telling it like it is and saying what needs to be said.

Isn't there a law against a private citizen acting as an envoy to a foreign power? I thought there was. That's one of the criticisms of Jared Kushner - that he's not a government official so he has no standing to act for the US government. Shouldn't it be the same for Giuliani?
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Post by annemarie on Wed 02 Oct 2019, 18:04

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7527423/Judge-temporarily-blocks-law-aimed-Trumps-tax-returns.html

[size=34]Federal judge BLOCKS California law that would require Trump to release his tax returns to appear on 2020 ballot[/size]


  • A U.S. judge has temporarily blocked a California law aimed at forcing President Donald Trump to release his personal income tax returns 

  • U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. announced last month he would temporarily block California's law

  • He issued a written opinion saying the law likely violates the U.S. Constitution

  • The law requires candidates for president or governor to file copies of their personal income tax returns for the previous five years

  • If candidates refuse to comply, they could not appear on the primary ballot 

  • England wrote that the state's concerns about seeing elected officials' tax returns are 'legitimate and understandable.' 

  • But he said the court's job is to rule on the law's constitutional merits, not whether it is good policy or makes political sense


By ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 20:57 EDT, 1 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:24 EDT, 2 October 2019

     



A U.S. judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a California law aimed at forcing President Donald Trump to release his personal income tax returns in order to appear on the 2020 primary ballot.
U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. issued a written opinion saying the law likely violates the U.S. Constitution. He had announced last month he planned to block the law.
The law requires candidates for president or governor to file copies of their personal income tax returns dating back five years with the California secretary of state's office.
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The California law requires candidates for president or governor to file copies of their personal income tax returns for the previous five years, but a judge has temporarily blocked it
If they refuse, they could not appear on the state's primary ballot. The law would not have applied to general elections.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said he signed the law because California has a 'special responsibility' to hold candidates to high ethical standards. The Trump campaign sued, arguing the law seeks to add another qualification for running for president, something state governments don't have the authority to do.
In his 24-page ruling, Morrison wrote the state's concerns are 'both legitimate and understandable,' highlighting that candidates have offered 'unnecessary and irrelevant excuses for shielding the public from such information.'
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Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said he signed the law because California has a 'special responsibility' to hold candidates to high ethical standards
'It is not the job of the courts, however, to decide whether a tax return disclosure requirement is good policy or makes political sense,' wrote Morrison, who was appointed by former Republican President George W. Bush. 'Instead, it is the court's job to make sure the Constitution wins.'
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said he will appeal the ruling, asserting 'this law is fundamental to preserving and protecting American democracy.'
Morrison said the law violates Trump's First Amendment right of associating with voters who share his political beliefs. He also noted the California Legislature is controlled by Democrats, who passed a law targeting a Republican president.


'The dangerous precedent set by this act, allowing the controlling party in any state's legislature to add substantive requirements as a precondition to qualifying for the state's presidential primary ballot, should concern all candidates alike,' he wrote.
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U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. has temporarily blocked a California law aimed at forcing President Donald Trump to release his personal income tax returns
California Republican Party chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson called the ruling a victory for voters and their ability to vote for the candidate of their choice.
'This decision rightfully stops the Democrats' petty politics and their efforts to disenfranchise millions of California voters and suppress Republican voter turnout,' Patterson said in a news release.
Democratic Sen. Mike McGuire, the author of the law, said 'the judge got it wrong.'
'Some of the brightest constitutional minds in the nation have been very clear that this law will withstand a constitutional test,' he said.
The deadline to file tax returns for California's March 3 presidential primary

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Post by annemarie on Wed 02 Oct 2019, 18:08

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7529219/Giuliani-threatens-sue-congressional-Democrats-worse-McCarthy-tactics.html

[size=34]Rudy Giuliani threatens to SUE Adam Schiff and other Democrats in Congress as he claims their subpoenas are 'worse than McCarthy'[/size]


  • Three Democratic committee chairs demanded Giuliani hand over information by October 15 that he claimed he had on national television

  • They cited his contentious interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo and his brandishing purported text messages during a Fox News interview 

  • Giuliani has said he he would testify only after consulting his client President Trump, citing attorney client privledge

  • Now he says he could sue House Democrats on behalf of himself, Trump and members of the administration for alleged offenses like obstruction of justice 


By FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 09:11 EDT, 2 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:26 EDT, 2 October 2019

     




Rudy Giuliani says he might sue individual members of Congress on behalf of the president and members of his administration - possibly himself - over brass-knuckle tactics he says they're employing in their impeachment investigation.
Giuliani told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that civil rights and constitutional attorneys are advising him to challenge Democrats participating in the probe, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, for interfering with Donald Trump's Article II powers in the Constitution.
'They're doing extraordinary things,' he argued Tuesday evening. 'This is worse than McCarthy. How about a totally illicit impeachment proceeding,' he said minutes later.
He affirmed Wednesday morning in a tweet that a lawsuit is still under consideration on the grounds that Democrats are taking illegal actions to build their case for impeachment.

'We are carefully considering our legal options to seek redress against Congress and individual members, for engaging in an organized effort to exceed their limited powers, under the Constitution, and to trample on the constitutional rights of citizens in an illicit plan carried out by illegal means, to remove the President of the US, on deliberately falsified charges,' he asserted.
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Rudy Giuliani says he might sue individual members of Congress on behalf of the president and members of his administration - possibly himself - over brass knuckle tactics their employing in their impeachment investigation
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Giuliani says he could challenge Democrats participating in the probe, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, for interfering with Donald Trump's presidential powers
Lawmakers are protected from litigation for claims they make on the House floor. Giuliani contends that they're liable for remarks made anywhere outside that venue, like Waters claim that Trump should be put in solitary confinement.
Ingraham warned Giuliani on Tuesday that Trump's inflammatory tweets would also be put under a microscope, if his attorney goes down that legal path.
Giuliani told her he could file suit against Democrats for attempting to violate attorney client privilege, obstruction of justice and other offenses, instead.
'They are interfering with the president in exercising his rights under Article II. The president of the United States has to conduct the foreign policy of the United States. They are calling foreign leaders. They're going to foreign capitals,' he argued.
Three House Democratic committees investigating Trump have also subpoenaed his personal lawyer for documents related to his bid to get Ukraine to look into the former vice president – in part by citing Giuliani's TV interviews and documents he revealed or claimed to have in his position on national television and in tweets.
The House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform panels announced the subpoena Monday as they examine Trump's efforts to have Ukraine investigate political rival Joe Biden and his family. Giuliani assisted in that effort.
The panels cite an appearance on Ingraham's show and Giuliani's contentious prime timer interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN last week, where at one point the former New York City mayor admitted 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Joe Biden.
'In addition to this stark admission, you stated more recently that you are in possession of evidence—in the form of text messages, phone records, and other communications—indicating that you were not acting alone and that other Trump Administration officials may have been involved in this scheme,' the chairmen wrote.
They referenced Giuliani's own claims on Twitter, as well as an appearance on Ingraham's show where he brandished a tablet containing some of his texts to make the case that he wasn't freelancing and had State Department buy-in.
The chairmen are demanding he turn over the documents by October 15. 
[size=10][size=18]House Democrats subpoena Rudy Giuliani over Ukraine phone call




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The Democrats have also requested information from three of Giuliani's associates.
Among them was a letter to Semyon 'Sam' Kislin, a Ukrainian immigrant who served on Giuliani's economic development corporation when he was mayor of New York who also has Trump business ties. 
'Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena, including at the direction or behest of the President or the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House's impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the President,'' three Democratic chairmen wrote. 
They cite 'credible allegations that you acted as an agent of the President in a scheme to advance his personal political interests by abusing the power of the Office of the President.'
The three chairman - Rep. Elijah Cummings of Oversight, Schiff, and Rep. Eliot Engel of Foreign Affairs, cite Giuliani's 'own comments.' He has been a constant presence on Cable TV and other interviews since a news article first revealed that Trump's call with the Ukrainian president was the subject of a whistle-blower complaint. 
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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has coffee with Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, U.S. September 20, 2019. Committees are seeking documents related to his mission to seek information from Ukraine
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President Trump again Monday called his phone call with the President of Ukraine where he urged him to get in touch with Giuliani 'perfect'
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Giuliani has repeatedly pushed unsubstantiated claims that Joe Biden pushed Ukraine to fire a prosecutor to keep it from probing a company tied to his son
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UP TO HERE: 'If (Trump) decides that he wants me to testify of course I'll testify – even though I think Adam Schiff is an illegitimate chairman,' Giuliani said.
Giuliani has been vocally defending Trump from the anonymous whistle-blower's charge that he abused his office by pushing the president of Ukraine to assist his 2020 reelection campaign by investigating Biden.
He has brandished text messages from former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker that he says show he undertook his own efforts in Ukraine at the request of the nation's diplomats. 
Volker suddenly announced his resignation Friday after the House committees subpoenaed him for testimony.
A new subpoena seeks documents from the former New York mayor – it does not at present compel him to testify before congressional panels.
Giuliani gave different answers during an interview Sunday as to whether he would comply, ultimately saying he would leave the decision up to his client.
Trump told DailyMail.com he wouldn't object to Giuliani speaking to Congress. 
But Giuliani suggested Sunday that he would not cooperate with the expected subpoenas.
'I wouldn't cooperate with Adam Schiff. I think Adam Schiff should be removed,' Giuliani said on ABC. 
Host George Stephanopoulos responded, 'So that's your answer? You're not going to cooperate?'
'I didn't say that. I said I will consider it,' Giuliani told him, saying he'd consult his client. 'If (Trump) decides that he wants me to testify of course I'll testify -- even though I think Adam Schiff is an illegitimate chairman.'
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Both Trump and Giuliani have acknowledged the efforts to influence Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Hunter Biden's membership on the board of a Ukrainian gas company at the same time his father was leading the Obama administration's diplomatic dealings with Kyiv. No evidence of wrongdoing by either of the Bidens has been produced.
A secret complaint from the whistle-blower, whose name is not publicly known, detailed a July phone call between Trump and Zelensky in which Trump urged the probe. It also revealed White House efforts to keep the conversation private.
The subpoenas for Giuliani and his associates dropped after Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Senate rules would require him to take up any articles of impeachment against Trump if approved by the House, swatting down claims that the GOP-controlled chamber could dodge the matter entirely.
'I would have no choice but to take it up,' McConnell said on CNBC. But he cautioned, 'How long you're on it is a whole different matter.'
If the House approves articles of impeachment - not introduced at this point - they would be sent to the Senate for trial. McConnell suggested he does not have the 67 votes to change the rules. 
But the Kentucky Republican, the Senate's chief strategist left open what he means by taking up the issue.
[size=18]Giuliani says Secretary of State Pompeo was aware of Ukraine meetings




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SMOKING TABLET: Rudy Giuliani claims he has 15 texts which will show his Ukraine activities were fully coordinated with the State Department
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Rudy Giuliani reiterated previous claims that the State Department asked him to reach out to Ukraine to inquire about Ukrainian investigations, including into Joe and Hunter Biden, in an appearance on Laura Ingraham's show on Fox
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LET'S TALK AGAIN: Giuliani shared his texts with U.S. special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker
Those tricky procedural questions could affect Trump's political future and next year's presidential and congressional election. Democrats have launched a coordinated political, messaging and polling strategy aimed at keeping any backlash in closely divided districts from toppling their House majority.
Polling showed some movement in public sentiment. A one-day NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted Sept. 25 found that about half of Americans - 49% - approve of the House formally starting an impeachment inquiry into Trump.
There remains a stark partisan divide on the issue, with 88% of Democrats approving and 93% of Republicans disapproving of the inquiry. But the findings suggest movement: Earlier polls conducted throughout Trump's presidency have consistently found a majority saying he should not be impeached.

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Post by annemarie on Thu 03 Oct 2019, 21:57

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7534463/House-Republican-leader-demands-Nancy-Pelosi-SUSPEND-impeachment-inquiry.html




[size=34]House Republican leader demands Nancy Pelosi SUSPEND impeachment inquiry until Congress agrees on 'transparent and equitable rules' accusing her of failing to 'be fair' to Donald Trump[/size]




  • House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy demanded Speaker Nancy Pelosi suspend the Democrats' impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump 

  • He wants Congress to agree on 'transparent and equitable rules' 

  • He accused Pelosi of being unfair to President Trump 

  • Trump gave McCarthy's move his seal of approval and endorsed him for speaker if Republicans win back the House in the 2020 election 

  • Pelosi responded with a letter of her own, pointing out she has the power to launch an investigation without a vote from the full House



By EMILY GOODIN, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 13:32 EDT, 3 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:45 EDT, 3 October 2019


     




House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday demanded Speaker Nancy Pelosi suspend the Democrats' impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump until Congress can agree on 'transparent and equitable rules' in the process.
His offensive move comes as some Republican lawmakers have been grumbling that the White House has not had a concise, planned response to the Democrats' move. 
'I am writing to request you suspend all efforts surrounding your 'impeachment inquiry' until transparent and equitable rules and procedures are established to govern the inquiry,' McCarthy, a loyal Trump ally and prominent defender of the president, wrote. 
Pelosi responded with a letter of her own, pointing out she has the power to launch an investigation without a vote from the full House.  
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House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy demanded Speaker Nancy Pelosi suspend the Democrats' impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump
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Speaker Nancy Pelosi has defended her handling of the impeachment process
[size=10][size=18]Pence defends Trump's call for foreign nations to investigate Biden




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McCarthy did not suggest what rules should be in place for the impeachment process but accused the speaker of being unfair to President Trump.
Trump gave McCarthy's move his seal of approval and endorsed him for speaker if Republicans win back the House in the 2020 election.
'Leader McCarthy, we look forward to you soon becoming Speaker of the House. The Do Nothing Dems don't have a chance!,' he wrote on Twitter with a retweet of McCarthy's letter to the speaker.  
McCarthy outlined 10 questions he asked Pelosi to answer about the impeachment process, including whether the full House would vote on the inquiry, if Republicans would be able to subpoena witnesses during the inquiry, to what extend Trump's attorneys would be involved in questioning witnesses, and who was leading the Democrats' inquiry - Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler or Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. 
Traditionally impeachment inquiries have gone to the Judiciary Committee but Schiff has taken the lead thus far in the process.  
McCarthy argued if she said no to his requests Pelosi 'would be denying the President the bare minimum rights granted to his predecessors.'
Pelosi responded in a letter of her own.
'The existing rules of the House provide House Committees with full authority to conduct investigations for all matters under their jurisdiction, including impeachment investigations. There is no requirement under the Constitution, under House Rules, or House precedent that the whole House vote before proceeding with an impeachment inquiry,' she wrote to McCarthy later Thursday afternoon.






She also got it another shot at President Trump in her response.
'As you know, our Founders were specifically intent on ensuring that foreign entities did not undermine the integrity of our elections. I received your letter this morning shortly after the world witnessed President Trump on national television asking yet another foreign power to interfere in the upcoming 2020 elections,' she noted.
Trump on Thursday said China should open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son - seeking the aid of a foreign power against his political rival: a move similar to the one that prompted Pelosi to launch the impeachment inquiry into him. 
It was the president's request of the Ukrainian president to look into the Hunter Biden's role on a Ukrainian gas company during Biden's time as vice president that led to the impeachment inquiry. 
McCarthy struggled with his defense of Trump in an interview with CBS '60 Minutes' that aired Sunday.
The GOP House leader tried to echo the president's accusations against House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff when he accused interview Scott Pelley of adding a word to the transcript of Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selensky. 
But McCarthy turned out to be wrong.  
'What do you make of this exchange?' Pelley asked. 'President Zelensky says, 'We are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.' And President Trump replies, 'I would like you to do us a favor though.'
'You just added another word,' McCarthy said.
'No, it's in the transcript,' Pelley replied.
'He said, 'I'd like you to do a favor though?' McCarthy asked.
'Yes, it's in the White House transcript,' Pelley said.
Speaker Pelosi, meanwhile, defended her handling of the impeachment process during a press conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
And she claimed it was Republicans who would be worried about going on-the-record with a vote about launching an impeachment inquiry.
'There's no requirement that there be a Floor vote. That's not anything that is excluded and, by the way, there's some Republicans that are very nervous about our bringing that vote to the Floor,' she said. 
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President Trump endorsed McCarthy's move
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[size=18]Pelosi says Trump is 'stooping beneath dignity of Constitution'




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In both the impeachment inquiries of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton the full House formally voted to start such a procedure.
'We don't have to,' Pelosi told ABC News.
Such a vote would be lawmakers on the record, heading into an election year, as to whether or not they support the impeachment inquiry.
That could put some Republicans in a politically tough spot as some have grumbled over the White House's handling of the inquiry and others worry if there are more bombshells to come from the president.
'Who knows what playbook they are on,' one GOP lawmaker told The Hill newspaper of the White House response. '[Trump's] pulling it out of his a** as he goes along.' 
Other Republicans are not as worried.
Another GOP lawmaker told The Hill the party doesn't 'yet have a coherent response. But I think this is currently like every other Trump 'scandal' — it might be embarrassing but it isn't illegal [or] impeachment worthy.'
McCarthy's office has been emailing guidance and talking points to Republican lawmakers to push back against the Democrats' inquiry as no formal 'war room' has yet been established inside the White House. 
Trump needs to hold onto Republican support in Congress.
If the impeachment inquiry reaches the trial level in the Senate, the president cannot lose more than 20 Republicans senators if all Democrats vote in favor of impeachment.  


[size=34]WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? THE VERY COMPLICATED STEPS INVOLVED IN IMPEACHING DONALD TRUMP[/size]


Nancy Pelosi announcing a formal impeachment investigation is only the start of what will be an epic legal and constitutional clash.
Here is how impeachment goes from here.
1) Investigations step up
Six committees are now tasked by Pelosi with investigating Donald Trump with the intention of deciding whether he should be impeached. They are the House Judiciary, Oversight, Intelligence, Ways and Means, Financial Services and Foreign Affairs committees. All of them are now likely to issue a flurry of subpoenas which is certain to lead to a new: 
2) Court battle over subpoenas - which could go to the Supreme Court
The Trump administration has so far resisted subpoenas by claiming executive privilege and is certain to continue to do so. Federal judges are already dealing with litigation over subpoenas for Trump's tax and financial records and many more cases are likely to follow. But the courts have never settled the limits of executive privilege and whether an impeachment inquiry effectively gives Congress more power to overcome it. If Trump fights as hard as he can, it is likely to make its way to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, expect: 
3) More hearings
Democrats know they need to convince the public that Trump needs to be put on trial and the best way to do that is hearings like those which electrified the nation during Watergate. They botched the Mueller hearing but if they produce question and answer sessions with people from Trump-world which cause public outrage, they are on their way to:
4) Drawing up formal articles of impeachment in committee 
The charge sheet for impeachment - the 'articles' - set out what Trump is formally accused of. It has no set format - it can be as long or as short as Congress decides. Three such set of articles have been drawn up - for Andrew Johnson on 1868, Richard Nixon in 1974, and Bill Clinton in 1998. Johnson's were the most extensive at 11, Nixon faced three, and Bill Clinton four but with a series of numbered charges in each article. Once drawn up, the judicial committee votes on them and if approved, sends them to the House for:
5) Full floor vote on impeachment
The constitution says the House needs a simple majority to proceed, but has to vote on each article. Nixon quit before such a vote so Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton are the only precedent. The House passed two out of the three articles against Clinton and all 11 against Johnson. Passing even one article leads to:
6) Senate impeachment trial
Even if the Senate is clearly not in favor of removing the president, it has to stage a trial if the House votes for impeachment. The hearing is in not in front of the full Senate, but 'evidentiary committees' - in theory at least similar to the existing Senate committees. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over it, but the procedures are set by senators. Members of the House prosecute Trump as 'managers,' bringing witnesses and presenting evidence to set out their case against the president. The president can defend himself, or, as Clinton did, use attorneys to cross-examine the witnesses. The committee or committees report to the full Senate. Then it can debate in public or deliberate in private on the guilt or innocence of the president. It holds a single open floor vote which will deliver:
7) The verdict
Impeachment must be by two-thirds of the Senate. Voting for impeachment on any one article is good enough to remove the president from office. There 

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Post by ladybugcngc on Fri 04 Oct 2019, 14:57

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/10/04/ukraine-official-review-probe-tied-joe-bidens-son-hunter/3862796002/

Ukraine to review investigation of company tied to Hunter Biden

Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAYPublished 8:36 a.m. ET Oct. 4, 2019 | Updated 9:37 a.m. ET Oct. 4, 2019


Joe Biden sent a message to President Trump during a campaign event in Nevada. The Democratic presidential hopeful said he's "not going anywhere." USA TODAY

CONNECT[url=https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?url=https%3A//www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2019/10/04/ukraine-official-review-probe-tied-joe-bidens-son-hunter/3862796002/&text=Ukraine to review investigation of company tied to Hunter]TWEET[/url]LINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE
KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s top legal official said Friday that his office would review a probe into the owner of a natural-gas company linked to former Vice President Joe Biden’s son.
Ruslan Ryaboshapka, Ukraine’s general prosecutor, said during a press conference that the review is part of a wider audit of at least 15 high-profile past investigations that were closed or dismissed by his predecessors. 
The announcement Friday comes as an impeachment inquiry over President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine consumes Washington. But Ryaboshapkasaid the decision to review the cases was not specifically related to the time Hunter Biden spent on the board of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest private natural-gas firm, or allegations from the Trump administration that Joe Biden improperly applied pressure on Ukraine to have an investigation into Burisma halted.
The allegations from Trump and his lawyer Rudolph Giuliani have played a key role in the impeachment inquiry into Trump by Democratic lawmakers.
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Ruslan Ryaboshapka, the prosecutor general of Ukraine, attends his press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, on Oct. 4, 2019. (Photo: Stepen Franko, EPA-EFE)


Ukraine:Text messages show U.S. diplomats believed U.S. aid was linked to Trump's demand for Biden probe
Ukraine’s previous general prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, closed a money-laundering and tax-irregularity probe into Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, in 2016. The case did not focus on Hunter Biden. There is also no evidence that Joe Biden acted improperly in applying pressure on Ukraine to dismiss Lutsenko’s predecessor, Viktor Shokin. Shokin was widely and publicly viewed by international organizations such as the European Union and International Monetary Fund, and anti-corruption investigators in Ukraine, as an impediment to reforming the country’s culture of graft.


Ryaboshapka said the audit has been planned since he took office one month ago. Friday’s press conference was his first public one since taking up the role.
Impeachment testimony: Intelligence watchdog to testify about 'credible' whistleblower complaint before key House committee

Vitali Kasko, Ryaboshapha’s deputy, told USA TODAY after the news conference that an affidavit by Shokin highlighted in recent days by Giuliani’s office that claims he was fired in 2016 because he was leading a “wide-ranging corruption investigation” into Burisma had no merit.
“Shokin is not a reliable figure,” he said.
Shokin was not available for comment.
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Post by Donnamarie on Fri 04 Oct 2019, 21:02

Opening up another investigation into Biden is completely bogus! Extortion of a foreign leader by an American President. This is nothing more than another hit job by Trump and his henchmen.
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Post by annemarie on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 10:46

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7545537/US-forces-begin-withdrawal-northern-Syria-make-way-Turkish-INVASION.html

[size=34]US forces begin to withdraw from northern Syria to make way for a Turkish INVASION after Trump agreed to let Erdogan take control – as America warns Kurdish fighters it will not defend them[/size]


  • Turkish government plans to invade Northern Syria and take into custody all ISIS fighters captured over the past two years  

  • White House released a statement Sunday, saying President Trump spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erogdan by telephone to discuss the plans 

  • The US announced it will remove all of its forces from the 'immediate area' 

  • Two observation posts in northern Syria have been evacuated by US troops 

  • 'Unites States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation' 

  • United Nations said it is 'preparing for the worst' from Turkey's Syria operation 

  • Syrian Democratic Forces warned it, 'we will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border'


By KAYLA BRANTLEY FOR DAILYMAIL.COM  and REUTERS and ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 04:25 EDT, 7 October 2019 | UPDATED: 05:34 EDT, 7 October 2019

     
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US forces have started to withdraw from parts of northern Syria to make way for a Turkish invasion in the region after Donald Trump agreed to let Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan launch his long-planned operation.
The pull-back of troops comes hours after the White House announced Ankara would soon move forward with its objective to create a 'safe zone' in northern Syria and that US soldiers will not support or be involved in it.
Speaking after a phone call with President Trump, Erdogan said that the operation could begin at any moment and the UN has said it is 'preparing for the worst' in the region.
The US has already warned Kurdish fighters that they will not defend them from any Turkish attack, an unnamed American official has claimed.

US soldiers have previously worked closely with Kurdish forces in the region in the battle to destroy Islamic State's caliphate. 
There are fears that a Turkish advance in to the area will reverse the work that has been done to drive extremists out.  
A US official said American forces had evacuated two observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn in northeast Syria, along the Turkish border. Other US forces in the region were still in position for now, the official added.  
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The White House released a statement Sunday, saying President Trump spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erogdan by telephone to discuss the plans for Turkey to invade Northern Syria (both leaders pictured in June 2019) 
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US military vehicles traveling down a main road in northeast Syria today. US-backed Kurdish-led forces in Syria said American troops began withdrawing from their positions along Turkey's border in northeastern Syria
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An abandoned checkpoint was seen in Tel Abyad in northern Syria as US troops evacuated the border town today
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Kurdish-led forces in northeast Syria said today that US forces had withdrawn from areas at the border with Turkey where a threatened Turkish offensive would hurt its war against ISIS and roll back five years of security achievements. 
A video posted by a Kurdish news agency showed a convoy of American armored vehicles apparently heading away from the border area of Tal Abyad. 
Pictures also showed abandoned checkpoints in Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn after US troops evacuated the border towns. 
Erdogan spoke hours after the White House said US forces in northeastern Syria will move aside and clear the way for an expected Turkish assault - essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces in the years-long battle to defeat ISIS.  
In a major shift in US policy, the White House released a statement late on Sunday, saying President Trump spoke with Erogdan by telephone to discuss the plans and the US will remove all of its forces from the 'immediate area'. 
Speaking to reporters in Ankara before departing for a visit to Serbia, Erdogan also said he planned to visit Washington to meet with Trump in the first half of November. 
He said the two leaders would discuss plans for the 'safe zone', and added that he hoped to resolve a dispute over F-35 fighter jets during his visit.
The US informed the commander of the Kurdish-led SDF forces in Syria on Monday morning that US forces will not defend them from Turkish attacks anywhere, according to a source. 
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US military vehicles were seen driving northwards in northern Syria today, ahead of an anticipated Turkish invasion of the region that the Kurds say will overturn five years of achievements in the battle against ISIS
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A US official said American forces had already evacuated two observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn in northeast Syria, along the Turkish border
[size=10][size=18]Turkey sends military reinforcement to its border with Syria




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'Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operating into Northern Syria,' the US statement reads. 
'The Unites States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ''Caliphate,'' will no longer be in the immediate area.' 
The White House also confirmed that Turkey plans to take into custody all ISIS fighters captured over the past two years that European powers have refused to take in. 
'The United States Government has pressed France, Germany, and other European nations, from which many captured ISIS fighters came, to take them back, but they did not want them and refused.'
'The United States will not hold them for what could be many years and great cost to the United States taxpayer. Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area capture over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial ''Caliphate'' by the United States.' 
The Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed force that controls much of the northeast region along Turkey's border, added it 'will not hesitate for a single moment' to defend itself from an expected Turkish invasion. 
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based organisation that reports on the war, said US forces had withdrawn from an area between the towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn.  
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Syrian Kurds gather around a US armored vehicle during a demonstration against Turkish threats next to a US-led international coalition base on the outskirts of Ras al-Ain town in Syria's Hasakeh province near the Turkish yesterday
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The Turkish and US troops start their second joint ground patrol within a planned safe zone in northern Syria along the Syrian-Turkish border, in Sanliurfa, Turkey, last month
SDF leader, led by the Kurdish YPG militia, said the Turkish invasion 'will have a great negative impact' on the war against ISIS.
It said in a statement: 'Despite our efforts to avoid any military escalation with Turkey and the flexibility we have shown to move forward in establishing a mechanism for the security of the borders ...the American forces did not fulfill their commitments and withdrew their forces from the border areas with Turkey.
'Turkey is now preparing for an invasion operation of northern and eastern Syria,' added the SDF, which with US backing in recent years defeated Islamic State, across much of northern and eastern Syria.
The Turkish military operation 'will have a great negative impact on our war against the Daesh organisation and will destroy everything that has been achieved with regards to stability during the last years,' it added.
Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted Saturday, before the announcement was made: 'We will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border to DEFEND ourselves and our people.' 
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'The Unites States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation,' the statement reads
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Fighters from a new border security force under the command of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dance during a graduation ceremony in Hasaka, northeastern Syria, last January 
Panos Moumtzis, the UN's humanitarian coordinator for Syria, speaking in Geneva, stressed there were 'a lot of unanswered questions' about the consequences of the operation.
He added: 'We don't know what is going to happen...we are preparing for the worst.' 
More than 1,000 US troops are currently deployed in northeastern Syria but will not longer be present during the invasions. 
The US soldiers work closely with the Kurdish YPG, which leads the Syrian Democratic Forces in the regions.  
On Monday, the US-backed SDF said such an operation would reverse years of successful Kurdish-led operations to defeat the Islamic State group and allow some of its surviving leaders to come out of hiding.
It also warned that a Turkish invasion would pose a threat to SDF-run prisons and informal settlements housing thousands of IS jihadists and their families.
Ankara wants to push the US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces from its border, saying that the group is a 'terrorist' offshoot of Kurdish insurgents in Turkey.
The Turkish military has twice launched offensives in Syria - against IS in 2016, and in 2018 against the People's Protection Units (YPG), the backbone of the SDF.
Long marginalised, Syria's Kurds have - beyond heavy campaigns against IS - essentially stayed out of the country's eight-year civil war, instead setting up their own institutions in areas under their control.
In the areas of Ras al-Ayn, Tal Abyad and Kobane, all bordering Turkey, Kurdish forces have dug trenches and tunnels in preparation for a Turkish offensive, the Observatory said Sunday. 
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The official Twitter account of the Syrian Democratic Forces said Sunday night that it had fulfilled its commitment to the U.S. proposal for the 'security mechanism' along the border and says that any Turkish attack will 'reverse the successful effort to defeat #ISIS
The US announcement will likely be seen as a long-feared abandonment of Kurdish allies who bore the brunt of the US-led campaign against the Islamic State militants.
The official Twitter account of the Syrian Democratic Forces said Sunday night that it had fulfilled its commitment to the US proposal for the 'security mechanism' along the border and says that any Turkish attack will 'reverse the successful effort to defeat #ISIS.


'But Erdogan's threats are aimed to change the security mechanism into a mechanism of death, displace our people & change the stable & secure region into a zone of conflict and permanent war,' the SDF tweeted, warning that a Turkish military invasion would make Syria 'a permanent conflict area'.   
For months, Turkish Erdogan has threatened to launch the military assault against Kurdish forces across the border he views as a threat to his country. 
Republicans and Democrats have warned that allowing the Turkish attack could lead to a massacre of the Kurds, sending a troubling message to American allies across the globe. 
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Muslim convert Jack Letts, from Oxfordshire, has been pictured gaunt and lying on the floor in an overcrowded jail in northern Syria
One of the ISIS soldiers expected to be moved to Turkey custody is British Jihadi Jack Letts, who was pictured just days ago. 
Dubbed 'Jihadi Jack', he was filmed among dozens of fellow Islamic State (IS) prisoners, also in orange jumpsuits, who have been captured by Kurdish militia.
The 23-year-old Muslim convert from Oxfordshire, who declared himself an 'enemy of Britain' and fled to the Middle East to join IS, has been stripped of his UK citizenship.  
His mother Sally Lane pleaded for Letts to be allowed to return and face trial in this country so that he can be rescued from the conditions in which he is being held, but the Home Office dismissed her plea.
Seeing the first images of Letts in his cell since he was taken prisoner two years ago, she told The Mail on Sunday: 'It's heart-rending to see your son like this and to feel so completely powerless.
'We have been pressing the Red Cross for months to tell us what the jail is really like, but they always refuse, saying that to release this information would jeopardize their access.'

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Post by annemarie on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 10:50

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7544765/Mick-Mulvaney-believes-fury-Dems-impeachment-Trump-propel-win-45-states.html

[size=34]White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney believes fury at Dems impeachment of Trump will 'propel him to win 45 states in the 2020 election' - while the president 'doesn't want the investigation' on his resume[/size]


  • White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney believes a Trump impeachment could win him the presidency by a 45-state landslide

  • Sources tell Axios that Mulvaney predicts that the longer the impeachment process drags on, the better it is politically for Trump

  • They say Mulvaney was not joking or even exaggerating in his remarks

  • Meanwhile, insiders claim President Trump worries impeachment will be a stain on his legacy


By KAYLA BRANTLEY FOR DAILYMAIL.COM 
PUBLISHED: 22:36 EDT, 6 October 2019 | UPDATED: 02:43 EDT, 7 October 2019

     





White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney believes a Trump impeachment could win him the presidency by a 45-state landslide. 
Sources tell Axios that in recent conversation with colleagues, including last week's senior staff meeting, Mulvaney predicted that the longer the impeachment process drags on, the better it is politically for Donald Trump. 
And while political analysts and pollsters would laugh at a 45-state landslide prediction, sources say Mulvaney was not joking or even exaggerating in his remarks. 
Meanwhile, insiders claim President Trump worries impeachment will be a stain on his legacy. 
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White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney believes a Trump impeachment could win him the presidency by a 45-state landslide
Sources say that Trump has expressed that he doesn't want history books to record him as an impeached president, but they say he feels an impeachment will help him get reelected in 2020. 

The sources tell Axios that they were on a phone call Friday with House Republicans and Trump when the president called impeachment a 'bad thing to have on your resume'. 
After making the resume remark, Trump added, 'But it's going to make Kevin speaker,' referring to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. 
The president believes it could help him get re-elected and win back the House.
However, one source who spoke to Trump within the last 10 days, says he appears resistant to the prediction of impeachment and thought he could stop Nancy Pelosi from getting votes to impeach him. 
But another person who spoke to Trump recently said the president 'was not in denial' and understands that the House will most likely impeach him, though the outcome is still a toss up. 



Meanwhile, insiders claim President Trump worries impeachment will be a stain on his legacy



Meanwhile, Mulvaney did not specify which five states he believed Trump would lose and sources claim Mulvaney's ideals are from the consensus around Trump. 
Those closest to the president see the perils of impeachment which they believe could pose large political risks if the inquiry moves forward. 
And polling data proves that Mulvaney may be making these bold remarks based off instinct more so than hard data, as no polls have supported his prediction.  
However, Trump and Mulvaney confer every day, and his view could be one that could 'bolster how Trump views the political dynamics of impeachment,' according to Axios.  
This is especially true considering Trump's campaign is raising record-breaking sums of money by telling supporters to donate to Trump to fight the Democrats trying to impeach him. 
Donald Trump's reelection campaign raised $5million in just 24 hours after Nancy Pelosi launched an impeachment inquiry against him.

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Post by annemarie on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 10:56

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7544549/Trump-allies-pressed-Ukraine-gas-firm.html

[size=34]Trump allies and business associates of Giuliani tried to force Ukraine's state-run gas company to give lucrative contracts to the president’s supporters at the same time the lawyer was pressuring the country to investigate Joe Biden and his son[/size]


  • The businessmen and Republican donors touted connections to Giuliani and Trump while trying to install new management at Ukraine’s state gas company 

  • Plan was to reportedly steer contracts to companies controlled by Trump allies

  • The effort to install a friendlier management team at the helm of Naftogaz would soon be taken up with Ukraine’s new president by Energy Secretary Rick Perry

  • Affair shows how those with ties to Trump were pursuing deals in Ukraine that went far beyond advancing the president’s personal political interests 

  • It also raises questions about whether Trump allies were mixing business and politics just as Republicans were calling for a probe of Biden and his son Hunter 


By ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 19:32 EDT, 6 October 2019 | UPDATED: 23:57 EDT, 6 October 2019

     





Donald Trump allies and business associates of Rudy Giuliani tried to force Ukraine's state-run gas company to give lucrative contracts to the president’s supporters, according to new reports.
Just as Giuliani was pressuring the country to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, a group of individuals with ties to POTUS and his personal lawyer were also active in the former Soviet republic.
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two Soviet-born Florida real estate entrepreneurs, and an oil magnate from Boca Raton, Florida, named Harry Sargeant III are said to have touted connections to both men while trying to install new management at the top of Ukraine's massive state gas company. 
Their plan was to then steer lucrative contracts to companies controlled by Trump allies, according to two people with knowledge of their plans.

But their scheme hit a snag when Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lost his reelection bid to Volodymyr Zelenskiy, whose conversation with Trump about former Vice President Joe Biden is now at the center of the House impeachment inquiry of Trump.
The effort to install a friendlier management team at the helm of the gas company, Naftogaz, would soon be taken up with Ukraine's new president by U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, whose slate of candidates included a fellow Texan who is one of Perry's past political donors.
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Lev Parnas, pictured with his wife Svetlana, is Soviet-born Florida real estate entrepreneur
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President Donald Trump standing with Lev Parnas, at the White House in May last year.  Parnas has made hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations to Republicans, helping him gain access to top levels of the Republican Party, including meetings with Trump 
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U.S. businessman Harry Sargeant III, his wife and corporate entities tied to the family have donated at least $1.2 million to Republican campaigns and PACs over the last 20 years. In early March, Fruman, Parnas and Sargeant were touting a plan to replace Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev with another senior executive at the company, Andrew Favorov
It is unclear if Perry's attempts to replace board members at Naftogaz were coordinated with the Giuliani allies pushing for a similar outcome, and no one has alleged that there is criminal activity in any of these efforts. 
It is also unclear what role, if any, Giuliani had in helping his clients push to get gas sales agreements with the state-owned company.
But the affair shows how those with ties to Trump and his administration were pursuing business deals in Ukraine that went far beyond advancing the president's personal political interests. 
It also raises questions about whether Trump allies were mixing business and politics just as Republicans were calling for a probe of Biden and his son Hunter, who served five years on the board of another Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.
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This Facebook screen shot shows from left, Donald Trump, Jr., Tommy Hicks, Jr., Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, in May 2018. At the center of the Naftogaz plan were the Soviet-born Florida real estate entrepreneurs Parnas and Fruman, and oil magnate Harry Sargeant III
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President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has coffee with Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas at the Trump International Hotel in Washington in Septmber 
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Donald Trump pictured with Igor Fruman. Parnas and Fruman have made hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations to Republicans, including $325,000 to a Trump-allied political action committee in 2018
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Energy Secretary Rick Perry, pictured, pushed Ukraine's president earlier in 2019 to replace members of a key supervisory board at Naftogaz, a massive state-owned petroleum company
Trump told a group of Republican lawmakers Friday that it had been Perry who had prompted the phone call in which Trump asked Zelenskiy for a 'favor' regarding Biden. 
Axios cited a source saying the president claimed Perry had asked him to make the call to discuss 'something about an LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant'. 
Four people with direct knowledge of the attempts to influence Naftogaz also say Perry played a key role in the effort.   


A spokeswoman for the U.S. Energy Department said Perry, a former Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate, was not advancing anyone's personal interests. 
But the Trump and Giuliani allies driving the attempt to change the senior management at Naftogazt, however, appear to have had inside knowledge of the U.S. government's plans in Ukraine. 
For example, they told people that Trump would replace the U.S. ambassador there months before she was actually recalled to Washington, according to three of the individuals interviewed by the Associated Press. One of the individuals said he was so concerned by the whole affair that he reported it to a U.S. Embassy official in Ukraine months ago.
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During the same period they were pursuing the Naftogaz deal, Parnas and Fruman were coordinating with Giuliani to set up meetings with Ukrainian government officials and push for an investigation of the Bidens. Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is left. President Donald Trump is right

[size=34]WHO ARE THE THREE MEN AT THE CENTER OF THE NAFTOGAZ PLAN?[/size]


At the center of the Naftogaz plan, according to three individuals familiar with the details, were three such businessmen: two Soviet-born Florida real estate entrepreneurs, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, and an oil magnate from Boca Raton, Florida, named Harry Sargeant III.
Parnas and Fruman have made hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations to Republicans, including $325,000 to a Trump-allied political action committee in 2018. 
This helped the relatively unknown entrepreneurs gain access to top levels of the Republican Party - including meetings with Trump at the White House and Mar-a-Lago.
The two have also faced lawsuits from disgruntled investors over unpaid debts. During the same period they were pursuing the Naftogaz deal, the two were coordinating with Giuliani to set up meetings with Ukrainian government officials and push for an investigation of the Bidens.
Sargeant, his wife and corporate entities tied to the family have donated at least $1.2 million to Republican campaigns and PACs over the last 20 years, including $100,000 in June to the Trump Victory Fund, according to federal and state campaign finance records. 
He has also served as finance chair of the Florida state GOP, and gave nearly $14,000 to Giuliani's failed 2008 presidential campaign. 



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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, left, lost his reelection bid to Volodymyr Zelenskiy, right
The Naftogaz supervisory board is supposed to be selected by the Ukrainian president's Cabinet in consultation with international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the United States and the European Union. 
It must be approved by the Ukrainian Cabinet. Ukrainian officials perceived Perry's push to swap out the board as circumventing that established process, according to the person in the room.
U.S. Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said Perry had consistently called for the modernization of Ukraine's business and energy sector in an effort to create an environment that will incentivize Western companies to do business there. She said Perry delivered that same message in the May meeting with Zelenskiy.
'What he did not do is advocate for the business interests of any one individual or company,' Hynes said Saturday. 'That is fiction being pushed by those who are disingenuously seeking to advance a nefarious narrative that does not exist.'

[size=34]TIMELINE OF A PLAN TO INSTALL NEW MANAGEMENT AT NAFTOGAZ[/size]


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Trump and Giuliani allies were driving an attempt to change the senior management at Naftogazt, pictured 

EARLY MARCH
 Fruman, Parnas and Sargeant tout a plan to replace Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev with another senior executive at the company, Andrew Favorov, according to sources. 
The three approached Favorov while the Ukrainian executive was attending an energy industry conference in Texas. 
Parnas and Fruman told him they had flown in from Florida on a private jet to recruit him to be their partner in a new venture to export up to 100 tanker shipments a year of U.S. liquefied gas into Ukraine, where Naftogaz is the largest distributor, according to two people briefed on the details.
Sargeant told Favorov that he regularly meets with Trump at Mar-a-Lago and that the gas-sales plan had the president's full support, according to the two people who said Favorov recounted the discussion to them.
These conversations were recounted to AP by Dale W. Perry, an American who is a former business partner of Favorov. 
He told AP in an interview that Favorov described the meeting to him soon after it happened and that Favorov perceived it to be a shakedown. Perry, who is no relation to the energy secretary, is the managing partner of Energy Resources of Ukraine, which currently has business agreements to import natural gas and electricity to Ukraine.
A second person who spoke on condition of anonymity also confirmed to the AP that Favorov had recounted details of the Houston meeting to him.
According to Dale Perry and the other person, Favorov said Parnas told him Trump planned to remove U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and replace her with someone more open to aiding their business interests.
Dale Perry told the AP he was so concerned about the efforts to change the management at Naftogaz and to get rid of Yovanovitch that he reported what he had heard to Suriya Jayanti, a State Department foreign service officer stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv who focuses on the energy industry.
He also wrote a detailed memo about Favorov's account, dated April 12, which was shared with another current State Department official. Perry recently provided a copy of the April memo to AP.
Jayanti declined to provide comment. Favorov also declined to comment.
MARCH 24
Giuliani and Parnas gathered at the Trump International Hotel in Washington with Healy E. Baumgardner, a former Trump campaign adviser who once served as deputy communications director for Giuliani's presidential campaign and as a communications official during the George W. Bush administration.
She is now listed as the CEO of 45 Energy Group, a Houston-based energy company whose website describes it as a 'government relations, public affairs and business development practice group'.
This was a couple of weeks after the Houston meeting with Favorov, the Naftogaz executive. Giuliani, Parnas and Baumgardner were there to make a business pitch involving gas deals in the former Soviet bloc to a potential investor.
This time, according to Giuliani, the deals that were discussed involved Uzbekistan, not Ukraine.
'I have not pursued a deal in the Ukraine. I don't know about a deal in the Ukraine. I would not do a deal in the Ukraine now, obviously,' said Giuliani, 'There is absolutely no proof that I did it, because I didn't do it.'
During this meeting, Parnas again repeated that Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador in Kyiv, would soon be replaced, according to a person with direct knowledge of the gathering. She was removed two months later.
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In early March, Fruman, Parnas and Sargeant were touting a plan to replace Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev, left, with another senior executive at the company, Andrew Favorov, right, according to sources 

MAY 
Rick Perry traveled to Kyiv to serve as the senior U.S. government representative at the inauguration of the county's new president.
In a private meeting with Zelenskiy, Perry pressed the Ukrainian president to fire members of the Naftogaz advisory board. Attendees left the meeting with the impression that Perry wanted to replace the American representative, Amos Hochstein, a former diplomat and energy representative who served in the Obama administration, with someone 'reputable in Republican circles,' according to someone who was in the room.
A second meeting during the trip, at a Kyiv hotel, included Ukrainian officials and energy sector people. There, Perry made clear that the Trump administration wanted to see the entire Naftogaz supervisory board replaced, according to a person who attended both meetings. 
Perry again referenced the list of advisers that he had given Zelenskiy, and it was widely interpreted that he wanted Robert Bleyzer, a Ukrainian-American businessman from Texas, to join the newly formed board, the person said. Also on the list was Robert Bensh, another Texan who frequently works in Ukraine, the Energy Department confirmed. 
Gordon D. Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt D. Volker, then the State Department's special envoy to Ukraine, were also in the room, according to photographs reviewed by AP. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of retaliation, said he was floored by the American requests because the person had always viewed the U.S. government 'as having a higher ethical standard.' 
SEPTEMBER 30
As part of their impeachment inquiry, House Democrats subpoena Giuliani for documents and communications related to dozens of people, including Favorov, Parnas, Fruman and Baumgardner's 45 Energy Group.
Baumgardner issued a written statement, saying: 'While I won't comment on business discussions, I will say this: this political assault on private business by the Democrats in Congress is complete harassment and an invasion of privacy that should scare the hell out of every American business owner.'
Sargeant did not respond to a voice message left at a number listed for him at an address in Boca Raton.
OCTOBER 4
Giuliani acknowledged Friday that he was among those pushing the president to replace the ambassador, a career diplomat with a history of fighting corruption.
'The ambassador to Ukraine was replaced,' he said. 'I did play a role in that.'
But Giuliani refused to discuss the details of his business dealings, or whether he helped his associates in their push to forge gas sales contracts with the Ukrainian company. He did describe Sergeant as a friend and referred to Parnas and Fruman as his clients in a tweet in May. 
John Dowd, a former Trump attorney who now represents Parnas and Fruman, said it was actually the Naftogaz executives who approached his clients about making a deal. He says they then met with Rick Perry to get the Energy Department on board.
'The people from the company solicited my clients because Igor is in the gas business, and they asked them, and they flew to Washington and they solicited,' Dowd said. 'They sat down and talked about it. And then it was presented to Secretary Perry to see if they could get it together.
'It wasn't a shakedown; it was an attempt to do legitimate business that didn't work out.'  



Hynes said the Ukrainian government had requested U.S. recommendations to advise the country on energy matters, and Perry provided those recommendations. She confirmed a Ukrainian-American businessman Robert Bleyzer was on the list. 
Bleyzer, whose company is based in Houston, did not respond on Saturday to a voicemail seeking comment. Bensh also did not respond to a phone message.
As a former Texas governor, Perry has always had close ties to the oil and gas industry. He appointed Bleyzer to a two-year term on a state technologies fund board in 2009. The following year, records show Bleyzer donated $20,000 to Perry's reelection campaign.
Zelenskiy's office declined to comment on Saturday.
In an interview Friday with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Perry said that 'as God as my witness' he never discussed Biden or his son in meetings with Ukrainian or U.S. officials, including Trump or Giuliani.
'This has been a very intense, a very focused push to get Ukraine to clean up the corruption,' Perry said in the interview. 'I can't go in good faith and tell a U.S. company, go and invest here, go and be involved if the corruption is ongoing.'
He did confirm he had had a conversation with Giuliani by phone, but a spokeswoman for the energy secretary declined to say when that call was or whether the two had discussed Naftogaz.

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Post by annemarie on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 18:27

[size=34]Donald Trump threatens to destroy the Turkish economy if they test his 'great and unmatched wisdom' as his Republican critics accuse him of abandoning Kurds and 'leaving them to die' as Turks prepare for Syria invasion after sudden troop pullout[/size]


  • Turkish government plans to invade Northern Syria and take into custody all ISIS fighters captured over the past two years

  • White House released a statement Sunday saying Trump spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by telephone to discuss the plans 

  • U.S. announced it will remove all of its forces from the 'immediate area'

  • President Trump tweeted his rationale on Monday morning, saying he was acting to withdraw America from an 'endless war' that doesn't serve U.S. interests

  • Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham fired back, insisting the move will be disastrous for Kurds who depend on the U.S. for military help 

  • 'The biggest lie being told by the administration [is] that ISIS is defeated,' Graham said on 'Fox & Friends' 

  • Nikki Haley, Marco Rubio and a Fox News host questioned Trumps judgment; Hillary Clinton blasted him, contradicting herself while she ran the State Dept. 

  • Syrian forces warned: 'We will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border'


By DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR  and CHRIS DYER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and WIRES
PUBLISHED: 09:07 EDT, 7 October 2019 UPDATED: 13:01 EDT, 7 October 2019






Donald Trump's Republican allies condemned his decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria on Monday, calling it a dangerous move that will hurt American interests and could doom hundreds of thousands of Kurds to a Turkish genocide.
The president responded by warning the Turks not to test his 'great and unmatched wisdom' and threatening to 'destroy' the country's economy if they did anything 'off limits' - an apparent reference to the possibility of a Turkish invasion of Kurdish territory in Syria.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Trump's closest friends in Congress, blasted him in a tweet, calling the move 'a stain on America's honor' and 'a disaster in the making'
'The biggest lie being told by the administration [is] that ISIS is defeated,' Graham said on 'Fox & Friends,' adding: 'The caliphate is destroyed but there are thousands of fighters over there. And no, the caliphate would not have been destroyed without the Kurds.'

'To say to the American people that ISIS has been destroyed in Syria is not true,' he insisted. Others weighing in included Nikki Haley and Marco Rubio.
The president's announcement sent shockwaves through the government, with U.S. officials telling Fox News that top officials at the Defense Department were 'completely blindsided' and 'shocked' by the order. 
By morning's end he was mounting a full-throated defense on Twitter, saying his decision would disadvantage Russia and China, and emphasizing that he could order troops to return on short notice. 
But Trump's sudden decision to wash his hands of the troubled region left his political allies anxious.
'The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake,' former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted. 
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Donald Trump issued a stern defense on Monday of his decision to withdraw American forces from parts of northern Syria, a move that will make way for a Turkish invasion in the region and likely doom the Kurdish fighters who the U.S. has been aiding for years
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The president insisted in social media posts that Turkey must take responsibility for ISIS captives that the U.S. has been holding, and warked that he could crush Turkey's economy if the nation did 'anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits'
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South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Trump's closest allies in Congress, blasted him: 'The biggest lie being told by the administration [is] that ISIS is defeated
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Graham quickly challenged Trump's great and unmatched wisdom,' taunting him about being 'unwise' by leaving the Kurds to die and letting ISIS get off the mat
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An American soldier sits atop an armored vehicle during a demonstration by Syrian Kurds against Turkish threats next to a base for the US-led international coalition on the outskirts of Ras al-Ain town in Syria's Hasakeh province on Sunday, before U.S. forces started pulling back from Turkish border areas
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Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, tweeted that Trump's move could trigger a broader Middle East war
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Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, a Trump appointee in that job, said that 'leaving [Kurds] to die is a big mistake'
'If reports about US retreat in #Syria are accurate,' Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said in a tweet, 'the Trump administration has made a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria.'
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on 'Fox & Friends' that 'I want to make sure we keep our word for those who fight with us and help us,' adding that, 'If you make a commitment and somebody is fighting with you. America should keep their word.'
One of the show’s hosts, Brian Kilmeade, asked McCarthy to try to intervene and 'call the president before it’s too late.' 
Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and failed 2016 presidential candidate, blasted Trump.
'Let us be clear: The president has sided with authoritarian leaders of Turkey and Russia over our loyal allies and America’s own interests,' Clinton tweeted. 'His decision is a sickening betrayal both of the Kurds and his oath of office.'
Her own State Department, however, tweeted on her behalf in 2012 that President Tayyip Erdogan and #Turkey were 'strong stalwarts on behalf of the Syrian people.' 
Trump issued stern defense after stern defense of his decision on Monday, a move that will make way for a Turkish invasion in the region and endanger the Kurdish fighters who the U.S. has been aiding for years.
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan announced the launch of his long-planned offensive on Monday. Trump dug in his heels after announcing the troop withdrawal. 
'[I]f Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!),' he boasted. 
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Turkish-backed Syrian fighters gathered near the Syrian-Turkish border north of Aleppo on Monday as U.S. forces in northern Syria started pulling back from areas along the Turkish border ahead of a feared military invasion that Kurdish forces say would spark a jihadist resurgence
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Sen. Graham tweeted that the president's move 'will be a stain on America's honor' and 'is a disaster in the making'
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President Trump played defense on Monday, pushing back against his critics by saying China and Russia will be unhappy with the result and emphasizing that the U.S. military can return to Syria at any time
'They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!' 
Trump had tweeted earlier that 'I was elected on getting out of these ridiculous endless wars, where our great Military functions as a policing operation to the benefit of people who don’t even like the USA.'
'The two most unhappy countries at this move are Russia & China, because they love seeing us bogged down, watching over a quagmire, & spending big dollars to do so. When I took over, our Military was totally depleted. Now it is stronger than ever before. The endless and ridiculous wars are ENDING! We will be focused on the big picture, knowing we can always go back & BLAST!' 
Trump had in the early morning justified his decision in a five-part 247-word tweetstorm, framing it as part of a larger policy of pulling U.S. troops out of 'ridiculous Endless Wars' and insisting that the ISIS caliphate is now '100%' defeated.
'WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN, the U.S. president wrote in allcaps.
He fumed at European allies' refusal to accept the repatriation of their citizens who U.S. forces have captured as fighters for the ISIS terror army.
And he appeared unmoved by international concerns that a power vacuum will favor an ISIS resurgence and a Kurdish slaughter. 
[size=10][size=18]US forces withdraw from northern Syria to make way for Turkey




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Graham blasted Trump on Monday. 'The biggest lie being told by the administration [is] that ISIS is defeated,' Graham said on 'Fox & Friends.'
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Trump made his case for bugging out of Syria in a series of tweets that appeared to please no one on Monday morning
The move also left United Nations and European leaders aghast over fears of ethnic cleansing. 
The UN warned Turkey not to allow a civilian massacre on the scale of the Bosnian war after the U.S. announced it would step aside and allow Erogdan to move his troops across the Syrian border.
Fears of chaos in refugee camps and Kurdish-controlled prisons followed.
Bosnian Serb troops slaughtered 8,000 Muslim men and boys in 1995 at Srebrenica during the Bosnian civil war.
UN officials said they were 'preparing for the worst,' where it was feared any new offensive from Ankara would lead to high civilian casualties and lead to mass displacement.  
The move marks a major shift in U.S. policy, and effectively abandons the Kurds, who were Washington's main ally in the years-old battle against ISIS.   
Trump later defended his administration's decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria, saying 'the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out.'
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U.S. military vehicles travelling down a main road in northeast Syria. U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces in Syria said American troops began withdrawing from their positions along Turkey's border in northeastern Syria
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An abandoned checkpoint was seen in Tel Abyad in northern Syria as U.S. troops evacuated the border town on Monday
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The White House released a statement Sunday, saying President Trump spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erogdan by telephone to discuss the plans for Turkey to invade Northern Syria (both leaders pictured in June 2019) 
He said it was too costly to keep supporting U.S.-allied Kurdish-led forces in the region fighting the Islamic State.
'The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades,' Trump said in a series of tweets. Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out.' 
Civilians must be spared in any Turkish military operation in northeast Syria, where the United Nations hopes that mass displacement and Srebrenica-like killings can be prevented, a senior UN aid official said.
It was feared the departure of the U.S. from the volatile border region could leave Turkey free to crush the Kurds, who hoped to forge their own state in the aftermath of the defeat of ISIS.
U.S. soldiers previously worked closely with Kurdish forces of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the YPG militia, in the battle to destroy Islamic State's caliphate. 
But Turkey considers the YPG to be a terrorist group and has long threatened to launch an assault on the Kurds as Ankara sees the group's growing power along its border as a threat to its security. 

[size=34]HOW THE U.S. IS INVOLVED IN SYRIA'S VERY COMPLICATED TAPESTRY OF WAR[/size]

How long has the U.S. been involved in Syria?
When Syria descended into civil war in 2011, a string of different rebel groups emerged. At first the U.S. supported the anti-Assad regime rebels with covert cash and training but by 2014, ISIS became the biggest single rebel group. U.S. forces started targeting ISIS in 2014 when the Islamic extremists suddenly seized vast swathes of Syrian and Iraqi territory. 
Congress voted for open support of the non-ISIS rebels, and the U.S. started supplying arms to the Kurdish YPG which was fighting ISIS in Kobani, a border town with Turkey – and started airstrikes, along with UK and French fighter-bombers, on other ISIS targets in September. The efforts were named Operation Inherent Resolve. 
In 2014, special forces were covertly deployed to help guide airstrikes and train anti-ISIS forces, as well as capture or kill ISIS leaders. By March 2017 regular troops, including Marines, were on the ground. They were part of the battle for Raqqa, the ISIS de facto capital, alongside hundreds of special forces, assisting the principal U.S. ally, the Syrian Defense Force, or SDF.
The SDF is the ethnically Kurdish anti-Assad and anti-ISIS army, and includes the YPG which the U.S. had first assisted in 2014. With the fall of Raqqa in October 2017, ISIS was in retreat and the next 12 months saw it head for a total loss of territory.
What do ground forces do now?
In November 2018, then defense secretary Jim Mattis ordered U.S. troops to conduct a new mission – preventing skirmishes between Kurdish and Turkish-backed forces in northern Syria close to the Turkish border. The next month Donald Trump suddenly ordered all 2,000 troops out but the decision was watered down and the mission of ground troops became focused on a combination of stabilizing the north of the country and mopping up ISIS remnants. 
Stabilizing the north meant setting up a buffer zone between Turkish-backed anti-Assad forces and Kurdish anti-Assad forces who had engaged in skirmishes close to the Turkish border - but also keeping a close watch on huge camps under the control of the Kurdish SDF which are holding captured ISIS fighters, 10,000 from the Middle East and 1,500 who are believed to be European citizens and seen as the most dangerous of all.
Where are the U.S. forces?
The conventional troops are along a thin strip of the northern border with Turkey, in what is currently Kurdish-held territory. From there they monitor ISIS prisoner camps as well as mount regular patrols to keep the peace between Turkish-backed and Kurdish forces. Special forces’ locations are less certain but appear to be predominantly in the north of the country
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The area inhabited by Kurdish people straddles Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia and the area currently controlled by the Kurds crosses over Iraq and Syria. Turkey fears an independent Kurdish state would threaten its security

What would happen if they pull out?
Critics say that a pull-out would allow Turkey to move into Kurdish-held territory along its border en masse. It would also leave the U.S. blind on what Assad’s regime is doing, with Russian backing, to expand its territorial control. Importantly it would mean not being able to control the more-than 10,000 captured ISIS fighters’ fate – potentially allowing them to go free and restart the ‘caliphate.’
Why would pulling out be bad for Kurds?
Turkey says that the Kurdish forces in Syria are close allies of – or even a front for – the PKK, the Kurdish separatist movement which has fought a long and at times intensive campaign of violence to set up an independent Kurdistan in ethnically Kurdish areas of Turkey. Kurdish desire for self-government goes back to the foundation of modern Turkey in 1919. 
Kurds in Syria and those in Turkey – as well as Iraq – see themselves as one people who are entitled to their own country, across the borders of three current nations: Turkey, Syria and Iraq. 
But the Kurdish forces in Syria are hugely outmatched in number and arms by Turkey, which has a highly-professional and heavily-equipped army backed by a modern air force. The Kurds believe that if the U.S. left, Turkish forces would thrust into Kurdish-held territory and crack down on the area’s independence. They say that Turkey has a long history of repression of Kurdish people in its own territory, and seems unlikely to respect human rights in Syrian territory.
Are there other dangers?
Syria is currently cut up in zones of control, with Bashar al-Assad’s government holding the majority of the country after a brutal civil war backed by Russian planes, armaments and mercenaries. The Kurdish-held and Turkish-backed territories in the north are outside Assad’s control and Russian influence. They are also outside Iranian influence. 
Critics of Trump’s move say that Russia and Iran could act to fill the vacuum left by the departure of U.S. forces whose presence stops both countries trying to gain more control in Syria. Linsey Graham also says that Israel would be at heightened risk from Iranian-backed terrorism. 



The U.S. has already warned Kurdish fighters that they will not defend them from any Turkish attack, an unnamed American official has claimed. 
Russian said Syria's territorial integrity must be preserved, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated hours after the announcement.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said they had been 'stabbed in the back' by a surprise U.S. statement that U.S. forces would not be involved in a Turkish operation in northern Syria, the SDF said.       
Turkey said it will not permit ISIS to return, amid fears its threatened offensive against a Kurdish militia in Syria could bolster the jihadists, a presidential spokesman said. 
Speaking after a phone call with President Trump, Erdogan said that the operation could begin at any moment as Russia warned Syria's territorial integrity must be preserved.
Following the announcement of Washington's abrupt decision to stand aside, the UN has said it is 'preparing for the worst' in the region, fearing an assault could send civilians fleeing.
Kurdish forces warned a Turkish invasion threatened to destabilise the area, causing chaos in SDF-controlled prisons and refugee camps packed with battle-hardened jihadists, meaning ISIS terror cells could reform if a 'security vacuum' formed.  
The pull-back of troops comes hours after the White House announced Ankara would soon move forward with its objective to create a 'safe zone' in northern Syria and that U.S. soldiers will not support or be involved in it. 
But there are fears a Turkish advance in to the volatile region will reverse years of work done to drive extremists out and allow ISIS to regroup.
The US-backed SDF that controls much of the northeast region along Turkey's border, added it 'will not hesitate for a single moment' to defend itself from an expected Turkish invasion and threatened 'all-out war on the entire border'. 
A U.S. official said American forces had evacuated two observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn in northeast Syria, along the Turkish border. Other U.S. forces in the region were still in position for now, the official added. 
Kurdish-led forces in northeast Syria confirmed that U.S. forces had withdrawn from areas at the border with Turkey where a threatened Turkish offensive would hurt its war against ISIS and roll back five years of security achievements. 
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US military vehicles were seen driving northwards in northern Syria, ahead of an anticipated Turkish invasion of the region that the Kurds say will overturn five years of achievements in the battle against ISIS
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A U.S. official said American forces had already evacuated two observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn in northeast Syria, along the Turkish border
A video posted by a Kurdish news agency showed a convoy of American armored vehicles apparently heading away from the border area of Tal Abyad. 
Pictures also showed abandoned checkpoints in Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn after U.S. troops evacuated the border towns. 
Erdogan spoke hours after the White House said U.S. forces in northeastern Syria will move aside and clear the way for an expected Turkish assault - essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces in the years-long battle to defeat ISIS.  
In a major shift in U.S. policy, the White House released a statement late on Sunday, saying President Trump spoke with Erogdan by telephone to discuss the plans and the U.S. will remove all of its forces from the 'immediate area'.  
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President Erdogan during a news conference in Ankara before his departure for Serbia, where he said U.S. troops have started to withdraw from positions in northern Syria
[size=18]Turkey sends military reinforcement to its border with Syria




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The U.S. informed the commander of the Kurdish-led SDF forces in Syria on Monday morning that U.S. forces will not defend them from Turkish attacks anywhere, according to a source.  
'Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operating into Northern Syria,' the U.S. statement reads. 
'The Unites States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ''Caliphate,'' will no longer be in the immediate area.' 
The White House also confirmed that Turkey plans to take into custody all ISIS fighters captured over the past two years that European powers have refused to take in. 
'The United States Government has pressed France, Germany, and other European nations, from which many captured ISIS fighters came, to take them back, but they did not want them and refused.'
'The United States will not hold them for what could be many years and great cost to the United States taxpayer. Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area capture over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial ''Caliphate'' by the United States.'   
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Turkish artillery have been driven to new positions near the border with Syria in Sanliurfa province, Turkey 
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US-backed Kurdish-led forces in Syria said U.S. troops began withdrawing from their positions along Turkey's border in northeastern Syria, ahead of an anticipated Turkish invasion. PIctured (above are Turkish artillery moving into position) 
Ankara said its planned 'safe zone' in northern Syria could allow up to two million Syrian refugees to return.
The safe zone 'will serve two purposes: secure Turkey's borders by eliminating terrorist elements and allow refugees to return to their homes,' Kalin said.
He said Turkey had 'no interest in occupation or changing demographics.'
There are over 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, the highest number in the world, which has become an increasing source of tension in the country. 
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based organisation that reports on the war, said U.S. forces had withdrawn from an area between the towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn. 
The SDF, led by the Kurdish YPG militia, said the Turkish invasion 'will have a great negative impact' on the war against ISIS.
It said in a statement: 'Despite our efforts to avoid any military escalation with Turkey and the flexibility we have shown to move forward in establishing a mechanism for the security of the borders ...the American forces did not fulfill their commitments and withdrew their forces from the border areas with Turkey.
'Turkey is now preparing for an invasion operation of northern and eastern Syria,' added the SDF, which with U.S. backing in recent years defeated Islamic State, across much of northern and eastern Syria.
The Turkish military operation 'will have a great negative impact on our war against the Daesh organisation and will destroy everything that has been achieved with regards to stability during the last years,' it added.
In a statement the SDF said: 'The American forces did not abide by their commitments and withdrew their forces along the border with Turkey.   
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Syrian Kurds gather around a U.S. armoured vehicle during a demonstration against Turkish threats next to a US-led international coalition base on the outskirts of Ras al-Ain town in Syria's Hasakeh province near the Turkish
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U.S. and Turkish military forces conducting the third ground combined joint patrol inside the security mechanism area in northeast Syria last week
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The Turkish and U.S. troops start their second joint ground patrol within a planned safe zone in northern Syria along the Syrian-Turkish border, in Sanliurfa, Turkey, last month
Asked about the White House comments, Erdogan said that both Turkey and the U.S. were working separately to see 'what steps can be taken' so that foreign fighters in prison can be repatriated.
'This is being worked on,' he said. 
More than 1,000 U.S. troops are currently deployed in northeastern Syria but will no longer be present during the invasions. 
The U.S. soldiers work closely with the Kurdish YPG, which leads the Syrian Democratic Forces in the regions. 
Turkey is highly likely to wait until U.S. soldiers have withdrawn from northern Syria before launching an offensive, a senior Turkish official said.
He added that the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the planned area of operations could take one week and that Ankara was highly likely to wait for this in order to avoid 'any accident'. 
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'The Unites States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation,' the statement reads
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Fighters from a new border security force under the command of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dance during a graduation ceremony in Hasaka, northeastern Syria, last January 
[/size]

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Post by LizzyNY on Mon 07 Oct 2019, 21:58

He will do anything to deflect attention away from the impeachment inquiry. We'd all like our troops to come safely home, but not if it means destabilizing civilization. Some of the things he said in this latest barrage of tweets prove that he's delusional, if not certifiable.  "...we can always go back and BLAST!" Is he threatening nuclear war?!

I'm sure it won't be long before the suck-up talking heads find some way to spin this in his favor. IMO he just proved that impeachment can't happen soon enough.
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Post by annemarie on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 00:21

[size=56]Mitch McConnell raises money vowing to stop impeachment[/size]

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By Alex Rogers, CNN

Updated 9:45 AM ET, Fri October 4, 2019


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(CNN)In a new campaign video on Facebook, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell pitches himself as the man who can end the House's impeachment inquiry, a sign of how the chief Republican in the chamber might handle an impeachment trial should the House pass articles charging President Donald Trump with crimes.
"Nancy Pelosi is in the clutches of a left-wing mob," McConnell says directly to a camera. "They've finally convinced her to impeach the President. All of you know your Constitution. The way that impeachment stops is a Senate majority, with me as majority leader."
"But I need your help," he adds. "Please contribute before the deadline."
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her support for an impeachment inquiry into Trump, asserting that Trump used his office for personal political gain in July when he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading Democratic presidential candidate, and his son Hunter.


On September 25, a day after Pelosi's announcement, McConnell said Senate Republicans "support the established proper procedures" for considering a whistleblower's complaint at the center of the House's investigation. McConnell told Politico that the Democrats had "already overplayed their hand" and there was "no quid pro quo" between Trump and Zelensky, according to a White House's summary of the call. Democrats countered that Trump had held up nearly $400 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine not long before asking the Ukrainian leader to work with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on the probe into the Bidens, even though he did not explicitly mention the aid on the call. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
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Beneath the impeachment spin: Growing GOP concern
That same day, the McConnell campaign account unveiled Facebook ads on the topic that consumed Washington, according to Facebook's ad library. "Pelosi is obsessed with impeaching President Trump," said one ad. "And your conservative Senate Majority is the ONLY THING standing in her way." A couple days later, McConnell's video was attached to the ads.
The Democratic-controlled House needs only a simple majority to pass articles of impeachment, while two-thirds of the Senate is required to convict and remove the President from office — an unlikely scenario given its Republican majority.
On September 30, McConnell said on CNBC that he "would have no choice but to" take up articles of impeachment, according to the chamber's rules. "How long you're on it is a whole different matter," McConnell added.
During that chaotic week, from September 25 to October 1, McConnell's official campaign account spent nearly $60,000, almost 43% of its spending on Facebook in the past year and a half, according to Facebook's Ad Library report.
Michael Duncan, a McConnell digital campaign consultant, told CNN that he's been impressed by the return on impeachment-focused advertising.
"Clearly the issue of impeachment has excited our base across the Republican Party," said Duncan.
In September, McConnell's pre-impeachment Facebook ads focused on the majority leader's most enduring accomplishments: confirming scores of conservative judges and pushing through two Supreme Court justices — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — during the Trump presidency. Many of the ads touted a new "I stand with Kavanaugh" bumper sticker.
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GOP again uses nuclear option to speed Trump nominees through Senate
"No issue has motivated Republicans donors like this since Kavanaugh," Duncan said.
Other Republicans campaigns have also seen a surge in fundraising. WinRed, a new GOP donor platform created to counter the Democrats' ActBlue, claimed to have raised over $13.7 million in the six days since Pelosi's impeachment announcement, a large part of its $30 million-plus haul in the past three months.
But Democrats have been encouraged by polling that shows a boost in support for impeachment.
Amy McGrath, a former Marine Corps pilot and potential Democratic opponent for Senate against McConnell in 2020, endorsed the impeachment inquiry last week.

"At the end of a reporting quarter, I am normally focused on making sure we have the resources we need to build an operation to fight for the things Kentuckians care about: health care, the cost of prescription drugs, jobs, and education," said McGrath in a fundraising email sent on Sunday. "But, the events of this past week are a glaring reminder that this campaign isn't all about policy, or even politics. It's also about our country, our institutions, and our very democracy."
"This week's events underscore how important it is to defeat Mitch McConnell and restore democracy," she added.

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Post by annemarie on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 14:22

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7548559/Pat-Robertson-says-Trump-lose-Gods-support-pulls-U-S-forces-Northern-Syria.html

[size=34]Televangelist Pat Robertson slams Donald Trump and says the president may 'lose the mandate of heaven' by pulling U.S. forces out of Northern Syria[/size]


  • Robertson told his followers on Monday that Trump 'is in danger of losing the mandate of Heaven' if he follows through with his announced Syrian pullout

  • The 89-year-old televangelist said he was  'absolutely appalled' the U.S. would break ranks with the Kurds after they helped America defeat ISIS

  • He calling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a 'thug' and criticized Trump for failing to retaliate against Saudi Arabia for killing of Jamal Khashoggi 

  • Robertson joined a chorus of conservative and evangelical critics slamming Trump for his decision to withdraw U.S. military support to Kurdish rebels


By CHAUNCEY ALCORN FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 00:32 EDT, 8 October 2019 | UPDATED: 04:15 EDT, 8 October 2019

     




Televangelist Pat Robertson has joined other conservatives in blasting Donald Trump for his controversial decision to withdraw U.S. military forces from Syria Sunday night.
Trump issued an order to withdraw the United States from Syria on Sunday evening, saying he had spoken with Turkish president  Recep Tayyip Erogdan by telephone to discuss the plans, ahead of a planned Turkish offensive.
The Commander in Chief said the US will remove all of its forces from the 'immediate area', effectively abandoning Kurdish forces who helped defeat ISIS. 
Robertson, who has suggested Trump has divine authority as president, slammed the decision.

'The president of the United States is in danger of losing the mandate of Heaven if he permits this to happen,' the 89-year-old Christian Broadcasting Network founder told his viewers Monday morning.
Scroll down for video 
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Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson, 89, joined a chorus of conservative and evangelical critics slamming Trump for his decision to withdraw U.S. military support to Kurdish rebels on Monday
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The 89-year-old televangelist said he was 'absolutely appalled' the Trump and the U.S. would break ranks with the Kurds after they helped America defeat ISIS
[size=10][size=18]Televangelist Pat Robertson uses monologue to denounce Trump's Syria plan




Loa
[/size][/size]
The Kurds are in charge of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that helped the U.S.-led coalition in the region all-but completely destroy the Islamic State.
SDF Kurds maintain close ties with their militant, anti-Erdogan ethnic allies within Turkey. The Turkish leader sees them as a terror threat and has sworn to defeat them.
The Syrian Democratic Forces have warned that diverting its forces to fight Erdogan could lead to a resurgence of ISIS. 
SDF troops were among the reported 50 to 100 soldiers engaging in joint patrols in northern Syria in compliance with a U.S.-Turkish agreement to maintain a safe zone within the country.
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Trump tweeted his about-face on U.S.-Syrian foreign policy after a Sunday phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pictured)
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Erdogan convinced Trump to let his country deal with Kurdish forces in northern Syria
Trump's decision has effectively nullified that agreement, so those troops will likely be redeployed somewhere else in the Mideast nation, current and former senior U.S. defense officials told NBC News.
Robertson said he was 'absolutely appalled the U.S. would break ranks and abandon the Kurds to Turkey after those forces helped America defeat ISIS, calling Erdogan a 'thug'.
He also criticized Trump for failing to retaliate against Saudi Arabia for the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
The preacher also suggested leaving matters to Erdogan could endanger fellow Christians, an often endangered Mideast minority group,  in the mostly Muslim region.
'He has taken control of his country as a dictator,' Robertson said of the Turkish president. 
'You say, he's an ally of America. It's nonsense. He is in it for himself. And the president who allowed Khashoggi to be cut in pieces without any repercussions whatsoever is now allowing the Christians and the Kurds to be massacred by the Turks.'
Robertson joined a chorus of conservative and evangelical critics slamming Trump for his decision to withdraw U.S. military support from the Kurds.
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Tony Perkins, president of the evangelical advocacy group Focus on the Family tweeted that 'an invasion by Turkey into [northeast] Syria would pose a grave threat to the region's Kurds and Christians.' Former Colorado Gov. Mike Huckabee said abandoning the Kurds would be a 'HUGE mistake' on Trump's part
Tony Perkins, president of the evangelical advocacy group Focus on the Family tweeted that 'an invasion by Turkey into [northeast] Syria would pose a grave threat to the region's Kurds and Christians.'
'[It would endanger] the prospects of true religious freedom in the Middle East,' Perkins Tweeted Saturday afternoon.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom expressed 'deep concern' over Trump's announcement, tweeting that the move presents 'potentially grave implications for safety of religious and ethnic communities.'
Former Colorado Gov. Mike Huckabee said abandoning the Kurds would be a 'HUGE mistake' on Trump's part.
'They've never asked us to do THEIR fighting-just give them tools to defend themselves,' Huckabee tweeted Monday morning. 'They have been faithful allies. We CANNOT abandon them.'  
Ending American involvement in foreign wars was one of Trump's campaign promises, one he shared with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) at the time.
But Sanders and fellow Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren criticized Trump's pullout decision on Twitter Sunday.
'I have long believed the U.S. must responsibly end our military intervention in the Middle East. But Trump's abrupt announcement to withdraw from northern Syria and endorse Turkey's incursion is extremely irresponsible,' Sanders tweeted. 'It is likely to result in more suffering and instability.'

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Post by annemarie on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 14:27

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7550089/Trump-considers-making-staff-lie-detector-tests-president-grows-obsessed-leaks.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ico=taboola_feed

[size=34]Donald Trump considers making his staff take LIE DETECTOR tests as president grows obsessed with leaks coming out of White House[/size]


  • Donald Trump has weighed making his staff take lie detector tests

  • President is concerned about leaks coming from his administration

  • Most leaks involve news stories he does not view favorable to him 

  • 'He wanted to polygraph every employee in the building to unearth who it was who spoke to the press,' an official said

  • Trump has long been paranoid about leaks

  • He has complained of 'snakes' in the White House 

  • He has brought in people to try to weed out the leakers 


By EMILY GOODIN, U.S. POLITCAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 08:48 EDT, 8 October 2019 | UPDATED: 08:57 EDT, 8 October 2019

     



Donald Trump has weighed making his staff take lie detector tests as he has become obsessed with leaks coming out of his White House, it was revealed on Tuesday.
The president and his team have complained about leaks before, particularly when it paints his administration in an unflattering light - such as details of Trump's calls with foreign leaders, his desire to buy Greenland, and his wish to build a moat for his border wall containing alligators and snakes. 
But Trump has gotten so obsessed with the leaks that he has frequently discussed ordering polygraphs of White House staffers after major revelations, four former White House officials told Politico. 
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Donald Trump has weighed making his staff take lie detector tests
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The accuracy of lie detector tests has been questioned
'He wanted to polygraph every employee in the building to unearth who it was who spoke to the press,' one of the officials said.

The more true the leaked account was, the more irate the president grew, the officials revealed and added that some staff volunteered to take polygraphs to show they weren't the leaker. 
There have been previous indications the White House is concerned about leaks, going back to when Trump first entered the Oval Office in 2017.
And Trump's frustration with the leakers is often tied to press coverage he considers unfavorable - or fake news.  
He's brought in people before to try and weed out the leakers - although the leaks keep coming. 
When Anthony Scaramucci was brought in for his short-lived tenure as White House communications director in July 2017, he vowed to get rid of all the leakers. 
'What I want to do is I want to f***ing kill all the leakers and I want to get the President's agenda on track so we can succeed for the American people,' he told The New Yorker in an infamous interview that got him fired after seven days on the job.
In September 2018, after an anonymous White House staffer published the 'resistance' memo in The New York Times, Trump was reported to have railed against 'snakes' in his administration and to carry a list of staffers he suspected of leaking information.
'When he was super frustrated about the leaks, he would rail about the 'snakes' in the White House,' a source told Axios at the time.  


And, most recently, the whistle-blower, in his complaint about Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, noted the transcript of the call was moved from its usual storage location to an even more secure server for highly-sensitive information. 
Trump has demanded to know the whistle-blower's identity. 
Past presidents have also had to deal with leakers. 
President Barack Obama and his administration pursued leakers - but those investigations typically had to do with national security matters.
In 2012, Jim Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence requested intelligence employees be asked if they shared classified information with the media after several secrets leaked.
The Obama administration also obtained phone records from Associated Press and Fox News reporters as part of their probe into how classified material leaked. 
Polygraph use on staff is common in the intelligence arena, where most of the information in the agency is classified and officials can be ordered to take the tests on a moments notice as a condition of their employment. 
It's less common for political staff and appointees.
And there are questions about the accuracy of the tests.
[size=18]President Trump says 'fraud' Schiff should be investigated




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White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told Politico the president has a right to be frustrated about the leaks.
'I think the president and anyone in his administration have the right to be frustrated and even angry about leaks. Leaking information, which is often times classified, only hurts this country. I have been with the president since July 2015 and can say unequivocally that I have never heard suggesting polygraphs as a way to stop leaks,' she said.

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Post by annemarie on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 14:30

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7550189/Trump-administration-blocks-U-S-diplomat-questioning-House-Democrats.html

[size=34]Donald Trump BLOCKS ambassador to European Union from testifying to Democrats' impeachment inquiry two hours before he was to be deposed[/size]


  • Donald Trump's ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland - a Trump donor - was due to be deposed as part of impeachment probe Tuesday

  • But with just under two hours to go until his appearance, the Trump administration blocked him from testifying

  • Move dramatically increases tensions between Democrats and the White House over impeachment

  • Democrats have already warned that blocking evidence will be seen as evidence of obstruction of justice

  • Sondland was involved in what whistleblower alleges was abuse of power by Trump who pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden

  •  Sondland's personal attorney said he was blocked by the State Department and 'profoundly disappointed' not to testify


By REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 08:22 EDT, 8 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:17 EDT, 8 October 2019

     


The Trump administration on Tuesday directed Gordon Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, not to appear for a scheduled deposition at the House of Representatives shortly before he was scheduled to appear.
Sondland, a wealthy Republican donor who gave $1 million to Donald Trump's inaugural committee, had been scheduled to meet behind closed doors with staff for three House committees as part of their impeachment inquiry into the president. 
The impeachment probe is focusing on a whistleblower's allegations that Trump leveraged nearly $400 million in aid to secure a promise from Ukraine's president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.
The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight Committees staff had been expected to ask Sondland to explain why he became involved in dealings with Ukraine, which is not a member of the European Union.

Gordon Sondland's attorney said the State Department had directed Sondland not to appear for his scheduled interview. 
'Early this morning, the U.S. Department of State directed Ambassador Gordon Sondland not to appear today for his scheduled transcribed interview before the U.S. House of Representatives Joint Committee. Ambassador Sondland had previously agreed to appear voluntarily today, without the need for a subpoena, in order to answer the Committee’s questions on an expedited basis,' his attorney Robert Luskin said.  
Luskin noted that as the sitting U.S. ambassador to the European Union and an employee of the State Department, Sondland is required to follow the department's direction. No reason for the direction was cited, he said.
'Ambassador Sondland is profoundly disappointed that he will not be able to testify today. Ambassador Sondland traveled to Washington from Brussels in order to prepare for his testimony and to be available to answer the Committee's questions,' Luskin said. 
Given that Sondland was appearing voluntarily no subpoena was issued but that is a step that House Democrats can now take to compel his appearance before them.  
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Center of storm: Gordon Sondland was a Seattle-based hotelier until Donald Trump nominated him to his position as ambassador in May. Now the White House has blocked him from being deposed by the impeachment probe
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Demand for investigation: Gordon Sondland was involved in a text exchange which Democrats say is evidence of a quid pro quo for aid to Ukraine: that it would investigate Trump's 2020 rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter over the younger Biden's Ukrainian business dealings
Sondland was a Seattle-based hotelier until Trump nominated him to his position as ambassador in May. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June and presented his credentials at the European Commission in July.
According to text messages released by House committee leaders last week, Sondland was heavily involved in contacts with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as he sought a meeting with Trump, and Ukrainian officials expressed concern at the administration's decision to block nearly $400 million in U.S. military assistance for Kiev.
In one of the texts, for example, Sondland emphasized that Trump 'really wants the deliverable.'
At one point during the text exchanges, William Taylor, the seasoned top diplomat in the Ukrainian embassy and a career State Department employee, conveyed his concerns and questioned whether the money was being withheld until Ukraine agreed to Trump's demand.
'Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?' he wrote on September 1.
Sondland quickly moved the conversation from texting to a phone call. 
'Call me,' Sondland replied. 
Charges that Trump pressured Zelensky in a July 25 telephone call to investigate Biden, a leading rival in Trump's 2020 re-election bid, while withholding the military aid, helped prompt House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to announce a formal impeachment investigation last month.
Trump has denied wrongdoing.
Concerns about the call, and possible Trump threats to Ukraine, came to the attention of Congress in a report by a whistleblower. On Sunday, lawyers said a second whistleblower had come forward to substantiate that complaint.
Sondland's scheduled appearance had marked a shift for the investigation because he is a Trump donor and political appointee. 
Previous witnesses have been career officials, including the former U.S. special envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, and Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Volker had resigned before he testified and the administration cannot direct Atkinson not to testify. 


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Testimony: Former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker quit, revealing a trail of damaging texts with other officials including Gordon Sondland, and testified last week. Marie Yovanovitch, the career diplomat Trump fired as ambassador to Ukraine in May is testified to give evidence Friday
Another career diplomat, Marie Yovanovitch, will meet with the committees behind closed doors on Friday. Yovanovitch was the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine until Trump recalled her in May before her term was up, after Trump supporters questioned her loyalty.
The impeachment inquiry has heightened bitter partisan divides in Congress, where Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate and Democrats have a majority in the House.
Trump has reacted furiously to the inquiry, using obscenities and insulting nicknames for Democratic lawmakers in posts on Twitter. Administration officials - and some Republican allies in Congress - have questioned whether they have any obligation to cooperate with the inquiry.
The White House was expected to tell Pelosi this week that it would ignore lawmakers' demands for documents until the House holds a vote to approve the impeachment inquiry.
Pelosi says a vote is not needed, although Democrats say the House would back the inquiry if there were a vote.
Volker was interviewed on Thursday for more than eight hours by House members and staff.
The impeachment investigation could lead to the approval by the House of formal charges against Trump.
A trial on whether to remove him from office would then be held in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Trump continues to enjoy nearly unwavering support from members of his party.

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Post by annemarie on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 15:28

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7550351/Trump-says-Turkey-good-deal-face-Republican-disgust-betrayal-Kurds.html

[size=34]Donald Trump reveals he is inviting Turkish strongman Erdogan to the White House next month AND calls Turkey 'good to deal with' in the face of Republican disgust at 'betrayal' of Syrian Kurds with U.S. troop pull-out[/size]

By FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and WIRES
PUBLISHED: 09:28 EDT, 8 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:28 EDT, 8 October 2019

     




Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday morning that he'd extended an invitation to Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan to meet with him at the White House in November.
Beating back fiery, bipartisan opposition, including from leading Republicans in the U.S. Senate, to an agreement he struck with Turkey that protects American troops but endangers Kurds in Syria, the president argued in tweets that Turkey has 'been good to deal with' on security matters and in the arena of trade.
'We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters,' he insisted. 
Trump said the U.S. would continue to arm the Kurds and Erdogan has been warned that acts of aggression toward the ethnic group will result in crippling sanctions. 

'Turkey already has a large Kurdish population and fully understands that while we only had 50 soldiers remaining in that section of Syria, and they have been removed, any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency. We are helping the Kurds financially/weapons!' he assured skeptics.
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Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday morning that he'd extended an invitation to Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan to meet with him at the White House in November
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Turkey has said it will create a 'peace corridor' along its southern border, now that Trump has agreed to withdraw American troops from Syria. 
Ankara's Defence Ministry said 'all preparations' had been completed for the start of an attack against 'terrorists threatening the integrity of our homeland'.
By 'terrorists' Turkey is almost certainly referring to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces which allied with the US in the fight against ISIS but which it considers to be a terrorist group.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began rolling troops into northern Syria on Monday after a day of confusion and criticism in which Trump agreed US troops would step aside, before appearing to walk back on his pledge following political backlash. 
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Turkey has said it is ready to open a 'peace corridor' by eradicating terrorists along its southern border, once US troops have withdrawn. President Erdogan previously said this would involve attacks on Kurdish strongholds in Manbij, Kobani, Tell Abaid, Sari Kani and Qamishli (pictured, how the campaign would unfold in the event of US withdrawal)
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Turkey's Defence Ministry said Tuesday that it is ready to 'fight against terrorists threatening the integrity of our homeland' - by which it almost certainly means Kurdish-led SDF forces
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+41Turkey vowed to create a 'peace corridor' along the border, which it previously said will involve pushing east from Afrin through Manbij, Kobane, and Sari Kari to Qamishli on the Iraqi border
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Turkish-backed Syrian rebels drive in convoy towards Aleppo as Turkey prepares for an assault on nearby Kurdish strongholds following Donald Trump's offer to withdraw US troops 
[size=10][size=18]Footage appears to show Turkish military launching airstrike




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Erdogan has previously vowed to wipe out Kurdish forces along Turkey's southern border in an assault that would move from Turkish-controlled regions around Afrin all the way to Qamishli, the last town before the Iraqi border. 
Turkey has been involved in conflict with Kurdish separatists for decades as they demand their own state, which would fall largely on Turkish territory. 
Footage which appeared online Monday showed blasts on the Turkish-Syrian border, suggesting that fighting had already begun. 
As the Syrian conflict threatened to enter a deadly new phase...


  • Iran, Turkey's regional ally, warned Ankara not to push ahead with its invasion and to 'respect' the territorial integrity of Syria
  • Turkey's vice-president said his country 'won't bow to threats' after Trump warned he will crash their economy if they do anything he deems 'off limits'
  • The Syrian government urged the Kurds to join with Assad's forces 'rather than plunge into the abyss' after being abandoned by the US  


Trump was accused of a 'spineless' capitulation to Turkey, Iran and Russia after suddenly agreeing to withdraw US troops during a call with Erdogan on Sunday which left the Defense Department 'blindsided'.
A National Security Council official, who is said to have direct knowledge of the conversation, said Trump was 'out-negotiated' and 'got rolled' by Erdogan during a routine call.

Turkey kills nine 'terrorists' in Iraq


Turkish air strikes hit Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq, Ankara's defence ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry said on Twitter that 'nine terrorists were neutralised' in air strikes in the Hakurk and Hafta regions.
There were earlier strikes, announced late Monday, in the northern Iraqi region of Gara, where 'three terrorists were neutralised'.
The strikes were part of regular raids against Kurdish militants in Iraq and unrelated to planned operations against Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
Turkey started a ground offensive and bombing campaign against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraq last May.



In an apparent attempt to shore up his tough-guy credentials, Trump tweeted Monday that if Turkey 'does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey'.
Mr Trump left the United Nations and European leaders aghast yesterday amid fears it could lead to widespread ethnic cleansing. 
The President defended his withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria, saying 'the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out'. 
The UN was said to be 'preparing for the worst' and has warned Turkey not to allow a civilian massacre on the scale of the Bosnian war after the US announced it would step aside and allow President Tayyip Erogdan to move in across the Syrian border. 
BNL Breaking News tweeted: 'Reports of Turkish airstrikes on the Kurdish-controlled Semelka border crossing between Syria and Iraq, comes just hours after US withdraws troops from Syria and 'allowed Turkish invasion'.' 
And Russian state media outlet Sputnik tweeted that Turkish Air Forces struck a Kurdish base in Hasakah, Syria. But it also reports that Kurdish and Turkish media were denying the strikes. 
Anadolu News Agency reported that Turkey had established a 'safe zone' after it said the military was 'ready to clear out terrorists east of Euphrates River in Syria'. 
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US military vehicles travelling down a main road in northeast Syria today. US-backed Kurdish-led forces in Syria said American troops began withdrawing from their positions along Turkey's border in northeastern Syria
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An abandoned checkpoint was seen in Tel Abyad in northern Syria as US troops evacuated the border town yesterday 
Kurdish fighters, who have led the fight against ISIS, said they had been 'stabbed in the back' by Trump's decision and accused the US of turning its back on its allies and risking gains made in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Trump warns Turkey against 'off limits' military action in Syria 


President Donald Trump on Monday launched a harsh attack on NATO ally Turkey, threatening to destroy its economy if Ankara takes a planned military strike in Syria too far.
Trump said he would 'totally destroy and obliterate' Turkey's economy if it took action in Syria that he considered 'off-limits'. 
Trump's stern words seemed to be aimed at placating critics who accused him of abandoning the Syrian Kurds by pulling out U.S. forces. 
Leaders from both parties and both houses of Congress joined in the criticism, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Trump's fellow Republican.
'As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I've done before!)' Trump tweeted.
Speaking later at the White House, Trump said he had told President Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call that Turkey could suffer the 'wrath of an extremely decimated economy' if it acted in Syria in a way that was not 'humane.' 
Turkey's lira slid more than 2% to its lowest level in more than a month against the dollar on Monday over concerns about the planned incursion into northern Syria and Trump's warning. 
Turkey has repeatedly threatened to carry out an incursion against U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria who have links to Kurdish guerrillas operating next door in Turkey.
The United States began pulling troops back from the northeast Syrian border on Monday, effectively giving Turkey a green light to move into the area.  




Fears of chaos in refugee camps and Kurdish-controlled prisons packed with battle-hardened jihadists were sparked as President Trump's surprise decision to allow Turkey to take control in northern Syria threatened to destabilise the area.
Any 'security vacuum' left by the US could lead to ISIS plotting mass prison breaks and instigating the reformation of terror cells.
The EU and the UN warned of a repeat of ethnic cleansing last seen during the Bosnian civil war at Srebrenica, when Bosnian Serb troops slaughtered 8,000 Muslim men and boys in 1995. 
Russia said Syria's territorial integrity must be preserved, hours after the US announcement, as Trump faced calls to reverse his decision even from members of his own party. 
UN officials said they were 'preparing for the worst', over fears any new offensive from Ankara would lead to high civilian casualties and lead to mass displacement 
Trump responded to fears of Turkish military action targeting civilians by saying he will 'totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey' if it stepped out of line.
He tweeted this afternoon: 'As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I've done before!). 
'They must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families.
'The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!'
The president's threats caused Turkey's currency to slide to its lowest level in more than a month. 
The move marks a major shift in US policy, and effectively abandons the Kurds, who were Washington's main ally in the years-old battle against ISIS.
But US Senator Lindsey Graham, a top ally of Donald Trump, said he would be calling on Congress to reverse the president's decision. 
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US forces were seen as they began to withdraw from northern Syria, making way for Turkey to move across the border 
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The area inhabited by Kurdish people straddles Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia and the area currently controlled by the Kurds crosses over Iraq and Syria. Turkey fears an independent Kurdish state would threaten its security
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A fighter with local armed forces allied with the Kurdish administration stands guard at a military base from which US forces pulled out, in the town of Tel Arqam in Syria's Hasakeh province near the Turkish border yesterday
[size=18]US forces withdraw from northern Syria to make way for Turkey




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He said it was too costly to keep supporting US-allied Kurdish-led forces in the region fighting the Islamic State.
Trump said in a series of tweets: 'The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out.' 
Trump said it's now time to bring US troops home, adding in all-caps in a series of tweets: 'WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN.'
The president also said it's now up to the region to decide what to do with captured ISIS fighters, adding: 'We are 7000 miles away and will crush ISIS again if they come anywhere near us!' 
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President Trump took to Twitter to threaten Turkey and demand Europe must 'watch over' captured ISIS fighters 
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US and Turkish military forces conduct a joint ground patrol inside the security mechanism area in northeast Syria last Friday
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A US soldier sits on top of an armoured vehicle during a demonstration by Syrian Kurds against Turkish threats next to a base for the US-led international coalition on the outskirts of Ras al-Ain town near the Turkish border yesterday
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Syrian Kurds gather around a US armoured vehicle during a demonstration against Turkish threats next to a base for the US-led international coalition on the outskirts of Ras al-Ain town yesterday 
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Trump made his case for backing out of Syria in a series of tweets that appeared to please no one on Monday morning
A senior State Department official later contradicted the president and said the US had pulled back a 'very small number' of troops from areas of northern Syria along the Turkish border and that it was still controlling the air space over the area.
The official added that those troops had only been moved a 'very short distance,' adding: 'Beyond that, there's no change to our military posture in the northeast.'
Graham, chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee and one of Trump's most outspoken supporters on Capitol Hill, described the move as 'a disaster in the making' that would be 'a stain on America's honour for abandoning the Kurds'.
He added in a tweet: 'Also, if this plan goes forward will introduce Senate resolution opposing and asking for reversal of this decision. Expect it will receive strong bipartisan support.' 
Republican Senator Mitt Romney called the withdrawal 'a betrayal' that facilitates a jihadist resurgence. 
Trump's former UN envoy Nikki Haley, a Republican seen by some as a potential post-Trump presidential candidate also criticised the withdrawal.
Haley said, calling the Kurds 'instrumental' in the US fight against ISIS: 'We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. Leaving them to die is a big mistake.'
It was feared the departure of the US from the volatile border region could leave Turkey free to crush the Kurds, who hoped to forge their own state in the aftermath of the defeat of ISIS. 
Iran's foreign minister says the United States is an 'irrelevant occupier' in Syria and that the conflict-torn country's territorial integrity should be respected.
Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in a tweet today: 'US is an irrelevant occupier in Syria-futile to seek its permission or rely on it for security.'
He added that Syria's eight-year civil war could only be ended through 'respect for its territorial integrity & its people'.
Zarif said 'Adana provides framework for Turkey & Syria,' referring to Iran- and Russia-backed talks.


  • EU and the UN warned of repeat of ethnic cleansing last seen during the Bosnian civil war at Srebrenica that saw 8,000 Muslim men and boys slaughtered
  • France today called on Turkey to avoid taking any unilateral action in northern Syria that could 'hurt regional stability' of northeastern region
  • Assad ally Russia, has warned that Syria's territorial integrity must be preserved
  • Kurdish fighters who have led the fight against ISIS and were Washington's main allies said they had been 'stabbed in the back' by Trump's sudden decision 
  • Trump ally US Senator Lindsey Graham said he would be calling on Congress to reverse the president's move to withdraw
  • Republican Senator Mitt Romney called the withdrawal 'a betrayal' that facilitates a jihadist resurgence 


The Pentagon warned Turkey against the 'destabilising consequences' of military action in Syria.
A senior State Department official said the United States does not support the planned Turkish incursion into northeast Syria 'in any shape or form'.
'It is a very bad idea,' the official said while briefing reporters and added that Ankara's plan to resettle millions of Syrian refugees back into northeast Syria was 'probably the craziest idea I have ever heard'. 
Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said: 'We will work with our other NATO allies and Coalition partners to reiterate to Turkey the possible destabilising consequences of potential actions to Turkey, the region, and beyond.' 
A senior UN aid official said today that civilians must be spared in any Turkish military operation in northeast Syria, where the United Nations hopes mass displacement and Srebrenica-like killings can be prevented.
US soldiers previously worked closely with Kurdish forces of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the YPG militia, in the battle to destroy Islamic State's caliphate. 
But Turkey considers the YPG to be a terrorist group and has long threatened to launch an assault on the Kurds as Ankara sees the group's growing power along its border as a threat to its security. 
The Kurdish fighters, who are allied with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, has waged an insurgency against Turkey for 35 years.
The US has already warned Kurdish fighters that they will not defend them from any Turkish attack, an unnamed American official has claimed. 
Within hours of the announcement, Turkish media reported a bomb attack in a northern Syrian town held by Turkey-backed fighters killed at least one person.
CNN-Turk television said at least two other people were wounded when a motorcycle laden with explosives went off in the town of Azaz today. 
Azaz, which was once controlled by Syrian Kurdish fighters opposed to Turkey, has been hit by similar attacks in the past.    
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A military base (above) from which US forces pulled out in the town of Tel Arqam yesterday
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A members of the Kurdish Internal Security Police Force of Asayesh standing guard as Syrian Kurds demonstrate against possible Turkish military operation in the region 
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President Erdogan during a news conference in Ankara today before his departure for Serbia, where he said US troops have started to withdraw from positions in northern Syria
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Syrian Kurdish women carry flags and banners as they demonstrate against Turkish threats to launch a military operation on their region in the town of Al-Qahtaniyah, in northeastern Syria
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said they had been 'stabbed in the back' by a surprise US statement that US forces would not be involved in a Turkish operation in northern Syria, the SDF said. 
Turkey said it will not permit ISIS to return, amid fears its threatened offensive against a Kurdish militia in Syria could bolster the jihadists, a presidential spokesman said today. 
Fahrettin Altun, communications director for President Erdogan, said on Twitter today that, 'Turkey's intension is clear: to dismantle the terrorist corridor on our border. To fight against [the] PKK, which is the enemy of the Kurdish people. To combat [IS] and prevent its resurgence.
'Areas liberated from PKK will have services provided by Turkey, rather than enduring the occupation by a terrorist militia.'
Speaking after a phone call with President Trump, Erdogan said that the operation could begin at any moment as Russia warned Syria's territorial integrity must be preserved. 


[size=34]How Turkey's expected invasion of Syria would threaten the Kurds who defeated ISIS[/size]


What is Turkey's problem with the Kurds?
Turkey has historically treated the Kurds unsympathetically and has effectively made them 'mountain Turks' by driving them into the hilly areas around the south of the country.
The founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal, better known as Atatürk, pushed through a constitution 70 years ago which denied the existence of distinct cultural sub-groups in Turkey, which the Kurds fall under.
Due to this, when the Kurds - along with other minorities in the country - express ethnic differences it has been repressed by the government.
Up until 1991 the daily use of the Kurdish tongue was outlawed and seen as separatism, and even today any minor expression of Kurdish nationalism can lead to imprisonment.
The government thwarts any effort by the Kurds to become political, with parties consistently shut down and party members often imprisoned for 'crimes of opinion'.
The historical repression led to the creation of the PKK, an armed separatist movement, in 1984. Most Kurds in Turkey do not promote separatism from the Turkish state, but a large number back the PKK.
Who are the Kurds?
There are around 35million Kurds living in the hilly parts of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia - making them the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East.
Yet they do not have a permanent state. They do not have an official dialect but are part of a united community through race, culture and language.
The Kurdish people are made up of a number of religions but they are mostly Sunni Muslims.
The idea of a 'Kurdistan' came about in the 1900s following the fall of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War.
The Treaty of Sevres among the Western nations in 1920 also made provision for one.
But just three years later the Treaty of Lausanne overwrote this as it set the new boundaries for Turkey.
There was no space for a Kurdistan and left them stranded as a minority community in other countries. Attempts over the rest of the 20th Century to bring about an independent state were dashed at every turn.
What do they want?
The Kurdish people make up around 10 per cent of the Syrian population and most lived in Damascus and Aleppo before uprisings started against President Bashar al-Assad in 2011.
Despite this, they have never had basic rights and at least 300,000 have had citizenship requests denied since the 1960s.
Land has also been consistently taken from them and given to Arabs in a bit to 'Arabize' the area.
In 2011 when uprisings got underway, most Kurds did not publicly back a side, but from halfway through 2012 they seized the opportunity when government forces withdrew to fight rebels elsewhere.
The main Kurdish parties, notably the Democratic Union Party in January 2014  announced the creation of 'autonomy' for the areas of Afrin, Kobane and Jazira.
This escalated to a 'federal system' in March 2016 in Turmen and Arab areas snatched from ISIS.
This, unsurprisingly, was turned down by Assad, as well as the country's official opposition and the Americans.
The Democratic Union Party claims it is not looking for independence, but says there must be Kurdish legal rights and autonomy in any political end to the Syrian war.
In government there has been a disparity, with Assad pledging to fight back for all of Syria, but his foreign minister hinting at possible talks with the Kurds in September 2017. 
What does Turkey want?
Turkey wants a 'safe zone' in northern Syria - 30 kilometres deep and 300 miles wide - that would push the YPG away from its border.
It says the buffer zone would also allow for the return of some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees currently in Turkey, where anti-refugee sentiment is growing.
The YPG spearheaded the fight on the ground against the Islamic State (IS) group as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, with the support of the US-led international coalition.
But Ankara says the YPG is a 'terrorist' offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
A victory for Erdogan?
Since Erdogan has long pushed for the 'safe zone', the US move is 'absolutely' a victory for him, said Steven Cook, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
'Erdogan has been working tirelessly to convince (US President Donald) Trump that the US should leave Syria so that Turkey can prosecute the fight against the YPG and resettle Syrians,' he said.
The White House decision came after a phone call between Trump and Erdogan, demonstrating the Turkish leader's ability to convince his American counterpart despite resistance within the US administration.
'By giving the green light to Turkey to intervene, the United States has given the impression of having 'capitulated' with Turkish demands,' said Jana Jabbour, a Turkish foreign policy expert at Sciences Po in Paris.
'This in itself is a diplomatic victory for Erdogan,' she said.
Challenges ahead?
Turkey has launched two military operations supporting Syrian opposition fighters - in northern Syria against IS in 2016 and against the YPG in 2018.
But a question remains over Turkey's ability in the air.
During the offensive against the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in early 2018, Ankara needed Russia's permission for Turkish planes to take off.
The latest plan is much bigger in scope - and more expensive.
'A new Syria operation will generate economic costs, and it is not certain that in the context of the current recession in Turkey the country has the means for such an operation,' Jabbour said.
She also pointed to growing scepticism among the Turkish public towards Ankara's involvement in the 'Syrian chaos'.
'This is why Ankara would have preferred an agreement with the United States for the establishment of the safe zone on the border, a scenario which would have allowed Turkey to share the burden with Washington,' Jabbour said.
How to manage IS?
Turkey has another burden, as the White House said Ankara would now be responsible for IS fighters captured over the past two years and held in Kurdish detention centres.
Trump, who has frequently urged European governments to repatriate jihadists from their countries, has now pushed the problem onto Turkey.
Erdogan said Monday that Washington and Ankara would work on the issue together but he did not elaborate on the form of the eventual cooperation.
'Now Turkey has to confront IS, which shows every indication of trying to regroup and threaten the countries in the area,' Cook said.
However, Erdogan's spokesman insisted in a tweet on Monday that Turkey 'will not allow (IS) to return in any shape and form'.




The pull-back of troops comes hours after the White House announced Ankara would soon move forward with its objective to create a 'safe zone' in northern Syria and that US soldiers will not support or be involved in it. 
But there are fears a Turkish advance will reverse years of work done to drive extremists out and allow ISIS to regroup.
The US-backed SDF that controls much of the northeast region along Turkey's border, added it 'will not hesitate for a single moment' to defend itself from an expected Turkish invasion and threatened 'all-out war on the entire border'.  
France called on Turkey to avoid taking any unilateral action in northern Syria that could hinder the ongoing fight against ISIS.
The statement from the Foreign Ministry Monday warned Turkey's threatened military incursion into northern Syria could 'hurt regional stability' and not help with the return of refugees to the area - as Ankara has promised. 
More French fighters joined the extremist group than any other European nationality. France has been reluctant to allow the militants home, even to face trial. 
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The White House released a statement Sunday, saying President Trump spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erogdan by telephone to discuss the plans for Turkey to invade northern Syria (both leaders pictured in June 2019) 
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Map shows Euphrates Shield, which was a cross-border operation by the Turkish military and Turkey-aligned Syrian opposition groups during the Syrian Civil War. It led to the Turkish occupation of northern Syria
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Syrian Kurds take part in a demonstration against Turkish threats at a US-led international coalition base on the outskirts of Ras al-Ayn town near the Turkish border yesterday
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Members of the Kurdish Internal Security Police Force of Asayesh stand guard in Al-Qahtaniyah during a demonstration by Syrian Kurds against Turkish threats to launch a military operation on their region
Germany also expressed concerns at the prospect of an incursion by Turkey into northeastern Syria, saying such an intervention could further destabilise the war-torn country.
Ulrike Demmer, a spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, said today that Germany is aware of the 'special security policy situation' that Turkey faces on its border. 

Previous Turkish incursions into Syria


By AFP 
Turkey has previously launched two operations into Syria - in 2016 and 2018 - to push back from its border Islamic State group jihadists and Kurdish militia fighters. 
Known as Euphrates Shield, Turkish artillery pound dozens of ISIS targets around the Syrian border town of Jarabulus, near the Euphrates river in the early hours of August 24, 2016.
Turkish F-16 fighter jets and coalition war planes launch air strikes.
It is the start of operation Euphrates Shield, targeting IS and the People's Protection Units (YPG), a US-backed Kurdish militia that Ankara considers a terrorist group.
In a few hours, hundreds of Syrian rebels backed by Turkish aircraft and tanks drive IS from Jarabulus.
The offensive is launched days after an attack blamed on IS that killed 54 civilians in the Turkish town of Gaziantep.
Turkey also wants to prevent the creation of an autonomous Kurdish region in Syria.
It had been alarmed when the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had earlier in August captured from IS the strategic Syrian town of Manbij, 30 kilometres (19 miles) from the Turkish border.
Turkey says the YPG is a 'terrorist offshoot' of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
On February 24, 2017, the Turkish army announces it has taken control of the Syrian town of Al-Bab, the final objective of Euphrates Shield and the last IS bastion in Syria's northern Aleppo province.
For Ankara, control of the town means it can establish a buffer between the different Kurdish-controlled territories in northern Syria, preventing them from uniting. 
On January 20, 2018, Turkey launches a major air and ground operation, dubbed Olive Branch, against the YPG in Syria's region of Afrin, about 30 kilometres from the border.
The next day, Turkish tanks and soldiers enter the region. Ankara says it aims to create a security zone deep inside Syria.
On March 18, Turkish forces and their Syrian auxiliaries oust the Kurdish militia from the town of Afrin and raise the Turkish flag.
Scenes of looting by pro-Turkish fighters draw condemnation.
Pro-Turkish forces strengthen their control of Afrin, which is emptied of its tens of thousands of inhabitants.
The fighting displaces about half of the Kurdish enclave's 320,000 people, according to the United Nations, while rights groups document abuses after the Turkish-backed rebel takeover.
Amnesty International has charged that the Turkish armed forces have 'turned a blind eye' to violations.
Nearly 300 civilians were killed in the operation, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor.
Also dead are around 1,500 Kurdish militiamen and 400 pro-Turkish fighters, it says.
Turkey says it lost 45 soldiers.




But she cautioned that successes against ISIS, which she noted were achieved in significant part by Syrian Kurdish forces with international support, 'must not be endangered'. 
Demmer said that a unilateral military intervention 'would lead to a further escalation in Syria and contribute to a continued destabilisation of the country.' She said it would also have negative security policy and humanitarian consequences.
A US official said American forces had evacuated two observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn in northeast Syria, along the Turkish border. Other US forces in the region were still in position for now, the official added.
Kurdish-led forces in northeast Syria confirmed today that US forces had withdrawn from areas at the border with Turkey where a threatened Turkish offensive would hurt its war against ISIS and roll back five years of security achievements. 
A video posted by a Kurdish news agency showed a convoy of American armored vehicles apparently heading away from the border area of Tal Abyad. 
Pictures also showed abandoned checkpoints in Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn after US troops evacuated the border towns.
Erdogan spoke hours after the White House said US forces in northeastern Syria will move aside and clear the way for an expected Turkish assault - essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces in the years-long battle to defeat ISIS.  
The White House released a statement late on Sunday, saying President Trump spoke with Erogdan by telephone to discuss the plans and the US will remove all of its forces from the 'immediate area'. 
Russia, which has supported President Bashar al-Assad with an aerial bombardment campaign on his own people, said Syria's territorial integrity must be preserved. 
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow was aware that Turkey shared Russia's position on Syria's territorial integrity, adding: 'We hope that our Turkish colleagues would stick to this position in all situations.'
He reiterated Moscow's stance that all foreign military forces 'with illegal presence' should leave Syria.
Turkey said it will not permit the ISIS to return to the region, amid fears its threatened offensive against a Kurdish militia in Syria could bolster the jihadists. 
Ibrahim Kalin, a presidential spokesman, wrote on Twitter today: 'Turkey will also continue to fight against DAESH (IS) and will not allow it to return in any shape and form.'
The Kurdish-led SDF said the US withdrawal threatened to create a security vacuum that would 'reverse the successful effort to defeat ISIS'.
Abdulkarim Omar, who acts as foreign minister for the Syrian Kurds, said on Monday the statement is unclear as the detention areas are far from the border zone where Turkey is expected to make its incursion.
He said the US troop withdrawal from the border will have 'catastrophic consequences' because Kurdish-led forces would be preoccupied with defending the border, instead of protecting detention facilities or the crowded al-Hol camp which houses over 73,000 people, many of them IS families and supporters.
Omar called on the international community to work to reverse President Donald Trump's 'illogical' decision or stop the Turkish offensive. 
But the European Union simply called for calm in northern Syria and warned that fresh fighting there is only like to drive more people from their homes. 
This would be Turkey's third such incursion since 2016. Motivated largely by the aim of containing Syrian Kurdish power, Turkey already has troops on the ground across an arc of northwestern Syria, the last stronghold of anti-Damascus rebels. 
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US military vehicles were seen driving northwards in northern Syria today, ahead of an anticipated Turkish invasion of the region that the Kurds say will overturn five years of achievements in the battle against ISIS
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A US official said American forces had already evacuated two observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn in northeast Syria, along the Turkish border
[size=18]Turkey sends military reinforcement to its border with Syria




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The US informed the commander of the Kurdish-led SDF forces in Syria on Monday morning that US forces will not defend them from Turkish attacks anywhere, according to a source.  
'Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operating into Northern Syria,' the US statement reads. 
'The Unites States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ''Caliphate,'' will no longer be in the immediate area.' 
The White House also confirmed that Turkey plans to take into custody all ISIS fighters captured over the past two years that European powers have refused to take in. 
'The United States Government has pressed France, Germany, and other European nations, from which many captured ISIS fighters came, to take them back, but they did not want them and refused.'
'The United States will not hold them for what could be many years and great cost to the United States taxpayer. Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area capture over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial ''Caliphate'' by the United States.' 
Ankara said its planned 'safe zone' in northern Syria could allow up to two million Syrian refugees to return.
The safe zone 'will serve two purposes: secure Turkey's borders by eliminating terrorist elements and allow refugees to return to their homes,' Kalin said.
He said Turkey had 'no interest in occupation or changing demographics'.
There are over 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, the highest number in the world, which has become an increasing source of tension in the country. 
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based organisation that reports on the war, said US forces had withdrawn from an area between the towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn. 
The SDF, led by the Kurdish YPG militia, said the Turkish invasion 'will have a great negative impact' on the war against ISIS.
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Turkish forces artillery pieces being driven to their new positions near the border with Syria in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, yesterday 
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US-backed Kurdish-led forces in Syria said US troops began withdrawing today from their positions along Turkey's border in northeastern Syria, ahead of an anticipated Turkish invasion. Pictured (above are Turkish artillery moving into position yesterday) 
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Syrian Interim Government's Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff, Major General Salim Idris (left) lead a military drill of members of Turkey-backed Syrian National Army, held in Afrin district of Syria today
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The Syrian National Army, made up of Syrian opposition forces and backed by Ankara, held military exercise in Afrin, Syria, near the border with Turkey, to support Turkish Armed Forces, ahead of Turkey's planned operation east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria
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A military drill of Members of The Syrian National Army, held in Afrin district of Syria today
It said in a statement: 'Despite our efforts to avoid any military escalation with Turkey and the flexibility we have shown to move forward in establishing a mechanism for the security of the borders ...the American forces did not fulfill their commitments and withdrew their forces from the border areas with Turkey.
'Turkey is now preparing for an invasion operation of northern and eastern Syria,' added the SDF, which with US backing in recent years defeated Islamic State, across much of northern and eastern Syria.
The Turkish military operation 'will have a great negative impact on our war against the Daesh organisation and will destroy everything that has been achieved with regards to stability during the last years,' it added.
In a statement the SDF said: 'The American forces did not abide by their commitments and withdrew their forces along the border with Turkey.  
Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted Saturday, before the announcement was made: 'We will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border to DEFEND ourselves and our people.' 
The Kurds have custody of thousands of captured ISIS militants, including about 2,500 highly dangerous foreign fighters from Europe and elsewhere - their native countries have been reluctant to take them back - and about 10,000 captured fighters from Syria and Iraq.
Kurdish officials have expressed concerns of a possible breakout by ISIS prisoners in case of fighting in the area.
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Syrian Kurds gather around a US armoured vehicle during a demonstration against Turkish threats next to a US-led international coalition base on the outskirts of Ras al-Ain town in Syria's Hasakeh province near the Turkish yesterday
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US and Turkish military forces conducting the third ground combined joint patrol inside the security mechanism area in northeast Syria last week
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The Turkish and US troops start their second joint ground patrol within a planned safe zone in northern Syria along the Syrian-Turkish border, in Sanliurfa, Turkey, last month
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US and Turkish military forces conduct a joint ground patrol inside the security mechanism area in northeast Syria last month 
Asked about the White House comments, Erdogan said that both Turkey and the US were working separately to see 'what steps can be taken' so that foreign fighters in prison can be repatriated.
'This is being worked on,' he said today.
A senior UN envoy for Syria said the fighting sides should 'put people first' amid concerns an invasion by Turkish forces into a densely populated area could be triggered. 
Panos Moumtzis, the UN's humanitarian coordinator for Syria, speaking in Geneva today, stressed there were 'a lot of unanswered questions' about the consequences of the operation.
He added civilians must be spared in any Turkish military manoeuvres and added that the UN had seen a 'bitter history' of safe zones in places like Srebrenica.
Moumtzis was referring to the slaughter by Bosnian Serb troops of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in 1995 in a UN-declared 'safe zone' where Dutch peacekeepers were unable to protect civilians. 
He said: 'We don't know what is going to happen...we are preparing for the worst.
'We understand that there is going to be some kind of security zone which will be very specifically targeted to a military operation or to an area where there has to be some clearance.
'So our hope is that there will be full cooperation by all to make sure that it happens as smoothly as possible, without resulting in displacement, and ensuring protection of civilians, ensuring that the basic principles of humanity will be respected on the ground.'
He said the UN's priorities were to ensure that any prospective Turkish offensive not result in new displacements, that humanitarian access remain unhindered and that no restrictions be put in place on freedom of movement.
The UN has a contingency plan to address additional civilian suffering, but 'hopes that will not be used,' Moumtzis said.   
More than 1,000 US troops are currently deployed in northeastern Syria but will no longer be present during the invasions. 
The US soldiers work closely with the Kurdish YPG, which leads the Syrian Democratic Forces in the regions. 
Turkey is highly likely to wait until US soldiers have withdrawn from northern Syria before launching an offensive, a senior Turkish official said today.
He added that the withdrawal of US forces from the planned area of operations could take one week and that Ankara was highly likely to wait for this in order to avoid 'any accident'. 
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'The Unites States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation,' the statement reads
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Fighters from a new border security force under the command of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dance during a graduation ceremony in Hasaka, northeastern Syria, last January 
On Monday, the US-backed SDF said such an operation would reverse years of successful Kurdish-led operations to defeat the Islamic State group and allow some of its surviving leaders to come out of hiding.
It also warned that a Turkish invasion would pose a threat to SDF-run prisons and informal settlements housing thousands of IS jihadists and their families.  
Ankara wants to push the US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces from its border, saying that the group is a 'terrorist' offshoot of Kurdish insurgents in Turkey.
The Turkish military has twice launched offensives in Syria - against IS in 2016, and in 2018 against the People's Protection Units (YPG), the backbone of the SDF.
Long marginalised, Syria's Kurds have - beyond heavy campaigns against IS - essentially stayed out of the country's eight-year civil war, instead setting up their own institutions in areas under their control.

[size=34]Timeline of US involvement in Syria since 2011[/size]


Pressure on Assad
On April 29, 2011, a month after the first protests in Syria that were met with brutal force by the regime, Washington imposes sanctions on several Syrian officials.
The measures extend to President Bashar al-Assad the following month.
On August 18, US president Barack Obama and Western allies for the first time explicitly call on Assad to stand down.
In October, the US ambassador leaves Syria for 'security reasons'. Damascus recalls its ambassador from Washington.
Obama backs off 'red line'
In August 2013, the Syrian regime is accused of carrying out a chemical attack near Damascus that killed more than 1,400 people, according to Washington.
Despite having vowed to act with force if Syria crossed the chemical weapons 'red line', Obama at the last minute pulls back from punitive strikes on regime infrastructure.
Instead, on September 14, he agrees to a deal with Moscow - Assad's main backer - that is meant to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.
US targets IS
On September 23, 2014, the US and Arab allies launch air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State (IS) group, expanding a campaign underway in neighbouring Iraq.
The biggest contributor to the coalition, Washington deploys 2,000 soldiers, mostly special forces.
In October 2015, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-Syrian Arab alliance of some 50,000 fighters, is created with US backing.
Dominated by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia, it receives US training and aid in the form of arms, air support and intelligence.
The SDF later overruns IS in northeastern Syria, driving out the jihadists from their last patch of territory in the village of Baghouz in March 2019.
Trump orders strikes
On April 7, 2017, US forces fire a barrage of cruise missiles at Syria's Shayrat airbase, believed to be the launch site of a chemical attack that killed 88 people in Idlib province.
It is the first direct US action against Assad's government and President Donald Trump's most significant military decision since taking office in January 2017.
On April 14, 2018, the US - with the support of France and Britain - launches new retaliatory strikes after an alleged regime chemical attack on the then rebel-held town of Douma, in which some 40 people were killed.
Withdrawal announced
On December 19, 2018, Trump announces that all of the roughly 2,000 US troops in Syria will be withdrawn because IS had been 'defeated'.
The surprise decision prompts Defense Secretary James Mattis to resign and is met with concern by France, Britain and Germany, but praise from Russia and Turkey.
On January 16, 2019, a suicide attack claimed by IS kills four US servicemen and 15 others at a restaurant in Syria's northern city of Manbij.
It is the deadliest attack against US forces since they deployed.
On August 7, Turkish and US officials agree to jointly manage a buffer zone between the Turkish border and areas in Syria controlled by the YPG, which Istanbul considers a 'terrorist' threat.
US steps aside
But on October 6, Washington announces that US forces would withdraw from the border areas to make way for a 'long-planned operation' by Turkish forces.
The following day, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirms that Turkish action against Kurdish militants in Syria is imminent.
The United Nations says it is 'preparing for the worst' and the European Union warns that civilians could be harmed.



In the areas of Ras al-Ayn, Tal Abyad and Kobane, all bordering Turkey, Kurdish forces have dug trenches and tunnels in preparation for a Turkish offensive, the Observatory said Sunday. 
The US announcement will likely be seen as a long-feared abandonment of Kurdish allies who bore the brunt of the US-led campaign against the Islamic State militants.
Bali also tweeted that his group is not expecting the US to protect northeastern Syria, adding: 'But people here are owed an explanation regarding the security mechanism deal and destruction of fortifications.' 
European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said on Monday that 'renewed armed hostilities in the northeast will not only exacerbate civilian suffering and lead to massive displacement but will also risk severely undermining current political efforts'.
Kocijancic says the EU remains committed to Syria' 'unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity' and that a long-term solution to the conflict 'will not be reached through military means but requires a genuine political transition.'
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The official Twitter account of the Syrian Democratic Forces said Sunday night that it had fulfilled its commitment to the US proposal for the 'security mechanism' along the border and says that any Turkish attack will 'reverse the successful effort to defeat #ISIS
In an agreement between Ankara and Washington, joint US and Turkish aerial and ground patrols had started in a security zone that covers over 78 miles (125 kilometers) along the Turkey-Syria border between the towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn. 
The SDF had removed fortification from the areas, considered a threat by Turkey, and withdrawn with heavy weapons.
But Turkey and the US have disagreed over the depth of the zone, with Ankara seeking to also have its troops monitor a stretch of territory between 19 to 25 miles (30 and 40 kilometers deep). Erdogan has continued to threaten an attack.
The United Nations currently delivers aid to 700,000 people in the densely-populated northeast region of 1.7 million. 

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Speaking to reporters in Ankara before departing for a visit to Serbia, Erdogan also said he planned to visit Washington to meet with Trump in the first half of November. 
He said the two leaders would discuss plans for the 'safe zone', and added that he hoped to resolve a dispute over F-35 fighter jets during his visit.
The official Twitter account of the Syrian Democratic Forces said on Sunday night that it had fulfilled its commitment to the US proposal for the 'security mechanism' along the border and says that any Turkish attack will 'reverse the successful effort to defeat #ISIS.
'But Erdogan's threats are aimed to change the security mechanism into a mechanism of death, displace our people & change the stable & secure region into a zone of conflict and permanent war,' the SDF tweeted, warning that a Turkish military invasion would make Syria 'a permanent conflict area'.   
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Muslim convert Jack Letts, from Oxfordshire, has been pictured gaunt and lying on the floor in an overcrowded jail in northern Syria
For months, Turkish Erdogan has threatened to launch the military assault against Kurdish forces across the border he views as a threat to his country. 
Republicans and Democrats have warned that allowing the Turkish attack could lead to a massacre of the Kurds, sending a troubling message to American allies across the globe. 
One of the ISIS soldiers expected to be moved to Turkish custody is British Jihadi Jack Letts, who was pictured just days ago. 
Dubbed 'Jihadi Jack', he was filmed among dozens of fellow Islamic State (IS) prisoners, also in orange jumpsuits, who have been captured by Kurdish militia.
The 23-year-old Muslim convert from Oxfordshire, who declared himself an 'enemy of Britain' and fled to the Middle East to join IS, has been stripped of his UK citizenship.  
His mother Sally Lane pleaded for Letts to be allowed to return and face trial in this country so that he can be rescued from the conditions in which he is being held, but the Home Office dismissed her plea.
Seeing the first images of Letts in his cell since he was taken prisoner two years ago, she told The Mail on Sunday: 'It's heart-rending to see your son like this and to feel so completely powerless.
'We have been pressing the Red Cross for months to tell us what the jail is really like, but they always refuse, saying that to release this information would jeopardise their access.'

annemarie
Casamigos with Mr Clooney

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Post by party animal - not! on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 19:19

Obviously doesn't give a monkeys about the Kurds fighting for ten years under US instructions and holding 20000 ISIS fighters, so that American soldiers didn't have to fight. 

And happy to 'work and trust' Erdogan because at the end of the day what really matters is the profits made from two Trump Tower hotels in Istanbul..............

party animal - not!
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Post by ladybugcngc on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 19:39

How does anyone know who's an ISIS fighter and who is not?

Please excuse my ignorance.  If I understand correctly the Kurds are an unique Islamic sect.  

The US is protecting the Islamic sect from ISIS.  Help me understand why ISIS don't like the Kurds.

Why does Turkey want to advance War on the sect?

Does anyone know if Bush/Channey/US oil affiliates are trying to build an oil pipe line where the Kurds are located?
ladybugcngc
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 3 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 22:18

[size=34]Turkey fires first shots: Ankara bombs Kurdish supply route ahead of invasion to create a 'peace corridor' along border just hours after Trump pulls US troops - as president reveals he has invited Erdogan to the White House next month[/size]


  • Turkey confirmed it carried out strikes against Kurdish forces on the Syria-Iraq border overnight Monday

  • Strike was designed to sever supply lines between Kurds in the two countries in preparation for invasion

  • Turkey plans to create a 'peace corridor' in northern Syria by driving Kurdish forces away from its border

  • Comes after Donald Trump agreed to withdraw U.S troops from Syria, but denied he abandoned the Kurds 

  • Trump revealed on Tuesday that he has extended an invitation to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to meet with him at the White House in November

  • He tweeted that Turkey was a 'good trading partner' of the U.S and 'have been very good to deal with'


By CHRIS PLEASANCE FOR MAILONLINE  and WIRES
PUBLISHED: 05:16 EDT, 8 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:33 EDT, 8 October 2019



[size=32][/size]



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Turkey fired its first shots against the Kurds overnight by bombing a key supply route on the Syrian-Iraqi border, officials have confirmed.
The Turkish air force struck the Semalka Border Crossing in order to stop Kurdish forces resupplying along a route which links their territories in northern Iraq and Syria, two security officials said.
'One of the fundamental goals was to cut off the transit route between Iraq and Syria before the operation in Syria, a source told Reuters. 'In this way, the group's support lines, including ammunition, are shut off.'
Video shot in the area overnight shows two large flashes against the horizon while the distant sound of fighter jets can be heard. It is thought this shows the crossing being destroyed.

It comes a day after Donald Trump agreed to withdraw US troops from Syria and hand control of regional security over to Turkey, which has vowed to create a 'peace corridor' along its border by wiping out 'terrorists'.
Trump also confirmed on Tuesday morning that he'd  extended an invitation to the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to meet with him at the White House in November. 
In a tweet, Trump said Turkey was a 'good trading partner of the US' and had been 'very good to deal with'. 
Turkey views the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces - America's key ally in the battle against ISIS - as a terror group and has previously outlined plans to strike a series of their strongholds along the border.
Trump has been accused of a 'spineless' capitulation to Turkey over his pledge to withdraw troops - and on Tuesday denied that he had abandoned the Kurds to their fate.
He tweeted: 'We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters. Likewise our relationship with Turkey, a NATO and Trading partner, has been very good.'
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Turkey has said it is ready to open a 'peace corridor' by eradicating 'terrorists' along its southern border - by which it means Kurdish troops - once the US has withdrawn (battle plans, pictured). Erdogan fired his first shots overnight by blowing up the Semalka border crossing (top right) in order to stop 
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Syrian National Army forces are dispatched to Manbij front line ahead of Turkey's planned operation in the east of the Euphrates River
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Turkish soldiers are seen on artillery pieces holding their positions near the border with Syria in Sanliurfa province
[size=10][size=18]Footage shows Turkish military launching airstrike




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Syrian National Army forces - which are backed by Turkey and not allied with the Syrian government - assemble near Manbij ahead of Turkey's planned invasion of Kurdish territory on Tuesday
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Turkey has said that it plans to create a 'peace corridor' along its border with Syria by driving out terrorists - by which it means Kurdish forces - and began assembling troops for the mission on Tuesday (pictured)
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Turkey has fought a decades-long insurgency by the Kurds, who demand their own independent state which would fall largely on Turkish territory. Erdogan has vowed never to let that happen (pictured, Turkish-backed rebels assemble in Syria)
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Syrian National Army forces are dispatched to Manbij front line ahead of Turkey's planned operation in the east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria in Aleppo
Trump defended his decision to withdraw troops from the region, despite it being met with fury and disgust by GOP lawmakers. 
Shortly after announcing he'd extended an invitation to Ergodan, Trump tweeted that: 'Turkey already has a large Kurdish population and fully understands that while we only had 50 soldiers remaining in that section of Syria, and they have been removed, any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency. We are helping the Kurds financially/weapons!' 
This comes after Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell on Monday called the move 'a retreat' that 'would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup'. South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Trump's closest friends in Congress, also blasted him in a tweet, calling the move 'a stain on America's honor' and 'a disaster in the making.' Graham said: 'The biggest lie being told by the administration [is] that ISIS is defeated.'   
Turkey has been involved in a decades-long conflict with Kurdish separatists as they demand their own state, which would fall largely on Turkish territory. 
Erdogan has been repeatedly accused of carrying out atrocities against Turkish Kurds. 
As the Syrian conflict threatened to enter a deadly new phase...


  • Iran, Turkey's regional ally, warned Ankara not to push ahead with its invasion and to 'respect' the territorial integrity of Syria
  • Turkey's vice-president said his country 'won't bow to threats' after Trump warned he will crash their economy if they do anything he deems 'off limits'
  • The Syrian government urged the Kurds to join with Assad's forces 'rather than plunge into the abyss' after being abandoned by the US 
  • President Trump confirmed he will meet President Erdogan during a visit to the White House next month 


Trump was accused of a 'spineless' capitulation to Turkey, Iran and Russia after suddenly agreeing to withdraw US troops during a call with Erdogan on Sunday which left the Defense Department 'blindsided'.
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Donald Trump denied abandoning the Kurds to their fate Tuesday, despite the troop withdrawal, saying that any 'unforced or unnecessary fighting' by Turkey would result in him crashing their economy
A National Security Council official, who is said to have direct knowledge of the conversation, said Trump was 'out-negotiated' and 'got rolled' by Erdogan during a routine call.

[size=34]Turkey kills nine 'terrorists' in Iraq[/size]


Turkish air strikes hit Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq, Ankara's defence ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry said on Twitter that 'nine terrorists were neutralised' in air strikes in the Hakurk and Hafta regions.
There were earlier strikes, announced late Monday, in the northern Iraqi region of Gara, where 'three terrorists were neutralised'.
The strikes were part of regular raids against Kurdish militants in Iraq and unrelated to planned operations against Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
Turkey started a ground offensive and bombing campaign against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraq last May.



In an apparent attempt to shore up his tough-guy credentials, Trump tweeted Monday that if Turkey 'does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey'. 
However, Turkey said will not bow to threats over its Syria plans, the Turkish vice president said Tuesday in an apparent response to President Donald Trump's warning to Ankara the previous day about the scope of its planned military incursion into northeastern Syria.
Trump said earlier this week the United States would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on Syrian Kurdish fighters, who have fought alongside Americans for years, but he then threatened to destroy the Turks' economy if they went too far.
He later cast his decision to abandon the Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from 'endless war' in the Middle East, even as Republican critics and others said he was sacrificing a U.S. ally and undermining American credibility.
Trump's statements have reverberated on all sides of the divide in Syria and the Mideast. 
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The Syrian National Army, component of Syrian opposition forces, held the military exercise in Afrin, near the border with Turkey, to support Turkish Armed Forces, ahead of Turkey's planned assault into Syria
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 3 19447606-7549407-The_Syrian_National_Army_is_a_group_of_former_soldiers_and_comma-a-89_1570550370807

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The Syrian National Army is a group of former soldiers and commanders from the Syrian Army which split from Bashar al-Assad in the early years of the Syrian civil war, and is now supported by Turkey
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 3 19447614-7549407-A_soldier_armed_with_a_heavy_machine_gun_stands_to_attention_dur-a-91_1570550370875

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A soldier armed with a heavy machine gun stands to attention during a parade of Syrian National Army forces - a Turkish-backed rebel group - in northern Syria
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Turkey's Defence Ministry said Tuesday that it is ready to 'fight against terrorists threatening the integrity of our homeland' - by which it almost certainly means Kurdish-led SDF forces
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Turkey vowed to create a 'peace corridor' along the border, which it previously said will involve pushing east from Afrin through Manbij, Kobane, and Sari Kari to Qamishli on the Iraqi border
In Ankara, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Turkey was intent on combatting Syrian Kurdish fighters across its border in Syria and on creating a zone that would allow Turkey to resettle Syrian refugees there.

[size=34]Trump warns Turkey against 'off limits' military action in Syria [/size]


President Donald Trump on Monday launched a harsh attack on NATO ally Turkey, threatening to destroy its economy if Ankara takes a planned military strike in Syria too far.
Trump said he would 'totally destroy and obliterate' Turkey's economy if it took action in Syria that he considered 'off-limits'. 
Trump's stern words seemed to be aimed at placating critics who accused him of abandoning the Syrian Kurds by pulling out U.S. forces. 
Leaders from both parties and both houses of Congress joined in the criticism, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Trump's fellow Republican.
'As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I've done before!)' Trump tweeted.
Speaking later at the White House, Trump said he had told President Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call that Turkey could suffer the 'wrath of an extremely decimated economy' if it acted in Syria in a way that was not 'humane.' 
Turkey's lira slid more than 2% to its lowest level in more than a month against the dollar on Monday over concerns about the planned incursion into northern Syria and Trump's warning. 
Turkey has repeatedly threatened to carry out an incursion against U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria who have links to Kurdish guerrillas operating next door in Turkey.
The United States began pulling troops back from the northeast Syrian border on Monday, effectively giving Turkey a green light to move into the area.  




'Where Turkey's security is concerned, we determine our own path but we set our own limits,' Oktay said.
Meanwhile, in the Syrian capital of Damascus, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad called on the country's Kurds to rejoin the government side after apparently being abandoned by their U.S. allies.
Mekdad's comments were the first Syrian reaction since Trump's announcement on Sunday and as northeastern Syria braces for an imminent Turkish attack on Syrian Kurdish militias. Trump's statement has infuriated the Kurds, who stand to lose the autonomy they gained from Damascus during Syria's civil war, now in its ninth year.
'The homeland welcomes all its sons and Damascus will solve all Syrian problems in a positive way, away from violence,' Mekdad claimed in an interview with the pro-government daily Al-Watan.
President Bashar Assad's government abandoned the predominantly Kurdish area in northern Syria at the height of Syria's civil war to focus on more key areas where the military was being challenged by the rebels. 
The U.S. began working with the Syrian Kurdish fighters after the emergence of the Islamic State group.
The Syrian government 'will defend all Syrian territory and will not accept any occupation of any land or iota of the Syrian soil,' Mekdad said about the expected Turkish incursion.
The Syrian Kurdish force has pledged to fight back, raising the potential for an eruption of new warfare in Syria.
'We will not hesitate for a moment in defending our people' against Turkish troops, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said in a statement, adding that it has lost 11,000 fighters in the war against the Islamic State group in Syria.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for the U.S.-backed predominantly Kurdish force that fought IS invited Trump to come see the progress the force and the U.S. made in northeastern Syria.
'We have more work to do to keep ISIS from coming back & make our accomplishments permanent. If America leaves, all will be erased,' he tweeted, referring to the Islamic State group by an alternative acronym.
Turkey, which considers Kurdish fighters in Syria terrorists and links them to a decades-old insurgency in Turkey, has already launched two major incursions into northern Syria over the past years.  
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Turkish-backed rebel forces assemble on the frontline near Manbij, a Kurdish-held town which will likely be the first target of the Turkish assault, on Tuesday
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Syrian National Army forces are dispatched to Manbij front line ahead of Turkey's planned operation in the east of the Euphrates River
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Syrian National Army, component of Syrian opposition forces, held the military exercise in Afrin, Syria, near the border with Turkey, to support Turkish Armed Forces
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Turkish-backed Syrian rebels drive in convoy towards Aleppo as Turkey prepares for an assault on nearby Kurdish strongholds following Donald Trump's offer to withdraw US troops 
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Turkey began moving its forces across the border into Afrin province on Monday, while Syrian rebels which it supports (pictured) were seen moving toward Aleppo on Tuesday
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Turkish-backed Syrian rebel fighters head to an area near the Syrian-Turkish border north of Aleppo
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The area inhabited by Kurdish people straddles Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia and the area currently controlled by the Kurds crosses over Iraq and Syria. Turkey fears an independent Kurdish state would threaten its security
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President Trump took to Twitter to threaten Turkey and demand Europe must 'watch over' captured ISIS fighters 
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[size=18]US forces withdraw from northern Syria to make way for Turkey




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The first was in 2016, when Turkey and Syrian opposition fighters it backs attacked areas held by the Islamic State group west of the Euphrates River. 
Last year Turkey launched an attack on the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin, leading to the displacement of some 300,000 people.
Also Tuesday, Iran urged Turkey not to go ahead with its planned an attack on Syrian Kurds, the Iranian state TV reported. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to express Tehran's opposition to the anticipated Turkish operation.
Zarif urged Turkey to respect Syria's integrity and sovereignty, the report said.
Iran, Turkey and Russia have been working together as part of the so-called Astana group on the Syrian civil war, talks that have run parallel to U.N. efforts to find a solution to the conflict.
Trump's announcement threw the military situation in Syria into fresh chaos and injected deeper uncertainty into the region.
U.S. involvement in Syria has been fraught with peril since it started in 2014 with the insertion of small numbers of special operations forces to recruit, train, arm and advise local fighters to combat the Islamic State. 
Trump entered the White House in 2017 intent on getting out of Syria, and even before the counter-IS military campaign reclaimed the last militant strongholds early this year, he declared victory and said troops would leave.
In recent weeks, the U.S. and Turkey had reached an apparent accommodation of Turkish concerns about the presence of Kurdish fighters, seen in Turkey as a threat. 
American and Turkish soldiers had been conducting joint patrols in a zone along the border. As part of that work, barriers designed to protect the Syrian Kurds were dismantled amid assurances that Turkey would not invade.
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Turkey's vice president Fuat Oktay says his country won't bow to threats in an apparent response to U.S. U.S. President Donald Trump's warning to Ankara about the scope of its planned military incursion into Syria
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President Erdogan during a news conference in Ankara today before his departure for Serbia, where he said US troops have started to withdraw from positions in northern Syria


[size=34]How Turkey's expected invasion of Syria would threaten the Kurds who defeated ISIS[/size]


What is Turkey's problem with the Kurds?
Turkey has historically treated the Kurds unsympathetically and has effectively made them 'mountain Turks' by driving them into the hilly areas around the south of the country.
The founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal, better known as Atatürk, pushed through a constitution 70 years ago which denied the existence of distinct cultural sub-groups in Turkey, which the Kurds fall under.
Due to this, when the Kurds - along with other minorities in the country - express ethnic differences it has been repressed by the government.
Up until 1991 the daily use of the Kurdish tongue was outlawed and seen as separatism, and even today any minor expression of Kurdish nationalism can lead to imprisonment.
The government thwarts any effort by the Kurds to become political, with parties consistently shut down and party members often imprisoned for 'crimes of opinion'.
The historical repression led to the creation of the PKK, an armed separatist movement, in 1984. Most Kurds in Turkey do not promote separatism from the Turkish state, but a large number back the PKK.
Who are the Kurds?
There are around 35million Kurds living in the hilly parts of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia - making them the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East.
Yet they do not have a permanent state. They do not have an official dialect but are part of a united community through race, culture and language.
The Kurdish people are made up of a number of religions but they are mostly Sunni Muslims.
The idea of a 'Kurdistan' came about in the 1900s following the fall of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War.
The Treaty of Sevres among the Western nations in 1920 also made provision for one.
But just three years later the Treaty of Lausanne overwrote this as it set the new boundaries for Turkey.
There was no space for a Kurdistan and left them stranded as a minority community in other countries. Attempts over the rest of the 20th Century to bring about an independent state were dashed at every turn.
What do they want?
The Kurdish people make up around 10 per cent of the Syrian population and most lived in Damascus and Aleppo before uprisings started against President Bashar al-Assad in 2011.
Despite this, they have never had basic rights and at least 300,000 have had citizenship requests denied since the 1960s.
Land has also been consistently taken from them and given to Arabs in a bit to 'Arabize' the area.
In 2011 when uprisings got underway, most Kurds did not publicly back a side, but from halfway through 2012 they seized the opportunity when government forces withdrew to fight rebels elsewhere.
The main Kurdish parties, notably the Democratic Union Party in January 2014  announced the creation of 'autonomy' for the areas of Afrin, Kobane and Jazira.
This escalated to a 'federal system' in March 2016 in Turmen and Arab areas snatched from ISIS.
This, unsurprisingly, was turned down by Assad, as well as the country's official opposition and the Americans.
The Democratic Union Party claims it is not looking for independence, but says there must be Kurdish legal rights and autonomy in any political end to the Syrian war.
In government there has been a disparity, with Assad pledging to fight back for all of Syria, but his foreign minister hinting at possible talks with the Kurds in September 2017. 
What does Turkey want?
Turkey wants a 'safe zone' in northern Syria - 30 kilometres deep and 300 miles wide - that would push the YPG away from its border.
It says the buffer zone would also allow for the return of some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees currently in Turkey, where anti-refugee sentiment is growing.
The YPG spearheaded the fight on the ground against the Islamic State (IS) group as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, with the support of the US-led international coalition.
But Ankara says the YPG is a 'terrorist' offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
A victory for Erdogan?
Since Erdogan has long pushed for the 'safe zone', the US move is 'absolutely' a victory for him, said Steven Cook, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
'Erdogan has been working tirelessly to convince (US President Donald) Trump that the US should leave Syria so that Turkey can prosecute the fight against the YPG and resettle Syrians,' he said.
The White House decision came after a phone call between Trump and Erdogan, demonstrating the Turkish leader's ability to convince his American counterpart despite resistance within the US administration.
'By giving the green light to Turkey to intervene, the United States has given the impression of having 'capitulated' with Turkish demands,' said Jana Jabbour, a Turkish foreign policy expert at Sciences Po in Paris.
'This in itself is a diplomatic victory for Erdogan,' she said.
Challenges ahead?
Turkey has launched two military operations supporting Syrian opposition fighters - in northern Syria against IS in 2016 and against the YPG in 2018.
But a question remains over Turkey's ability in the air.
During the offensive against the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in early 2018, Ankara needed Russia's permission for Turkish planes to take off.
The latest plan is much bigger in scope - and more expensive.
'A new Syria operation will generate economic costs, and it is not certain that in the context of the current recession in Turkey the country has the means for such an operation,' Jabbour said.
She also pointed to growing scepticism among the Turkish public towards Ankara's involvement in the 'Syrian chaos'.
'This is why Ankara would have preferred an agreement with the United States for the establishment of the safe zone on the border, a scenario which would have allowed Turkey to share the burden with Washington,' Jabbour said.
How to manage IS?
Turkey has another burden, as the White House said Ankara would now be responsible for IS fighters captured over the past two years and held in Kurdish detention centres.
Trump, who has frequently urged European governments to repatriate jihadists from their countries, has now pushed the problem onto Turkey.
Erdogan said Monday that Washington and Ankara would work on the issue together but he did not elaborate on the form of the eventual cooperation.
'Now Turkey has to confront IS, which shows every indication of trying to regroup and threaten the countries in the area,' Cook said.
However, Erdogan's spokesman insisted in a tweet on Monday that Turkey 'will not allow (IS) to return in any shape and form'.




The pull-back of troops comes hours after the White House announced Ankara would soon move forward with its objective to create a 'safe zone' in northern Syria and that US soldiers will not support or be involved in it. 
But there are fears a Turkish advance will reverse years of work done to drive extremists out and allow ISIS to regroup.
The US-backed SDF that controls much of the northeast region along Turkey's border, added it 'will not hesitate for a single moment' to defend itself from an expected Turkish invasion and threatened 'all-out war on the entire border'.  
France called on Turkey to avoid taking any unilateral action in northern Syria that could hinder the ongoing fight against ISIS.
The statement from the Foreign Ministry Monday warned Turkey's threatened military incursion into northern Syria could 'hurt regional stability' and not help with the return of refugees to the area - as Ankara has promised. 
More French fighters joined the extremist group than any other European nationality. France has been reluctant to allow the militants home, even to face trial. 
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The White House released a statement Sunday, saying President Trump spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erogdan by telephone to discuss the plans for Turkey to invade northern Syria (both leaders pictured in June 2019) 
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Map shows Euphrates Shield, which was a cross-border operation by the Turkish military and Turkey-aligned Syrian opposition groups during the Syrian Civil War. It led to the Turkish occupation of northern Syria
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Syrian Kurds take part in a demonstration against Turkish threats at a US-led international coalition base on the outskirts of Ras al-Ayn town near the Turkish border yesterday
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Members of the Kurdish Internal Security Police Force of Asayesh stand guard in Al-Qahtaniyah during a demonstration by Syrian Kurds against Turkish threats to launch a military operation on their region
Germany also expressed concerns at the prospect of an incursion by Turkey into northeastern Syria, saying such an intervention could further destabilise the war-torn country.
Ulrike Demmer, a spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, said today that Germany is aware of the 'special security policy situation' that Turkey faces on its border. 

[size=34]Previous Turkish incursions into Syria[/size]


By AFP 
Turkey has previously launched two operations into Syria - in 2016 and 2018 - to push back from its border Islamic State group jihadists and Kurdish militia fighters. 
Known as Euphrates Shield, Turkish artillery pound dozens of ISIS targets around the Syrian border town of Jarabulus, near the Euphrates river in the early hours of August 24, 2016.
Turkish F-16 fighter jets and coalition war planes launch air strikes.
It is the start of operation Euphrates Shield, targeting IS and the People's Protection Units (YPG), a US-backed Kurdish militia that Ankara considers a terrorist group.
In a few hours, hundreds of Syrian rebels backed by Turkish aircraft and tanks drive IS from Jarabulus.
The offensive is launched days after an attack blamed on IS that killed 54 civilians in the Turkish town of Gaziantep.
Turkey also wants to prevent the creation of an autonomous Kurdish region in Syria.
It had been alarmed when the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had earlier in August captured from IS the strategic Syrian town of Manbij, 30 kilometres (19 miles) from the Turkish border.
Turkey says the YPG is a 'terrorist offshoot' of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
On February 24, 2017, the Turkish army announces it has taken control of the Syrian town of Al-Bab, the final objective of Euphrates Shield and the last IS bastion in Syria's northern Aleppo province.
For Ankara, control of the town means it can establish a buffer between the different Kurdish-controlled territories in northern Syria, preventing them from uniting. 
On January 20, 2018, Turkey launches a major air and ground operation, dubbed Olive Branch, against the YPG in Syria's region of Afrin, about 30 kilometres from the border.
The next day, Turkish tanks and soldiers enter the region. Ankara says it aims to create a security zone deep inside Syria.
On March 18, Turkish forces and their Syrian auxiliaries oust the Kurdish militia from the town of Afrin and raise the Turkish flag.
Scenes of looting by pro-Turkish fighters draw condemnation.
Pro-Turkish forces strengthen their control of Afrin, which is emptied of its tens of thousands of inhabitants.
The fighting displaces about half of the Kurdish enclave's 320,000 people, according to the United Nations, while rights groups document abuses after the Turkish-backed rebel takeover.
Amnesty International has charged that the Turkish armed forces have 'turned a blind eye' to violations.
Nearly 300 civilians were killed in the operation, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor.
Also dead are around 1,500 Kurdish militiamen and 400 pro-Turkish fighters, it says.
Turkey says it lost 45 soldiers.




But she cautioned that successes against ISIS, which she noted were achieved in significant part by Syrian Kurdish forces with international support, 'must not be endangered'. 
Demmer said that a unilateral military intervention 'would lead to a further escalation in Syria and contribute to a continued destabilisation of the country.' She said it would also have negative security policy and humanitarian consequences.
A US official said American forces had evacuated two observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn in northeast Syria, along the Turkish border. Other US forces in the region were still in position for now, the official added.
Kurdish-led forces in northeast Syria confirmed today that US forces had withdrawn from areas at the border with Turkey where a threatened Turkish offensive would hurt its war against ISIS and roll back five years of security achievements. 
A video posted by a Kurdish news agency showed a convoy of American armored vehicles apparently heading away from the border area of Tal Abyad. 
Pictures also showed abandoned checkpoints in Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn after US troops evacuated the border towns.
Erdogan spoke hours after the White House said US forces in northeastern Syria will move aside and clear the way for an expected Turkish assault - essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces in the years-long battle to defeat ISIS.  
The White House released a statement late on Sunday, saying President Trump spoke with Erogdan by telephone to discuss the plans and the US will remove all of its forces from the 'immediate area'. 
Russia, which has supported President Bashar al-Assad with an aerial bombardment campaign on his own people, said Syria's territorial integrity must be preserved. 
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow was aware that Turkey shared Russia's position on Syria's territorial integrity, adding: 'We hope that our Turkish colleagues would stick to this position in all situations.'
He reiterated Moscow's stance that all foreign military forces 'with illegal presence' should leave Syria.
Turkey said it will not permit the ISIS to return to the region, amid fears its threatened offensive against a Kurdish militia in Syria could bolster the jihadists. 
Ibrahim Kalin, a presidential spokesman, wrote on Twitter today: 'Turkey will also continue to fight against DAESH (IS) and will not allow it to return in any shape and form.'
The Kurdish-led SDF said the US withdrawal threatened to create a security vacuum that would 'reverse the successful effort to defeat ISIS'.
Abdulkarim Omar, who acts as foreign minister for the Syrian Kurds, said on Monday the statement is unclear as the detention areas are far from the border zone where Turkey is expected to make its incursion.
He said the US troop withdrawal from the border will have 'catastrophic consequences' because Kurdish-led forces would be preoccupied with defending the border, instead of protecting detention facilities or the crowded al-Hol camp which houses over 73,000 people, many of them IS families and supporters.
Omar called on the international community to work to reverse President Donald Trump's 'illogical' decision or stop the Turkish offensive. 
But the European Union simply called for calm in northern Syria and warned that fresh fighting there is only like to drive more people from their homes. 
This would be Turkey's third such incursion since 2016. Motivated largely by the aim of containing Syrian Kurdish power, Turkey already has troops on the ground across an arc of northwestern Syria, the last stronghold of anti-Damascus rebels. 
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US military vehicles were seen driving northwards in northern Syria today, ahead of an anticipated Turkish invasion of the region that the Kurds say will overturn five years of achievements in the battle against ISIS
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A US official said American forces had already evacuated two observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn in northeast Syria, along the Turkish border
[size=18]Turkey sends military reinforcement to its border with Syria




Lo
[/size]
The US informed the commander of the Kurdish-led SDF forces in Syria on Monday morning that US forces will not defend them from Turkish attacks anywhere, according to a source.  
'Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operating into Northern Syria,' the US statement reads. 
'The Unites States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ''Caliphate,'' will no longer be in the immediate area.' 
The White House also confirmed that Turkey plans to take into custody all ISIS fighters captured over the past two years that European powers have refused to take in. 
'The United States Government has pressed France, Germany, and other European nations, from which many captured ISIS fighters came, to take them back, but they did not want them and refused.'
'The United States will not hold them for what could be many years and great cost to the United States taxpayer. Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area capture over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial ''Caliphate'' by the United States.' 
Ankara said its planned 'safe zone' in northern Syria could allow up to two million Syrian refugees to return.
The safe zone 'will serve two purposes: secure Turkey's borders by eliminating terrorist elements and allow refugees to return to their homes,' Kalin said.
He said Turkey had 'no interest in occupation or changing demographics'.
There are over 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, the highest number in the world, which has become an increasing source of tension in the country. 
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based organisation that reports on the war, said US forces had withdrawn from an area between the towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn. 
The SDF, led by the Kurdish YPG militia, said the Turkish invasion 'will have a great negative impact' on the war against ISIS.
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Turkish forces artillery pieces being driven to their new positions near the border with Syria in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, yesterday 
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US-backed Kurdish-led forces in Syria said US troops began withdrawing today from their positions along Turkey's border in northeastern Syria, ahead of an anticipated Turkish invasion. Pictured (above are Turkish artillery moving into position yesterday) 
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Syrian Interim Government's Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff, Major General Salim Idris (left) lead a military drill of members of Turkey-backed Syrian National Army, held in Afrin district of Syria today
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The Syrian National Army, made up of Syrian opposition forces and backed by Ankara, held military exercise in Afrin, Syria, near the border with Turkey, to support Turkish Armed Forces, ahead of Turkey's planned operation east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria
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A military drill of Members of The Syrian National Army, held in Afrin district of Syria today
It said in a statement: 'Despite our efforts to avoid any military escalation with Turkey and the flexibility we have shown to move forward in establishing a mechanism for the security of the borders ...the American forces did not fulfill their commitments and withdrew their forces from the border areas with Turkey.
'Turkey is now preparing for an invasion operation of northern and eastern Syria,' added the SDF, which with US backing in recent years defeated Islamic State, across much of northern and eastern Syria.
The Turkish military operation 'will have a great negative impact on our war against the Daesh organisation and will destroy everything that has been achieved with regards to stability during the last years,' it added.
In a statement the SDF said: 'The American forces did not abide by their commitments and withdrew their forces along the border with Turkey.  
Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted Saturday, before the announcement was made: 'We will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border to DEFEND ourselves and our people.' 
The Kurds have custody of thousands of captured ISIS militants, including about 2,500 highly dangerous foreign fighters from Europe and elsewhere - their native countries have been reluctant to take them back - and about 10,000 captured fighters from Syria and Iraq.
Kurdish officials have expressed concerns of a possible breakout by ISIS prisoners in case of fighting in the area.

[size=34]Timeline of US involvement in Syria since 2011[/size]


Pressure on Assad
On April 29, 2011, a month after the first protests in Syria that were met with brutal force by the regime, Washington imposes sanctions on several Syrian officials.
The measures extend to President Bashar al-Assad the following month.
On August 18, US president Barack Obama and Western allies for the first time explicitly call on Assad to stand down.
In October, the US ambassador leaves Syria for 'security reasons'. Damascus recalls its ambassador from Washington.
Obama backs off 'red line'
In August 2013, the Syrian regime is accused of carrying out a chemical attack near Damascus that killed more than 1,400 people, according to Washington.
Despite having vowed to act with force if Syria crossed the chemical weapons 'red line', Obama at the last minute pulls back from punitive strikes on regime infrastructure.
Instead, on September 14, he agrees to a deal with Moscow - Assad's main backer - that is meant to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.
US targets IS
On September 23, 2014, the US and Arab allies launch air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State (IS) group, expanding a campaign underway in neighbouring Iraq.
The biggest contributor to the coalition, Washington deploys 2,000 soldiers, mostly special forces.
In October 2015, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-Syrian Arab alliance of some 50,000 fighters, is created with US backing.
Dominated by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia, it receives US training and aid in the form of arms, air support and intelligence.
The SDF later overruns IS in northeastern Syria, driving out the jihadists from their last patch of territory in the village of Baghouz in March 2019.
Trump orders strikes
On April 7, 2017, US forces fire a barrage of cruise missiles at Syria's Shayrat airbase, believed to be the launch site of a chemical attack that killed 88 people in Idlib province.
It is the first direct US action against Assad's government and President Donald Trump's most significant military decision since taking office in January 2017.
On April 14, 2018, the US - with the support of France and Britain - launches new retaliatory strikes after an alleged regime chemical attack on the then rebel-held town of Douma, in which some 40 people were killed.
Withdrawal announced
On December 19, 2018, Trump announces that all of the roughly 2,000 US troops in Syria will be withdrawn because IS had been 'defeated'.
The surprise decision prompts Defense Secretary James Mattis to resign and is met with concern by France, Britain and Germany, but praise from Russia and Turkey.
On January 16, 2019, a suicide attack claimed by IS kills four US servicemen and 15 others at a restaurant in Syria's northern city of Manbij.
It is the deadliest attack against US forces since they deployed.
On August 7, Turkish and US officials agree to jointly manage a buffer zone between the Turkish border and areas in Syria controlled by the YPG, which Istanbul considers a 'terrorist' threat.
US steps aside
But on October 6, Washington announces that US forces would withdraw from the border areas to make way for a 'long-planned operation' by Turkish forces.
The following day, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirms that Turkish action against Kurdish militants in Syria is imminent.
The United Nations says it is 'preparing for the worst' and the European Union warns that civilians could be harmed.



Asked about the White House comments, Erdogan said that both Turkey and the US were working separately to see 'what steps can be taken' so that foreign fighters in prison can be repatriated.
'This is being worked on,' he said today.
A senior UN envoy for Syria said the fighting sides should 'put people first' amid concerns an invasion by Turkish forces into a densely populated area could be triggered. 
Panos Moumtzis, the UN's humanitarian coordinator for Syria, speaking in Geneva today, stressed there were 'a lot of unanswered questions' about the consequences of the operation.
He added civilians must be spared in any Turkish military manoeuvres and added that the UN had seen a 'bitter history' of safe zones in places like Srebrenica.
Moumtzis was referring to the slaughter by Bosnian Serb troops of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in 1995 in a UN-declared 'safe zone' where Dutch peacekeepers were unable to protect civilians. 
He said: 'We don't know what is going to happen...we are preparing for the worst.
'We understand that there is going to be some kind of security zone which will be very specifically targeted to a military operation or to an area where there has to be some clearance.
'So our hope is that there will be full cooperation by all to make sure that it happens as smoothly as possible, without resulting in displacement, and ensuring protection of civilians, ensuring that the basic principles of humanity will be respected on the ground.'
He said the UN's priorities were to ensure that any prospective Turkish offensive not result in new displacements, that humanitarian access remain unhindered and that no restrictions be put in place on freedom of movement.
The UN has a contingency plan to address additional civilian suffering, but 'hopes that will not be used,' Moumtzis said.   
More than 1,000 US troops are currently deployed in northeastern Syria but will no longer be present during the invasions. 
The US soldiers work closely with the Kurdish YPG, which leads the Syrian Democratic Forces in the regions. 
Turkey is highly likely to wait until US soldiers have withdrawn from northern Syria before launching an offensive, a senior Turkish official said today.
He added that the withdrawal of US forces from the planned area of operations could take one week and that Ankara was highly likely to wait for this in order to avoid 'any accident'. 
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'The Unites States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation,' the statement reads
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Fighters from a new border security force under the command of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dance during a graduation ceremony in Hasaka, northeastern Syria, last January 
On Monday, the US-backed SDF said such an operation would reverse years of successful Kurdish-led operations to defeat the Islamic State group and allow some of its surviving leaders to come out of hiding.
It also warned that a Turkish invasion would pose a threat to SDF-run prisons and informal settlements housing thousands of IS jihadists and their families.  
Ankara wants to push the US-backed Syrian Kurdish forces from its border, saying that the group is a 'terrorist' offshoot of Kurdish insurgents in Turkey.
The Turkish military has twice launched offensives in Syria - against IS in 2016, and in 2018 against the People's Protection Units (YPG), the backbone of the SDF.
Long marginalised, Syria's Kurds have - beyond heavy campaigns against IS - essentially stayed out of the country's eight-year civil war, instead setting up their own institutions in areas under their control.
In the areas of Ras al-Ayn, Tal Abyad and Kobane, all bordering Turkey, Kurdish forces have dug trenches and tunnels in preparation for a Turkish offensive, the Observatory said Sunday. 
The US announcement will likely be seen as a long-feared abandonment of Kurdish allies who bore the brunt of the US-led campaign against the Islamic State militants.  

[size=34]A risky victory for Erdogan after US Syria withdrawal[/size]


By AFP
What does Turkey want?
Turkey wants a 'safe zone' in northern Syria - 30 kilometres deep and 480 kilometres (300 miles) wide - that would push the YPG away from its border.
It says the buffer zone would also allow for the return of some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees currently in Turkey, where anti-refugee sentiment is growing.
The YPG spearheaded the fight on the ground against the Islamic State (IS) group as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, with the support of the US-led international coalition.
But Ankara says the YPG is a 'terrorist' offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
A victory for Erdogan?
Since Erdogan has long pushed for the 'safe zone', the US move is 'absolutely' a victory for him, said Steven Cook, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
'Erdogan has been working tirelessly to convince (US President Donald) Trump that the US should leave Syria so that Turkey can prosecute the fight against the YPG and resettle Syrians,' he said.
The White House decision came after a phone call between Trump and Erdogan, demonstrating the Turkish leader's ability to convince his American counterpart despite resistance within the US administration.
'By giving the green light to Turkey to intervene, the United States has given the impression of having 'capitulated' with Turkish demands,' said Jana Jabbour, a Turkish foreign policy expert at Sciences Po in Paris.
'This in itself is a diplomatic victory for Erdogan,' she told AFP.
Challenges ahead?
Turkey has launched two military operations supporting Syrian opposition fighters - in northern Syria against IS in 2016 and against the YPG in 2018.
But a question remains over Turkey's ability in the air.
During the offensive against the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in early 2018, Ankara needed Russia's permission for Turkish planes to take off.
The latest plan is much bigger in scope - and more expensive.
'A new Syria operation will generate economic costs, and it is not certain that in the context of the current recession in Turkey the country has the means for such an operation,' Jabbour said.
She also pointed to growing scepticism among the Turkish public towards Ankara's involvement in the 'Syrian chaos'.
'This is why Ankara would have preferred an agreement with the United States for the establishment of the safe zone on the border, a scenario which would have allowed Turkey to share the burden with Washington,' Jabbour said.
How to manage IS?
Turkey has another burden, as the White House said Ankara would now be responsible for IS fighters captured over the past two years and held in Kurdish detention centres.
Trump, who has frequently urged European governments to repatriate jihadists from their countries, has now pushed the problem onto Turkey.
Erdogan said Monday that Washington and Ankara would work on the issue together but he did not elaborate on the form of the eventual cooperation.
'Now Turkey has to confront IS, which shows every indication of trying to regroup and threaten the countries in the area,' Cook said.
However, Erdogan's spokesman insisted in a tweet on Monday that Turkey 'will not allow (IS) to return in any shape and form'.

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Post by ladybugcngc on Tue 08 Oct 2019, 22:56

Interesting...
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Post by annemarie on Wed 09 Oct 2019, 12:01

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7552725/Minneapolis-mayor-Jacob-Frey-fires-Donald-Trump-rally-security-costs.html

[size=34]Minneapolis mayor fires back at Donald Trump by questioning how he has time to be tweeting out 'garbage' – as President says rally will go ahead after city tried to charge campaign $530,000 for 'security costs'[/size]


  • Democrat Mayor Jacob Frey fired back at Trump ahead of Thursday's rally

  • Trump accused Frey of trying to squeeze his campaign for 'security costs' 

  • Campaign says city presented bill for $530,000 to the host Target Center

  • Trump claims in tweet 'Presidents Clinton and Obama paid almost nothing!'

  • Rally will take aim a radical left-wing Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar 

  • Trump hopes that Minnesota can be flipped to Republican column in 2020 


By KEITH GRIFFITH and FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 22:18 EDT, 8 October 2019 | UPDATED: 22:30 EDT, 8 October 2019

     





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Mayor Jacob Frey, a Democrat, clapped back at a press conference on Tuesday
The mayor of Minneapolis has responded to President Donald Trump's broadside over the city's $530,000 security bill for a rally, as Trump vows that the event will go forward.
Mayor Jacob Frey, a Democrat, clapped back at a press conference on Tuesday, after Trump accused him of trying to sabotage a campaign event planned for the Target Center on Thursday.
'I wake up every single morning with not a lot of time on my hands because I'm doing things like filling potholes and making sure our city has enough affordable housing,' Frey said.

'I don't have time with a city of 430,000 people to be tweeting garbage out, so it's kind of surprising when the president of the United States, a country with 327 million people, has the time to do this himself, so I don't know where the guy gets the time,' he added.  
Trump's campaign accused Frey, who has been critical of the president, of 'conjuring a phony and outlandish bill for security' at the rally.
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President Donald Trump speaks during an Oval Office ceremony on Tuesday. He accuses the Minneapolis mayor of charging exorbitant costs to try and discourage a campaign rally


Trump himself took to Twitter to air his grievances, writing on Tuesday: 'Radical Left Dem Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, is doing everything possible to stifle Free Speech despite a record sell-out crowd at the Target Center. Presidents Clinton and Obama paid almost nothing!'
At a 2009 rally at the Target Center for then-President Barack Obama, security costs totaled around $20,000, according to a Pioneer Press report at the time. 
Frey responded to the discrepancy in his press conference, saying: 'There are just big differences between 2009 and 2019.' 
The fracas erupted after the Trump campaign said the city of Minneapolis presented the operator of Target Center a $530,000 bill for security costs, which the arena operator had sought to pass along to the campaign.
Frey earlier defended the security cost estimate, saying it was reasonable and that he had a duty to taxpayers to ensure safety. 
Despite the dispute over security costs, Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale said that the rally would go on as scheduled.
'The Target Center has backed off cancelling the contract,' Parscale said in a statement on Tuesday. 'Consistent with the original agreement with the venue, the Trump campaign has not agreed to pay any additional funds.'
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Barack Obama is seen at a 2009 rally at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Police estimated security costs for that rally to total about $20,000, according to a report at the time
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Donald Trump picked a fight with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Wednesday over security charges for the president's upcoming rally. He's seen here at a Minnesota rally in 2018
The Trump campaign had earlier threatened to sue the city of Minneapolis over the costs. 
The rally comes as Trump hopes to flip Minneapolis into the Republican column in the 2020 presidential race. 
The state has gone Democrat in every presidential election since 1972, but was won by Hillary Clinton by a razor-thin 1.5% margin in 2016. It was the closest presidential election in the state since 1984, when Minnesota was the only state that did not go to Ronald Reagan, and Walter Mondale won by 0.2%. 
Trump is framing Thursday's rally as an attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar, a left-wing Democratic congresswoman who is a member of 'the squad' and a frequent target for him. His campaign thinks they can flip Minnesota into Trump's column in 2020.
The president said in a Tuesday morning tweet, 'The lightweight mayor is hurting the great police and other wonderful supporters. 72,000 ticket requests already. Dump Frey and Omar! Make America Great Again!'
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The president's campaign has accused Frey of 'abusing the power of his office and attempting to extort' the campaign by 'conjuring a phony and outlandish bill for security in an effort to block a scheduled Keep America Great rally'
Frey has made no secret of his opposition to Trump coming to the city and appeared to confirm in a tweet that the city authorities were behind the $530,000 demand.
He trolled Trump in a reply that made reference to the campaign's history of sticking cities with security costs.
'Yawn... Welcome to Minneapolis where we pay our bills, we govern with integrity, and we love all of our neighbors,' the mayor tweeted. 
He and his police chief, Medaria Arradonon, last week barred off-duty members of the city's police force from attending the rally and other political events in uniform.
That prompted an angry backlash from the police union, led by Lt. Bob Kroll, which is now selling 'Cops for Trump' t-shirts that Trump name checked.
Trump said: 'The Police are fighting the Radical Left Mayor, and his ridiculous Uniform Ban. Actually, I LOVE the Cops for Trump shirts. Want to bring some home. I am with you 100%!!!!'
Later in the day, Trump claimed that Frey is trying to block what is expected to be a 'record sell-out crowd' at the venue that boasts a previous record of 20,200 people at a 2005 U2 concert. 
[size=18]Ilhan Omar is officially divorcing her husband




L
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annemarie
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Post by party animal - not! on Wed 09 Oct 2019, 13:04

Excellent entry, Annemarie!

And someone helpfully tweeted all the other districts Trump owes money to for his campaign

https://twitter.com/OtoolePlenti/status/1181752978371497984

party animal - not!
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Post by LizzyNY on Wed 09 Oct 2019, 16:08

Can't imagine why the mayor would ask for money up front since drumpf has such a wonderful record of paying his debts.(sarcasm) Personally, I'd dock the pay of any off-duty cop who showed up at that rally in uniform. Much as he might wish it they are not drumpf's personal army!
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Post by annemarie on Wed 09 Oct 2019, 17:16

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7552905/Nancy-Pelosi-blasts-Donald-Trumps-refusal-cooperate-impeachment-inquiry.html

[size=34]'Mr. President, you are not above the law': Nancy Pelosi blasts Trump's refusal to cooperate with impeachment inquiry and calls it an 'attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy'[/size]


  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi fired back at Trump in a statement on Tuesday night

  • She claimed he 'is trying to make lawlessness a virtue' by refusing subpoenas

  • White House earlier called the impeachment inquiry illegal and illegitimate   

  • White House counsel Pat Cipollone issued a scathing eight-page letter

  • 'Put simply, you seek to overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the President they have freely chosen,' he wrote 

  • The epistle could be read as the White House's declaration of political war 

  • Cipollone listed demands including the right for Republicans to call witnesses 

  • He also echoed the political attacks Trump launched against Rep. Adam Schiff 


By KEITH GRIFFITH and EMILY GOODIN, U.S. POLITCAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 23:25 EDT, 8 October 2019 | UPDATED: 02:34 EDT, 9 October 2019

     



Speaker Nancy Pelosi has fired back at President Donald Trump, after the White House declared that the administration would totally refuse to participate in her impeachment inquiry. 
'Mr. President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable,' Pelosi said in a statement on Tuesday night, responding to a scathing letter from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.
The letter asserted that the 'illegitimate' impeachment probe amounted to an illegal attempt to overturn the 2016 election, and announced that the White House would not respond to Congressional subpoenas in the matter.
'This letter is manifestly wrong, and is simply another unlawful attempt to hide the facts of the Trump Administration's brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections,' Pelosi said in her response. 

'Despite the White House's stonewalling, we see a growing body of evidence that shows that President Trump abused his office and violated his oath to 'protect, preserve and defend the Constitution',' she continued. 
'The President's actions threaten our national security, violate our Constitution and undermine the integrity of our elections. The White House letter is only the latest attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy, and to insist that the President is above the law,' Pelosi said. 
Scroll down for video 
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'Mr. President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable,' Pelosi (above with college Adam Schiff) said in a statement on Tuesday night
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Trump earlier announced his refusal to participate in the impeachment probe, with the White House counsel writing in a letter to Congress that the inquiry is 'illegitimate'

[size=34]Nancy Pelosi's full statement[/size]


'For a while, the President has tried to normalize lawlessness. Now, he is trying to make lawlessness a virtue. The American people have already heard the President's own words – 'do us a favor, though.' The President's actions threaten our national security, violate our Constitution and undermine the integrity of our elections. The White House letter is only the latest attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy, and to insist that the President is above the law.
'This letter is manifestly wrong, and is simply another unlawful attempt to hide the facts of the Trump Administration's brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections. Despite the White House's stonewalling, we see a growing body of evidence that shows that President Trump abused his office and violated his oath to 'protect, preserve and defend the Constitution.'
'The White House should be warned that continued efforts to hide the truth of the President's abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction.
'Mr. President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable.'



Cipollone's scathing, eight-page missive, was tantamount to a declaration of political war.  
'Put simply, you seek to overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the President they have freely chosen,' White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote to the speaker and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings and Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engle, who are overseeing the inquiry.
In the letter, Cipollone argued the president and his administration 'reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process' and would not cooperate with subpoena requests. 
'Your unprecedented actions have left the President with no choice,' he wrote. 'In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the Executive Branch, and all future occupants of the Office of the Presidency, President Trump and his Administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.' 
Cipollone danced around the issue of a full House vote on an impeachment inquiry, stopping short of directly calling for one, because the GOP would likely lose in the Democratic-controlled chamber and some Republican lawmakers would be uneasy about being put in the politically tough spot of having to go on the record. 
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White House counsel Pat Cipollone included political red meat in his scathing letter to Democrats on impeachment

He also hinted the administration would become more cooperative if Democrats dropped the formal impeachment inquiry and returned to 'regular order.'
'If the Committees wish to return to the regular order of oversight requests, we stand ready to engage in that process as we have in the past, in a manner consistent with well-established bipartisan constitutional protections and a respect for the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution,' he wrote. 
But Pelosi outlined her stance in a letter to fellow Democrats before she received the White House missive, making it clear the impeachment inquiry will go forward.
She also charged the president with obstruction of justice - a charge Democrats see as an impeachable offense - and said the Constitution gives the lawmakers the authority to continue their investigation. 
'As President Trump is obstructing justice, abusing power and diminishing the office of the presidency, we have a responsibility to strengthen the institution in which we serve. This is essential if we are to honor the separation of powers which is the genius of the Constitution,' the speaker wrote earlier Tuesday afternoon. 
The White House pushed back on the Democrats' obstruction argument. 
'That's a political argument, not a legal argument,' a senior administration official said on a call with reporters. 
The White House letter reads more like a political argument than a legal one. It's filled with provocative, fiery language, and hurls insults at some of the key Democratic players in the impeachment process. 
Cipollone outlines a series of demands from the White House, including presenting evidence, calling witnesses, having White House counsel at all hearings, and letting them cross-examine the witnesses.
He also requests, on behalf of Republican lawmakers, the power to subpoena witnesses.
That power belongs to the majority party in Congress. Democrats, for example, could not use it when Republicans controlled the chamber.
Cipollone also argues 'your inquiry is constitutionally invalid and a violation of due process' because the full House did not vote on proceeding with an impeachment inquiry.
However, he stops short of blatantly calling for such a vote.
But senior administration officials did not tell reporters which or all of their demands would need to be met to ensure the president's and his staff's cooperation with Democrats.  
Cipollone does not have much of a legal leg to stand on in his requests. Article I on the Constitution gives the House of Representatives 'the sole Power of Impeachment.' 
His letter also echoes some of the political attacks President Trump has made in his own defense, particularly in its attacks on Schiff.
Cipollone attacked Schiff for his opening statement at a hearing last month that mocked the president's phone conversation with the president of the Ukraine, a move Trump has railed against and argued Schiff should be arrested for treason for doing. 
He also cited a report that the whistle-blower who first drew attention to the contents of the president's call reached out to staff on the Intelligence committee on how to proceed. 
And he threw out some political red meat in his chewing out of the Democrats.
'The effort to impeach President Trump — without regard to any evidence of his actions in office — is a naked political strategy that began the day he was inaugurated, and perhaps even before,' Cipollone wrote. 
[size=10][size=18]Trump calls for Adam Schiff and Pelosi to be investigated




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The letter from the White House counsel echoed President Trump's political attacks on Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff
The administration vowed last week to send Pelosi a letter arguing the president can ignore Democrats' demands for witnesses and documentation in their impeachment inquiry.  
Pelosi argues the blessing of the full House isn't necessary for Democrats to proceed in their inquiry. 
There 'is no requirement under the Constitution, under House Rules, or House precedent that the whole House vote before proceeding with an impeachment inquiry,' she told House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy in a letter last week after he urged her to hold a vote in the full House. 
Given that Pelosi's party holds the majority in the chamber, such a measure would be expected to pass. 
But Republicans could be concerned about support slipping among their own lawmakers.
Pelosi has made such an argument.
'There's some Republicans that are very nervous about our bringing that vote to the floor,' she said a press conference on Capitol Hill last week. 
Polls indicate support among Americans - and slowly among Republicans - is building for the Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
A Washington Post-Schar School poll out Tuesday showed 28 per cent of Republicans support the inquiry, a new high.  
And some GOP lawmakers, like Representative Mark Amodei of Nevada, have indicated an openness to the inquiry, saying Congress should follow the facts in the case. Congressman Fred Upton of Michigan said there are 'legitimate questions' about Trump's request of the Ukrainian president in their July 25 phone call. 


A vote now on an impeachment inquiry could lock in GOP lawmakers to the president's side before further cracks in support show up.
And it would force them on the record at a time many of them have remained silent about the president's predicament. 
There is talk that, privately, not all Republicans are on the president's side.  
Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake claimed 'at least 35' Republican senators would vote to impeach Trump - if they could do it on a secret ballot.  
'I heard someone say if there were a private vote there would be 30 Republican votes,' he told the Texas Tribune Festival last month. 'That's not true. There would be at least 35.'
The president does have his public supporters though. McCarthy and Republican lawmaker Jim Jordan have been vocal and public in their backing the president. 
'You have a speaker of the House that said we need to strike while the iron is hot and the chairman of the committee who is so bias against this president,' Jordan complained on Tuesday in the Capitol of Pelosi and Schiff.  
The resistance movement by the Trump administration has already started when the president directed Gordon Sondland, his ambassador to the European Union, not to testify before lawmakers on Tuesday. 
A series of text messages released by the House Intelligence Committee last week place Sondland at the center of talks involving the Ukrainians, U.S. diplomats, and Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.










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The White House has played hardball with Democrats, forbidding EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland from testifying before lawmakers
Lawmakers wanted to speak to him about the texts and about additional texts and emails they claim are in his possession. 
House Democrats, in response, subpoenaed Sondland and directed him to appear before them at a hearing next Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and produce the requested documents by the preceding Tuesday.
The Democrats warn him if he doesn't show up, even at the request of the president, it would be seen as an obstruction of their impeachment inquiry. 
'Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena, including at the direction or behest of the president, the White House, or the State Department, shall constitute further evidence of obstruction of the House's impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the president,' the [url=https://oversight.house.gov/sites/democrats.oversight.house.gov/files/documents/2019-10-08.EEC Engel Schiff to Sondland re Subpoena.pdf]letter to him [/url]states.
If the Trump administration directs him to ignore the subpoena, the matter is likely to end up in the courts.

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Post by annemarie on Wed 09 Oct 2019, 19:26

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7554409/Lindsey-Graham-spoken-BFF-Donald-Trump-president-decided-pull-troops-Syria.html

[size=34]Lindsey Graham accuses BFF Donald Trump of 'putting the nation and his presidency at risk' by pulling troops out of Syria and says if he hears president say it was a campaign promise again 'I'm going to throw up'[/size]


  • Sen. Lindsey Graham publicly criticized removal of U.S. troops from Syria 

  • 'If I hear the president say one more time, 'I made a campaign promise to get out of Syria,' I'm going to throw up,' Graham told Axios 

  • 'He's putting the nation at risk, and I think he's putting his presidency at risk'

  • Trump defended his decision:  'USA should never have been in Middle East' 

  • Graham's comments come as Turkish troops are moving into Syria 


By EMILY GOODIN, U.S. POLITCAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 08:39 EDT, 9 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:07 EDT, 9 October 2019

     





Lindsey Graham says he hasn't spoken to Donald Trump since the president decided to remove U.S. troops from Syria, a decision the senator says will put both the nation and Trump's presidency at risk.
The long time Trump ally also said if he heard the president say one more time it was a campaign promise to pull American forces from the country, he would throw up.  
'I think he's putting the nation at risk, and I think he's putting his presidency at risk,' Graham told Axios of Trump's decision to secede the area to Turkey.  'And I hope he will adjust his policies like he did before. That would actually be a sign of real leadership.'
'If I hear the president say one more time, 'I made a campaign promise to get out of Syria,' I'm going to throw up,' the Republican senator from South Carolina added. 
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Senator Lindsey Graham said he hasn't spoken to President Trump since he decided to remove U.S. troops from Syria
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President Trump has defended his decision: 'USA should never have been in Middle East'
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[size=10][size=18]Trump says 'let them take care of it' when talking about leaving Syria




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Trump's decision has led to criticism from members of both parties that he abandoned America's Syrian Kurdish allies under pressure from Turkey. 
The president defended the move, writing on Twitter 'it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars.' 
He also noted in a tweet Wednesday morning: 'Fighting between various groups that has been going on for hundreds of years. USA should never have been in Middle East. Moved our 50 soldiers out. Turkey MUST take over captured ISIS fighters that Europe refused to have returned. The stupid endless wars, for us, are ending! 
Graham said he heard about Trump's decision when he got a phone call from someone at 6 a.m. on Monday, telling him:  'You won't believe what just happened.'
The senator has not spoken to Trump since. 
'He knows how I feel,' said Graham, who publicly criticized the president's decision. 





'The president is not ending the war. He's creating a bigger war if he does not change course,' Graham told Axios.
'The president's doing this completely against everybody else's advice,' he said and claimed no one on the White House national security team supports the move. 
The two men are close and often golf together. They played together on the last Saturday in September at the Trump National Golf Course in Virginia. Graham also traveled with Trump to New York in August for a series of Republican fundraisers.  
Graham is not the only Republican critic of Trump's decision, which has caused chaos in the region and fears of a Turkish military assault on the Kurds. 
Trump, however, said he would retaliate if Turkey did something the U.S. did not like. 
'I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey,' he warned via Twitter. 
Senator GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican Senator Mitt Romney and GOP Congressman Adam Kinzinger also have been vocal critics of Trump's decision. 
[size=18]Republican allies criticize Trump over decision to pull out of Syria




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Trump and Graham are close and often play golf together - Graham is seen at the White House after playing with the president in September
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President Trump and Senator Graham at the White House, leaving to play golf last October
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President Donald Trump greets Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Chuck Grassley as they meet to discuss immigration at the White House in January 2018
Another Republican senator said Trump's move was reminiscent of President Barack Obama removing U.S. troops for Iraq.
'Abandon our allies makes a crummy bumper sticker,' the lawmaker complained. 
'We just spent eight years fighting a cut-and-run foreign policy but this Syria decision is exactly what Obama did in Iraq. With the exception of one twerp, there's not a single Republican senator who ran on isolationism. You can campaign on not being the world's policeman all you want, but 'abandon our allies' makes a crummy bumper sticker and an even worse foreign policy because the fight against radical Islam isn't over, and some ISIS-type group will come back,' the senator told The Dispatch.
Turkish troops crossed into Syria on Wednesday in preparation for an imminent attack on Kurdish territory, an official has claimed.
[size=18]Turkish military reinforcements move to Syria border




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Turkey-backed members of Syrian National Army prepare for moving to Turkey for an expected military operation by Turkey into Kurdish areas of northern Syria
[size=18]Residents flee Sere Kaniye after Turkey begins airstrikes




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Two expeditionary forces entered Syria close to the towns of Tell Abaid and Sari Kani early in the morning in preparation for a broader offensive, the official told Bloomberg.
Another official later denied that the military operation had begun, but said preparations are still underway.
On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country will inform Syria, the United Nations and others about an expected Turkish incursion into northern Syria.
He argued the foray is in line with Turkey's right to defend itself. 
And Ibrahim Kalin, an aide to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, told National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien in a phone call that Turkey's operation aimed to clear its border of militants and ensure the return of Syrian refugees, local broadcaster NTV reported, according to Reuters.
Kalin and O'Brien also discussed a planned visit by Erdogan to Washington next month, NTV said.

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Post by annemarie on Wed 09 Oct 2019, 19:32

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7554413/Alabamas-capital-Montgomery-elects-black-mayor-200-year-history.html

[size=34]Alabama's capital Montgomery elects first black mayor in its 200 year history: City known as the cradle of the Confederacy and later the birthplace of the civil rights movement votes in African-American probate judge[/size]


  • Probate Judge Steven Reed, 45, has become the first ever black mayor of Montgomery in its 200-year history on Tuesday

  • He clasped the history-making victory after defeating local TV station owner David Woods by a decisive margin, winning by around 67% of the vote

  • No stranger to making history, Reed was the first black probate judge elected in Montgomery County and was the first to issue marriage licenses to gay couples

  • Reed said his campaign was built on a coalition focused on the city's future and ‘all of the things that tie us together rather than those things that keep us apart’

  • Montgomery, which was incorporated on December 3, 1819, was the Capital of the Confederacy and the birthplace of the civil rights movement


By LUKE KENTON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 09:40 EDT, 9 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:44 EDT, 9 October 2019

     



Alabama's capital Montgomery, a city once considered a cradle to the Confederacy and later revered as the birthplace of the civil rights movement, has elected the first African American mayor in its 200-year history.
Probate Judge Steven Reed, 45, clasped the history-making victory after defeating local television station owner David Woods by a decisive margin, winning by around 67% of the vote in Tuesday's mayoral runoff, according to unofficial returns.
‘This election has never been about me,’ Reed told a cheering crowd, after his triumph was announced. ‘This election has never been about just my ideas. It's been about all of the hopes and dreams that we have as individuals and collectively in the city.’
Reed said his campaign was built on a coalition focused on the city's future and ‘all of the things that tie us together rather than those things that keep us apart.’

[size=10][size=18]Montgomery, Alabama elects its first black mayor in 200-year history




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Probate Judge Steven Reed, 45, clasped the history-making victory after winning by around 67% of the vote
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Reed said his campaign was built on a coalition focused on the city's future and ‘all of the things that tie us together rather than those things that keep us apart’
No stranger to making history, Reed was the first black probate judge elected in Montgomery County and was one of the first to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in the state.
His father, Joe Reed, is the longtime leader of the black caucus of the Alabama Democratic Party.
Montgomery, which was incorporated on December 3, 1819, has long played a central part in the United States’ unsavory racial history. It was the first capital of the Confederate States in 1861, and is home to the church where Martin Luther King Jr. pioneered the Montgomery bus boycott, which went on to make Rosa Parks a household name.
Reed will replace current Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, who did not seek re-election having served since 2009.
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No stranger to making history, Reed was the first black probate judge elected in Montgomery County and was one of the first to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in the state
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Montgomery, which was incorporated on December 3, 1819, has long played a central part in the United States’ unsavory racial history. It was the first capital of the Confederate States in 1861, and is home to the church where Martin Luther King Jr. pioneered the Montgomery bus boycott, which went on to make Rosa Parks (above) a household name
Born in the city, Reed graduated from Morehouse, a historically black college in Atlanta, before going on to earn an MBA from Vanderbilt.
Reverend Edward J. Nettles, a prominent pastor who leads the Freewill Missionary Baptist Church, said Reed’s election will ‘will send a signal to the entire country that Montgomery is moving forward in a positive way,’ to the New York Times.
Nettles also affirmed that Reed’s election represented a generation shift, saying that though the city of Montgomery will continued to be weighed down by its challenging racial past, a younger official such as Reed would bear less of that baggage.
‘We are so caught up in our past,’ Pastor Nettles said. ‘There’s a generation that’s older than him. They can’t seem to get past the politics and status quo of the past. They’re still locked in a particular mind-set.’
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Reed will replace current Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, who did not seek re-election having served since 2009
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‘This election has never been about me,’ Reed told a cheering crowd, after his triumph was announced. ‘This election has never been about just my ideas. It's been about all of the hopes and dreams that we have as individuals and collectively in the city.’
Montgomery is one of only three cities in six Deep South states with a population of 100,000 or more that hadn’t previously elected an African American mayor.
The very first African-American mayors were elected during the mid-1800s during a short span of time known has Reconstruction.
Birmingham, Alabama, another city plagued by a dark racial past, elected its first African-American mayor, Richard Arrington Jr., 40 years ago, who served five terms.
But Montgomery has been notoriously slow to make amends with its troubled past. Only in 2013 did the city’s police chief apologize for the failure of their officers to protect the civil rights activists known as the Freedom Riders who were attacked by a white mob in 1961.
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Post by annemarie on Wed 09 Oct 2019, 20:18

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7554451/Syria-says-determined-willing-confront-Turkish-assault-ahead-imminent-invasion.html

[size=34]'It's a bad idea': Donald Trump blasts Turkish air strikes on Syrian Kurds and ISIS fighters saying he 'does not endorse' Erdogan's 'Operation Peace Spring' to 'neutralise terror threats' following withdrawal of US troops[/size]


  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his fresh offensive into northern Syria had begun today

  • 'Operation Peace Spring' launched in a bid to 'bring peace to the area' by targeting 'terrorists' near the border 

  • Turkish President Erdogan attacked Kurds along the border who had allied with the US in war against ISIS 

  • Commanders warned of a 'humanitarian disaster' and chaos in refugee camps if planned invasion goes ahead

  • Kurds called up civilians to the army, telling them to 'do your duty' as Damascus vowed to resist any invasion

  • Trump had agreed to withdraw US troops from Syria and hand control of the military operation to the Turkish

  • US President said Turkey's incursion into Syria was a 'bad idea' and that the US 'does not endorse this attack'

  • The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claim bombing has killed five civilians and wounded others


By CHRIS DYER and CHRIS PLEASANCE FOR MAILONLINE  and AFP and REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 09:05 EDT, 9 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:53 EDT, 9 October 2019





Donald Trump has blasted the Turkish airstrikes on Syrian Kurds and ISIS fighters, saying he 'does not endorse' President Erdogan's long-awaited military assault in Syria today.
Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of the offensive - called 'Operation Peace Spring' - in northern Syria this afternoon in a bid to 'bring peace to the area' by targeting Kurdish fighters whom Ankara regards as 'terrorists'.
President Trump - who ordered American troops out of the area - said Turkey's incursion into the area was a 'bad idea' and said that Washington 'does not endorse this attack.'
In the statement, Trump added that Turkey had committed to 'ensuring no humanitarian crisis takes place - and we will hold them to this commitment.'

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said Turkish warplanes had caused 'huge panic' when they attacked the Kurdish-held territory today, days after Donald Trump pulled out U.S. troops. 
SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said on Twitter: 'Turkish warplanes have started to carry out air strikes on civilian areas.'
Pictures and video footage from the ground appeared to show civilians desperately fleeing the area as clouds of smoke rose from the positions targeted by Turkish jets. 
Artillery units were shelling Kurdish towns across the border and the SDF said two civilians were killed and two others injured, while at least one fighter was also reported killed.  
Tanks and troops had been massing on the border since Trump announced that American troops would step aside. 
[size=10][size=18]Turkey begin their jets strikes targeting Syria's Tel Abyad




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Smoke rises at the site Ras al-Ayn city as Turkish troops along with the Syrian National Army begin Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria against PKK/YPG and ISIS 
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Turkish Army's fighter jet takes off from 8th Main Jet Base in Diyarbakir, Turkey today as Turkish troops along with the Syrian National Army begin Operation Peace Spring
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Smoke rises at the site of Ras al-Ayn city of Syria as Turkish troops along with the Syrian National Army begin Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria
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Turkish Army's armoured tanks artillery fire as Turkish troops along with the Syrian National Army begin Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria today
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Civilians were seen fleeing from bombed positions along the Turkey/Syria border today as President Erdogan launched airstrikes on the region 
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Video footage showed civilians fleeing as smoke rose from bombs dropped by Turkish warplanes. Kurds living in the area reported that some civilians were injured in the attacks
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Turkish army vehicles drive towards the Syrian border near Akcakale in Sanliurfa province today as Ankara launched an assault on Kurdish forces in the region
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A Turkish military convoy is pictured in Kilis near the Turkish-Syrian border, Turkey, today. Truck and tanks were seen on the border overnight ahead of a planned invasion by Ankara 
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Hours after Turkey launched its areal bombardment, President Trump tweeted that US troops 'should have never' been in the Middle East. Thick black smoke was seen rising from buildings in Syrian border towns today after the Turkish airstrike 
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks on the phone with Defense Minister Hulusi Akar before reportedly giving orders for the start of the military operation into Syria. A pictured of Turkish field marshal Atatürk hangs behind him
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Shortly after the Turkish operation inside Syria started, local residents cheered and applauded as a convoy of Turkish forces vehicles drove through the town of Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey
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Thick smoke rises from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad after bombings by Turkish forces. President Erdogan is labelling the assault 'Operation Peace Spring'
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The first group of Turkish infantry prepare to enter Syria on the border between Turkey and Syria today in Akcakale, Turkey
Hours after the assault was launched, President Trump tweeted that US troops should 'never have been' in the Middle East in the first place.  
In Damascus, Syria's deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad warned that the Assad government 'will defend all Syrian territory and will not accept any occupation of any land or iota of the Syrian soil'. 
Syrian state media and a Kurdish official separately said bombing hit the town of Ras al-Ain in the northeast along the Turkish border that will be supported by artillery and howitzer fire.
Earlier, Turkish television reports said Turkish jets had bombed Syrian Kurdish positions across the border from Turkey.  
Erdogan tweeted today that his armed forces along with the Syrian National Army had launched 'Operation Peace Spring' to 'prevent the creation of a terror corridor' along the Turkish border. 
He added the aim to is to eliminate threats from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and the Islamic State militants, and enable the return of Syrian refugees in Turkey after the formation of a 'safe zone' in the area.
The Turkish president wrote on Twitter: 'Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area. We will preserve Syria's territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.' 
A Turkish official confirmed the military action after explosions rocked the town of Ras al Ain in northeast Syria, on the border with Turkey.
Earlier today Syria vowed to respond to a planned Turkish invasion of the northeast of the country, saying it condemned Ankara's 'hostile intentions'.
The Syrian foreign ministry said the 'hostile actions' of the Turkish government revealed its 'expansionist ambitions,' saying an attack on Syrian territory 'could not be justified' and pledged to 'confront a Turkish assault'. 
Turkish troops crossed into Syria earlier today in preparation for an imminent attack on Kurdish territory, an official claimed.
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Thick black smoke billows from the northeastern town of Ras al-Ain in the Hasakeh province along the Turkish border this afternoon
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Turkish Army's cargo plane seen in Diyarbakir, Turkey, today as President Erdogan launched his offensive into northern Syria
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Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said Turkish warplanes struck its region in the northeast, sparking 'huge panic among people' today. Pictured smoke rising after a Turkish airstrike 
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This smoke was seen rising at the site of Ras al-Ayn city of Syria as Turkish troops along with the Syrian National Army begin Operation Peace Spring today 
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A photo taken from Turkey's Sanliurfa province today showing smoke rises as Turkish troops along with the Syrian National Army moved into northern Syria to target the PKK/YPG and ISIS 
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Two small Turkish expeditionary forces entered Syria near the towns of Tell Abaid and Sar Kani early this morning, ahead of a major assault (centre). Meanwhile Syrian rebels allied with Turkey were pictured massing the forces in the area around Aleppo (left). Turkey also launched an airstrike overnight on Monday on a crossing point between Iraq and Syria to stop Kurdish troops resupplying (right). Today fresh Turkish airstrikes bombarded the border towns of Tell Abiad, Sari Kani and Qamishli
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Civilians leaving in trucks as Turkish planes bombarded Syrian border towns today. President Erdogan announced the launch of Operation Peace Spring as his troops moved into the area 
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his offensive into northern Syria had begun in a bid to 'bring peace to the area' by targeting terrorists by launching airstrikes in 
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Turkish Armed Forces' armoured vehicles amassed on the Turkish side of the border with Syria today ahead of a planned invasion of the northeast of the war-torn country 
[size=18]Residents flee Sere Kaniye after Turkey begins airstrikes




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Two expeditionary forces entered Syria close to the towns of Tell Abiad and Sari Kani early in the morning in preparation for a broader offensive, the official told Bloomberg.
Another official later denied that the military operation had begun, but said preparations are still underway. 
It comes after tanks, trucks, troops and supplies were pictured massing on the border overnight. 
From the Turkish town of Akcakale several explosions were seen across the border in the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, where a witness reported people fleeing en masse.

[size=34]International reaction to Turkish strikes on Syria[/size]


The European Union 
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker demanded Turkey halt its military operation against Kurdish militants in northern Syria on Wednesday, telling Ankara the bloc would not pay for any so-called 'safe zone.' 
'I call on Turkey as well as the other actors to act with restraint and to stop operations already, as we are speaking, under way,' Juncker said.
'I have to say if the Turkish plan involves the creation of a so-called safe zone, don't expect the European Union to pay for any of it.' 
NATO 
Turkey's military operation in northeastern Syria must be restrained, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said today, adding that it was important not to destabilise the region any further.
Stoltenberg told reporters that Turkey had 'legitimate security concerns' and had informed NATO about its attack against Kurdish fighters in Syria.
'I count on Turkey to act with restraint and ensure that any action it may take in northern Syria is proportionate and measured,' he said after meeting Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. 'It is important to avoid actions that may further destabilise the region, escalate tensions and cause more human suffering.'
Germany
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Turkey's operation would lead to further destabilisation of the region and could strengthen Islamic State. He urged Turkey to end the operation.
France
France's European affairs minister Amelie de Montchalin said France and Britain would call a U.N. Security Council meeting over the Turkish offensive. France, Germany and Britain are finalising a joint statement condemning the advance.
Italy
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the operation risked destabilising the region and harming civilians.
Denmark 
Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted: 'Deeply concerned about Turkish military operation in Syria.
'In my view, this is a regrettable and wrong decision, which can have serious consequences for civilians and the fight against ISIL (Islamic State).
'Turkey must show restraint. Denmark is in close contact with allies on the matter.' 
Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged his Turkish counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to 'think carefully' before taking any action.
'Putin called on his Turkish partners to think carefully about the situation so as not to harm overall efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis,' the presidency said following a phone call between the two leaders.
Erdogan for his part told Putin that the offensive 'will contribute to Syria's peace and stability and ease the path to a political solution'.
Netherlands
Dutch foreign minister Stef Blok said he had summoned Turkey's ambassador to condemn the assault.
'I call on Turkey not to follow the path it has chosen,' Blok, whose country is a member of the coalition against the Islamic State, said on Twitter.
'No one can benefit from the potentially terrible humanitarian consequences. The operation can trigger new refugee flows and harm the fight against IS and stability in the region.'




Large explosions also rocked Ras al Ain, just across the border from the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar, a CNN Turk reporter said. The sound of planes could he heard above and smoke was rising from buildings in Ras al Ain, he said.
The SDF said military positions and civilians in the city of Qamishli and the town of Ain Issa - more than 20 miles (30km) inside Syria - had been hit, and said there were initial reports of civilian casualties.
Turkish media said mortar and rocket fire from Syria struck the Turkish border towns of Ceylanpinar and Nusaybin. There were no immediate reports of casualties there.
Trump's decision has led to criticism from members of both parties that he abandoned America's Syrian Kurdish allies under pressure from Turkey. 
President Trump later tweeted that the US should have never used troops in the Middle East and referenced the failed bid to find Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction as the premise for the Iraq war under President George W. Bush as a reason for the US withdrawal from northern Syria. 
Trump said he is 'slowly and carefully' bringing soldiers home from the Middle East, ending US involvement in what he described as the 'worst mistake' in the nation's history and winding down nearly two decades of American warfare.
He told his detractors that culling bloodshed by US soldiers is the 'BIG PICTURE'. He said it's up to regional forces, now, to kill, capture and prosecute the remaining terrorists. 
He declared in cap-filled tweets: 'USA should never have been in Middle East.'
On his Twitter account, the president wrote: 'The United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded. Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE..... 
'....IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY! We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. There were NONE! Now we are slowly & carefully bringing our great soldiers & military home. Our focus is on the BIG PICTURE! THE USA IS GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!' 
He later retweeted a message criticising Republicans opposing Trumps withdrawal from Syria, adding: 'True. Should have never been there in the first place!'
Senator Lindsey Graham vowed today that Congress will inflict a cost on Turkey for its offensive against Syria's Kurds as the usually loyal ally of President Donald Trump sharply criticised US policy.
Graham said this morning that 'a disaster is in the making,' if Turkey entered Syria.
The senior Republican later tweeted, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 'Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration. This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS. Will lead effort in Congress to make Erdogan pay a heavy price.'
The Turkish leader declared an offensive against US-allied Kurdish fighters who effectively control northeastern Syria after a telephone conversation with Trump, who promised to withdraw US troops serving as a buffer.
'I urge President Trump to change course while there is still time by going back to the safe zone concept that was working,' said Graham
Damascus today said it 'is determined and willing to confront a Turkish assault using all legitimate means,' said a foreign ministry statement carried by state news agency SANA, condemning Ankara's 'hawkish statements, hostile intentions...and military build-up' along the border. 
It said it held 'some Kurdish groups [in Syria] responsible' for the current situation on the border, but would still be ready to 'embrace' them if they decide to return to the fold.
GOP senators like Mitt Romney, Homeland Security Chair Ron Johnson, Energy Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski also accused Trump of 'betraying' and 'abandoning' the Kurds in Syria to no avail.
Anti-war GOP Sen. Rand Paul was one of a handful of Republican lawmakers to openly hail Trump's decision.
'President Trump should be applauded for putting America first! I support bringing our troops home from endless wars in the Middle East!' he said on Tuesday evening. 
[size=18]Turkish jets take off from air base as operation into Syria begins




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Turkish Armed Forces' armoured vehicles and armored personnel carriers, carrying Turkish commandos move towards to Turkey's Syrian border as they are being dispatched to support the units at the border, in Kilis today
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Large explosions rocked Ras al Ain, just across the border from the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar. The sound of planes could he heard above and smoke was rising from buildings in Ras al Ain
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From the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria today, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, smoke billowed from a fire inside Syria during bombardment by Turkish forces
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A woman walking as smoke billows behind her following Turkish bombardment in the northeastern town of Ras al-Ain in Syria's Hasakeh province along the Turkish border today 
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Turkish soldiers stand guard at Akcakale, on the Turkish side of the border, a short distance from Tell Abaid in Syria amid reports that a small force had moved into the country
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Turkish Armed Forces' armoured vehicles and armoured personnel carriers were seen in convoy towards the Syrian border at Turkey's Hatay today
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Turkish commandos in armoured vehicles were seen travelling towards the Syrian border today as they are being dispatched to support border units in Hatay, Turkey
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Civilians ride a pickup truck as smoke billows following Turkish bombardment in the northeastern town of Ras al-Ain in Syria's Hasakeh province along the Turkish border today 
[size=18]Syrians flee after Turkish army launch air strikes into border town




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Trump has offered varying justifications for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Syria.
He indicated Monday that a Friday afternoon visit to Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, affected him deeply.
He on Tuesday painted the Turks as a benign American partner and NATO ally that could be trusted.
'So many people conveniently forget that Turkey is a big trading partner of the United States, in fact they make the structural steel frame for our F-35 Fighter Jet,' he tweeted.
Kurdish commanders have warned of an 'impending humanitarian disaster' if the attack goes ahead, while begging world leaders for help. 
It comes after President Trump handed control of regional security to Turkey during a phone call on Sunday with President Erdogan.   
Despite the incursion into Syrian territory, Russia said it will not get involved in the conflict between Turkey and Syria after Ankara launched an operation in Syria's northeast.
Russia's military is in Syria for different reasons, but President Vladimir Putin told his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan by phone today to avoid any steps in Syria that could damage its peace process, the Kremlin said, as Turkey started its operation in northeastern Syria. 
The Turkish military offensive in Syria can be construed as a violation of Syria's sovereignty, Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy chair of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of parliament, was quoted in the Russian media as saying.
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Trump told his detractors that culling bloodshed by U.S. soldiers is the 'BIG PICTURE.' He said it's up to regional forces, now, to kill, capture and prosecute the remaining terrorists
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A Syrian Kurdish woman flashes the V-sign during a demonstration against Turkish threats in Ras al-Ain town in Syria's Hasakeh province near the Turkish border today
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Fighters of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) inspect a base after fighters moved to front lines near the border with Turkey, at Tal Arqam village, Ras al-Ein, north Syria
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The deserted Tal Arqam base after the withdrawal of US forces in Ras al-Ein, north Syria. Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from the area on Monday ahead of the military action by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
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Syrian Kurds demonstrating against Turkish threats in Ras al-Ain town in Syria today. Turkey's planned invasion began today as airstrikes were launched on Kurdish positions
[size=18]U.S. armoured vehicles seen in Kobani near Turkish border




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Turkey called on Europe today to take back their citizens who have been captured as jihadists in Syria, an issue that has also angered Trump and was reiterated by the president as he announced the US withrawal.
Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for the Turkish presidency, told the BBC that President Trump, 'was right about this. They [European countries] should take them, try them and follow the due judicial process'.
Kurdish leaders also issued a call to civilians to join the military on Wednesday morning and 'do your duty'. 
A statement issued by the SDF on Wednesday said: 'The border areas of northeast Syria are on the edge of a possible humanitarian catastrophe. 
'All indications, field information and military build-up on the Turkish side of the border indicate that our border areas will be attacked by Turkey in cooperation with Syrian opposition tied to Turkey.
'This attack will spill the blood of thousands of innocent civilians because our border areas are overcrowded.
'Accordingly we call on the international community and all countries of the international coalition who fought together and triumphed together over the so-called ISIS Caliphate to carry out their responsibilities and avoid a possible impending humanitarian disaster.'
The statement was released shortly before the Kurdish administration in northeastern Syria called up civilians to defend the region against an attack.
'We announce three days of general mobilisation in northern and eastern Syria,' it said, urging all civilians to 'head to the border with Turkey to fulfil their duty.'  
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Trump golf buddy Lindsey Graham, a leading voice in American foreign policy, urged the president to reverse course
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Soldiers patrol the border ahead of an anticipated attack to extend Turkish control of more of northern Syria, a large swath of which is currently held by Syrian Kurds, whom Turkey regards as a threat
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A wall separating Turkey from Syria is seen behind a Turkish soldier who stands guard in Akcakale, close to where an expeditionary force is said to have crossed into Syria early on Wednesday
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Two small expeditionary forces of Turkish troops moved into northern Syria on Wednesday morning, an official claimed, ahead of a much larger invasion (pictured, a tank near the border overnight) 
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The SDF begged world leaders for help to avoid 'thousands of innocent civilians' being killed as Turkey prepared for a wide-scale invasion (pictured, troops on the Turkish side of the border)
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A Turkish officer sits atop this tank as it movers to its new position on the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria
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A truck carrying two armoured vehicles makes its way towards the border crossing between Turkey and Syria overnight
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Turkey has said President Trump gave assurances to President Erdogan during a phone call that security in Syria would be fully handed over to their control
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Vehicles carrying the members of Free Syrian Army, a Turkish-backed rebel group, patrol in the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria Wednesday
In the early part of the eight-year-old civil war in Syria, Kurdish forces took control of Kurdish-majority areas of the the north and east and set up their own autonomous institutions.
When the Islamic State group swept across the region in 2014, they mounted a fierce defence of their heartland and became the US-led coalition's main military partner on the ground.
Ankara strongly opposed Washington's support for Kurdish forces in Syria citing their links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has fought a deadly insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
Damascus rejects Kurdish self-rule and wants central government institutions restored in Kurdish-held areas.
The Kurds want protection from the long-threatened Turkish offensive.
Weakened by Washington's decision to withdraw most of its troops following the capture of the last vestige of IS's 'caliphate' in March, the Kurdish-led alliance has opened talks with Damascus.
But the negotiations have yet to bear fruit.
Turkey has already carried out two cross-border offensives into Syria, including one in 2018 that saw it and allied Syria rebels overrun the majority Kurdish Afrin enclave in the northwest.


Many Syrians displaced by fighting elsewhere in the country have fled to the Aleppo region in the hopes of seeking shelter there.
According to data collected by Global Shelter Cluster, which is leading relief efforts in Syria, there are currently some 600,000 people receiving aid in the Aleppo region - of which 140,000 are almost entirely reliant on aid for survival.
In the event of an invasion of northern Syria by Turkey, Aleppo is where the majority of the initial fighting would take place.
Turkey has announced plans to create a 'peace corridor' along its border with Syria by wiping out 'terrorists' - by which it means the SDF. 
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Turkish Army's armored military vehicles and heavy duty machines are being dispatched to the Syrian border ahead of Turkey's planned operation
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Local residents jeer and applaud as a convoy of Turkish forces vehicles and trucks carrying tanks and armoured personnel carriers is driven towards the Syrian border
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Turkish army soldiers drive towards the border with Syria near Akcakale in Sanliurfa province overnight Tuesday
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A Turkish army's tank drives down from a truck as Turkish armed forces drive towards the border with Syria
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Turkish Army's military vehicles and heavy duty machines are being dispatched to the Syrian border, and began crossing early Wednesday
[size=18]Turkish-backed forces train near Syrian border




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Fahrettin Altun, spokesman for the Turkish government, said Tuesday night that the operation would begin 'shortly' and ordered SDF units to stand aside.
'The Turkish military, together with the Free Syrian Army, will cross the Turkish-Syrian border shortly,' he tweeted.

[size=34]Previous Turkish incursions into Syria[/size]


By AFP 
Turkey has previously launched two operations into Syria - in 2016 and 2018 - to push back from its border Islamic State group jihadists and Kurdish militia fighters. 
Known as Euphrates Shield, Turkish artillery pound dozens of ISIS targets around the Syrian border town of Jarabulus, near the Euphrates river in the early hours of August 24, 2016. 
On February 24, 2017, the Turkish army announces it has taken control of the Syrian town of Al-Bab, the final objective of Euphrates Shield and the last IS bastion in Syria's northern Aleppo province.
For Ankara, control of the town means it can establish a buffer between the different Kurdish-controlled territories in northern Syria, preventing them from uniting. 
On January 20, 2018, Turkey launches a major air and ground operation, dubbed Olive Branch, against the YPG in Syria's region of Afrin, about 30 kilometres from the border.
The next day, Turkish tanks and soldiers enter the region. Ankara says it aims to create a security zone deep inside Syria.
On March 18, Turkish forces and their Syrian auxiliaries oust the Kurdish militia from the town of Afrin and raise the Turkish flag. 




'YPG militants have two options: They can defect or we will have stop them from disrupting our counter-ISIS efforts.' 
Ankara says the creation of a safe zone will allow for the return of Syrian refugees in Turkey, and create greater regional stability.
However, observers warn fresh conflict along the border will destabilise the region and likely lead to an ISIS resurgence as the SDF diverts forces to fight the Turks.
Overnight the SDF reported three suicide bomb attacks in Raqqa, the defacto capital of ISIS's self-declared Caliphate, by sleeper cells which had activated in the city.
Early on Wednesday the group tweeted: 'Daesh takes advantage of Imminent Turkish invasion. 
'Three ISIS suicide bombings on our military positions in Raqqa, clashes still ongoing.'
Daesh is a derogatory Arabic term for ISIS.
While previous plans for a 'peace corridor' outlined by Erdogan at the United Nations called for it to extend 20 miles into Syrian territory, Altun suggested on Tuesday night that it could go far beyond this.
If Turkish forces were allowed to spread their reach to the Raqqa-Dier Ezzor line - he wrote in the Washington Post - then it would allow them to resettle some 3million refugees, including 1million currently in Europe.
Extending Turkish control that far into Syria would mean taking control of almost all the territory that Kurdish forces now control.
Describing Kurdish fighters as 'armed thugs', Altun said their forces threaten the existence of the Turkish state, and must be eliminated. 
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Turkey-backed members of Syrian National Army prepare for moving to Turkey for an expected military operation by Turkey into Kurdish areas of northern Syria
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Turkey-backed members of Syrian National Army riding in machine gun-mounted trucks yesterday as troops amassed along the Turkish-Syria border 
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The Syrian National Army preparing for military operations. Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from the area of northeastern Syria ahead of the anticipated military action by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
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Syrian National Army soldiers preparing to move to Turkey for an expected military operation by Turkey into Kurdish areas of northern Syria yesterday, in Azas near Turkish border with Syria
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Members of Turkey-backed Syrian National Army (former FSA) flash the V-sign as they drive back to Turkey after they went in for some time on inspection according to the Turkish police entourage in the same area at the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Turkey
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Members Turkish Armed Forces and Syrian National Army (SNA) patrolling at the Syrian border in Akcakale today
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Members of Syrian National Army (SNA) hold up patches as they make observations with Turkish Armed Forces at the Syrian border in Akcakale district of Turkey's Sanliurfa today
[size=18]Turkey sends military reinforcement to its border with Syria




[/size]


Trump has faced a fierce political backlash after he agreed to withdraw US troops from Syria during a routine phone call with President Erdogan on Sunday.
Efforts are now underway in Congress to block the troop withdrawal including from Senate Republicans led by Lindsay Graham.
Tweeting at Turkey's leadership on Tuesday night, he said: 'You do NOT have a green light to enter into northern Syria. 
'There is massive bipartisan opposition in Congress, which you should see as a red line you should not cross.'
Of particular concern are prison camps holding some 15,000 ISIS fighters that would fall into Turkey's hands if it seizes border areas that the SDF currently controls, including the notorious Al-Hawl camp. 
Within these camps are 2,500 foreign ISIS jihadis, largely from Europe, which Turkey would then become responsible for detaining.
There are fears that this would give Ankara leverage over European leaders and security on the continent, since Turkey is one of the primary routes for ISIS fighters returning to Europe.
Trump has attempted to defend his position by saying that he will crash the Turkish economy in the event of any 'unforced or unnecessary fighting'.
He also denied abandoning the Kurds, pointing out that the country has a large Kurdish population - including a separatist which the government has been fighting against for decades.
Turkey wants to create what it calls a 'safe zone' in a stretch of territory along its southern border with Syria that is currently controlled by Syrian Kurdish fighters, known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG.
Turkey considers the YPG as terrorists affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which has waged a 35-year-long battle against the Turkish state. Ankara also views the YPG-controlled zone as an 'existential threat'.
Erdogan has demanded a 'safe zone' that is 20 miles deep and stretches more than 300 miles toward the Iraqi border. 
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Donald Trump has denied abandoning the Kurds and has threatened to crash Turkey's economy in the event of 'unforced or unnecessary fighting'
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Hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrian civilians, including disabled veterans of the war against ISIS, currently live in SDF territory in northern Syria (pictured) 
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 Donald Trump has denied abandoning the Kurds after agreeing to hand over regional security to Turkey, but has been unable to provide concrete guarantees they will not be attacked
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Kurdish forces led the fight against ISIS with support from an international coalition headed by the US, but are now facing the prospect of having that support suddenly withdrawn
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Fighters and veterans from the Kurdish women's protection units (YPJ) and the people's protection units (YPG) march in  Qamishli, which is one of the targets for the Turkish assault
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The Syrian government - which the US has attempted to topple - has called on the Kurds (pictured) to switch allegiance to their side if America withdraws its support
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There are almost 600,000 displaced people in northern Syria currently receiving aid, with the majority of those around Aleppo where early fighting would take place
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President Erdogan has outlined plans to create a 'peace corridor' in northern Syria in order to resettle some 2million refugees currently in Turkey


[size=34]How Turkey's expected invasion of Syria would threaten the Kurds who defeated ISIS[/size]


What is Turkey's troubled history with the Kurds?
Turkey has historically treated the Kurds unsympathetically and has effectively made them 'mountain Turks' by driving them into the hilly areas around the south of the country.
The founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal, better known as Atatürk, pushed through a constitution 70 years ago which denied the existence of distinct cultural sub-groups in Turkey, which the Kurds fall under.
Due to this, when the Kurds - along with other minorities in the country - express ethnic differences it has been repressed by the government.
Up until 1991 the daily use of the Kurdish tongue was outlawed and seen as separatism, and even today any minor expression of Kurdish nationalism can lead to imprisonment.
The government thwarts any effort by the Kurds to become political, with parties consistently shut down and party members often imprisoned for 'crimes of opinion'.
The historical repression led to the creation of the PKK, an armed separatist movement, in 1984. Most Kurds in Turkey do not promote separatism from the Turkish state, but a large number back the PKK.
Who are the Kurds?
There are around 35million Kurds living in the hilly parts of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia - making them the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East.
Yet they do not have a permanent state. They do not have an official dialect but are part of a united community through race, culture and language.
The Kurdish people are made up of a number of religions but they are mostly Sunni Muslims.
The idea of a 'Kurdistan' came about in the 1900s following the fall of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War.
The Treaty of Sevres among the Western nations in 1920 also made provision for one.
But just three years later the Treaty of Lausanne overwrote this as it set the new boundaries for Turkey.
There was no space for a Kurdistan and left them stranded as a minority community in other countries. Attempts over the rest of the 20th Century to bring about an independent state were dashed at every turn.
What do they want?
The Kurdish people make up around 10 per cent of the Syrian population and most lived in Damascus and Aleppo before uprisings started against President Bashar al-Assad in 2011.
Despite this, they have never had basic rights and at least 300,000 have had citizenship requests denied since the 1960s.
Land has also been consistently taken from them and given to Arabs in a bit to 'Arabize' the area.
In 2011 when uprisings got underway, most Kurds did not publicly back a side, but from halfway through 2012 they seized the opportunity when government forces withdrew to fight rebels elsewhere.
The main Kurdish parties, notably the Democratic Union Party in January 2014  announced the creation of 'autonomy' for the areas of Afrin, Kobane and Jazira.
This escalated to a 'federal system' in March 2016 in Turmen and Arab areas snatched from ISIS.
This, unsurprisingly, was turned down by Assad, as well as the country's official opposition and the Americans.
The Democratic Union Party claims it is not looking for independence, but says there must be Kurdish legal rights and autonomy in any political end to the Syrian war.
In government there has been a disparity, with Assad pledging to fight back for all of Syria, but his foreign minister hinting at possible talks with the Kurds in September 2017. 
What does Turkey want?
Turkey wants a 'safe zone' in northern Syria - 30 kilometres deep and 300 miles wide - that would push the YPG away from its border.
It says the buffer zone would also allow for the return of some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees currently in Turkey, where anti-refugee sentiment is growing.
The YPG spearheaded the fight on the ground against the Islamic State (IS) group as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, with the support of the US-led international coalition.
But Ankara says the YPG is a 'terrorist' offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
A victory for Erdogan?
Since Erdogan has long pushed for the 'safe zone', the US move is 'absolutely' a victory for him, said Steven Cook, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
'Erdogan has been working tirelessly to convince (US President Donald) Trump that the US should leave Syria so that Turkey can prosecute the fight against the YPG and resettle Syrians,' he said.
The White House decision came after a phone call between Trump and Erdogan, demonstrating the Turkish leader's ability to convince his American counterpart despite resistance within the US administration.
'By giving the green light to Turkey to intervene, the United States has given the impression of having 'capitulated' with Turkish demands,' said Jana Jabbour, a Turkish foreign policy expert at Sciences Po in Paris.
'This in itself is a diplomatic victory for Erdogan,' she said.
Challenges ahead?
Turkey has launched two military operations supporting Syrian opposition fighters - in northern Syria against IS in 2016 and against the YPG in 2018.
But a question remains over Turkey's ability in the air.
During the offensive against the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in early 2018, Ankara needed Russia's permission for Turkish planes to take off.
The latest plan is much bigger in scope - and more expensive.
'A new Syria operation will generate economic costs, and it is not certain that in the context of the current recession in Turkey the country has the means for such an operation,' Jabbour said.
She also pointed to growing scepticism among the Turkish public towards Ankara's involvement in the 'Syrian chaos'.
'This is why Ankara would have preferred an agreement with the United States for the establishment of the safe zone on the border, a scenario which would have allowed Turkey to share the burden with Washington,' Jabbour said.
How to manage IS?
Turkey has another burden, as the White House said Ankara would now be responsible for IS fighters captured over the past two years and held in Kurdish detention centres.
Trump, who has frequently urged European governments to repatriate jihadists from their countries, has now pushed the problem onto Turkey.
Erdogan said Monday that Washington and Ankara would work on the issue together but he did not elaborate on the form of the eventual cooperation.
'Now Turkey has to confront IS, which shows every indication of trying to regroup and threaten the countries in the area,' Cook said.
However, Erdogan's spokesman insisted in a tweet on Monday that Turkey 'will not allow (IS) to return in any shape and form'.




He initially had hoped to do it in collaboration with the United States but grew frustrated with what he considered to be delaying tactics by the U.S.
Once secured, Turkey wants to resettle the area with 2 million Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey due to the conflict in their home country. 
How such a massive resettlement would be carried out is unclear. Human rights groups have warned that any escalation of fighting in the area could displace hundreds of thousands more people.
Erdogan has spoken of plans to build towns, villages, hospitals and schools but also says Turkey, which has already spent some $40 billion on the refugees, cannot afford to do it alone. 
He has said he will convene a donors conference to help meet the cost and has called on European nations to share the burden, warning that Turkey could be forced to open the 'gates' for an influx of migrants to Western nations. 
Turkey has carried out two previous incursions into northern Syria in recent years with the help of Syrian rebels. 
In the first offensive in 2016, Turkey pushed back Islamic State group militants west of the Euphrates River. 
In the second operation last year, Turkey captured the Syrian-Kurdish controlled enclave of Afrin. 
Those regions are currently administered by Turkish-backed opposition groups who run them as virtual Turkish-administered towns.
Analysts say this operation would likely be more complicated. 
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The SDF says ISIS has already launched three suicide attacks in Raqqa, the group's former capital, in expectation of a Turkish assault
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If Turkey claims all the territory currently held by the SDF then it will become responsible for between 10,000 and 15,000 ISIS fighters - 2,500 of whom are foreign-born (pictured, an SDF soldiers guards ISIS prisoners)
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The SDF is also responsible for guarding the notorious Al-Hawl prison camp, where many captured ISIS wives and their children are being held (pictured)
Unwilling to let go of an area they wrested from the Islamic State group, the battle-hardened Kurdish fighters - trained and equipped by the U.S. - have vowed to fight the Turks until the end.
'It's a huge area for the Turkish military to go into and clearly there will be resistance on the part of the (Syrian Kurdish forces),' said Bulent Aliriza, of the director of the Turkey Project at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Aliriza suggested the operation may be a limited one that does not stretch all the way to the Iraqi border. 
'That's what we are going to look at first. How deep and how broad is it, whether it's all the way across from the Iraqi border to the Euphrates, or just limited to two or three penetration points,' he said.
Critics of Trump's decision fear a Turkish operation could have destabilizing consequences for the region, while both Democrats and Republicans have warned that a Turkish attack could lead to a massacre of the Kurds, who are holding thousands of captured IS fighters and their families. 
One of the big question marks surrounding Turkey's plans is whether fighting the Syrian Kurdish forces would allow IS to make a comeback.
Turkey insists that the global battle against the militants won't suffer, and points to its 2016 incursion, which drove away IS from another border region.
But Kurdish officials have warned that they would have to divert their forces away from guarding IS prisoners in case of a Turkish assault.  
The White House has said Turkey will take over responsibility for the imprisoned fighters, but it is unclear how that would happen, if it all.
Erdogan says Turkey and the United States are working separately on plans to repatriate foreign fighters held in Kurdish prisons.

[size=34]Timeline of US involvement in Syria since 2011[/size]


Pressure on Assad
On April 29, 2011, a month after the first protests in Syria that were met with brutal force by the regime, Washington imposes sanctions on several Syrian officials.
The measures extend to President Bashar al-Assad the following month.
On August 18, US president Barack Obama and Western allies for the first time explicitly call on Assad to stand down.
In October, the US ambassador leaves Syria for 'security reasons'. Damascus recalls its ambassador from Washington.
Obama backs off 'red line'
In August 2013, the Syrian regime is accused of carrying out a chemical attack near Damascus that killed more than 1,400 people, according to Washington.
Despite having vowed to act with force if Syria crossed the chemical weapons 'red line', Obama at the last minute pulls back from punitive strikes on regime infrastructure.
Instead, on September 14, he agrees to a deal with Moscow - Assad's main backer - that is meant to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.
US targets IS
On September 23, 2014, the US and Arab allies launch air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State (IS) group, expanding a campaign underway in neighbouring Iraq.
The biggest contributor to the coalition, Washington deploys 2,000 soldiers, mostly special forces.
In October 2015, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-Syrian Arab alliance of some 50,000 fighters, is created with US backing.
Dominated by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia, it receives US training and aid in the form of arms, air support and intelligence.
The SDF later overruns IS in northeastern Syria, driving out the jihadists from their last patch of territory in the village of Baghouz in March 2019.
Trump orders strikes
On April 7, 2017, US forces fire a barrage of cruise missiles at Syria's Shayrat airbase, believed to be the launch site of a chemical attack that killed 88 people in Idlib province.
It is the first direct US action against Assad's government and President Donald Trump's most significant military decision since taking office in January 2017.
On April 14, 2018, the US - with the support of France and Britain - launches new retaliatory strikes after an alleged regime chemical attack on the then rebel-held town of Douma, in which some 40 people were killed.
Withdrawal announced
On December 19, 2018, Trump announces that all of the roughly 2,000 US troops in Syria will be withdrawn because IS had been 'defeated'.
The surprise decision prompts Defense Secretary James Mattis to resign and is met with concern by France, Britain and Germany, but praise from Russia and Turkey.
On January 16, 2019, a suicide attack claimed by IS kills four US servicemen and 15 others at a restaurant in Syria's northern city of Manbij.
It is the deadliest attack against US forces since they deployed.
On August 7, Turkish and US officials agree to jointly manage a buffer zone between the Turkish border and areas in Syria controlled by the YPG, which Istanbul considers a 'terrorist' threat.
US steps aside
But on October 6, Washington announces that US forces would withdraw from the border areas to make way for a 'long-planned operation' by Turkish forces.
The following day, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirms that Turkish action against Kurdish militants in Syria is imminent.
The United Nations says it is 'preparing for the worst' and the European Union warns that civilians could be harmed.

annemarie
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 3 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Wed 09 Oct 2019, 23:14

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7556133/Donald-Trump-REFUSES-hand-American-diplomats-wife-killed-teenager-British-authorities.html

[size=34]Donald Trump REFUSES to hand over diplomat's wife to UK authorities after she killed a teen in a road accident and fled to the US - despite a phone call from UK PM Boris Johnson - but says he wants her to meet victim's family for 'some healing'[/size]


  • Harry Dunn died after being knocked down outside a US intelligence base in UK

  • The wife of a spy who allegedly knocked him down later fled the United Kingdom

  • Anne Sacoolas, 42, had diplomatic immunity as a result of her husband's work

  • Boris Johnson phoned the President to ask for diplomatic immunity to be waived 

  • Trump spoke publicly about case for first time and rebuffed Mr Johnson's plea

  • Instead he suggested he'd help arrange a meeting between families for 'healing'

  • He also said he had driven on wrong side of road adding: 'You have to be careful'


By GEOFF EARLE, DEPUTY U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 16:46 EDT, 9 October 2019 | UPDATED: 18:04 EDT, 9 October 2019

     



Donald Trump today publicly rebuffed a plea from Boris Johnson to waive diplomatic immunity for an American woman suspected of killing a British teenager - instead suggesting the victim's family meet her for 'some healing.'
Harry Dunn, 19, was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car on August 27 and the suspect in the case, 42-year-old Anne Sacoolas, reportedly married to a US intelligence official, fled to the US despite telling police she wouldn't. 
His family have been desperately trying to ensure Ms Sacoolas returns to the UK to participate in the police investigation, and this evening Mr Johnson urged the President to help ensure her diplomatic immunity is waived. 
It has been suggested that the vehicle which hit Harry had been travelling on the wrong side of the road after pulling out from RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire. 

But Mr Trump, speaking publicly for the first time about the case, said after the phone call that he would not send Ms Sacoolas back to the UK - and suggested that he himself had driven on the wrong side of the road, adding: 'That can happen'. 
The meeting came after Harry's family, from Oxfordshire, met with foreign secretary Dominic Raab this afternoon, but slammed the meeting as a 'publicity stunt' that left them 'angry and frustrated'.  
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Donald Trump was asked publicly about Harry Dunn's death and the suspicion that he was killed by an American spy's wife and addressed it for the first time, calling it 'a very complex issue.' He said he wanted the woman and the bereaved family to meet for 'some healing'
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The family of Harry Dunn (left with blonde hair, his mother Charlotte Charles, and right his father Mr Dunn) have said a meeting with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab over the death of their son felt like a 'publicity stunt' - as they confirmed they were launching civil action against the suspect in the case
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A Downing Street spokesman has revealed conversations between the Prime Minister (pictured earlier this week) and Mr Trump have taken place about the case of Harry Dunn 
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Harry Dunn's mother Charlotte weeps as she and her family speak to the media following a meeting with foreign secretary Dominic Raab this afternoon
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The couple were accompanied by their lawyer Radd Seiger (centre), who echoed the Dunn family's disappointment at the outcome of the meeting with Mr Rabb (Ms Charles and Mr Dunn are pictured left and right) 
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Harry, 19, was killed n a car crash in Northamptonshire allegedly caused by the diplomat's wife
Afterwards, Mr Johnson spoke with the President in a phone call to personally ask him to 'reconsider the US position' to grant immunity to Ms Sacoolas. 
Trump called it 'a very complex issue', adding: 'We are going to speak to her very shortly and do something where they meet.
'We are going to speak to her and see if we can come up with something so there is some healing.'


Trump acknowledged that 'a tragedy occurred' and described Ms Sacoolas - who he did not name - as 'driving on the wrong side of the road,' then suggested he had done the same too in the UK, where he has two golf courses.
'Those are the opposite roads. That can happen,'  he said. 'I won't say it ever happened to me, but it did. When you get used to driving on our system and you're all of a sudden on the other system, where you're driving, it happens. You have to be careful.'
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Mrs Sacoolas' husband, Jonathan, works at RAF Croughton, which US intelligence use 
He acknowledged that US public opinion was also likely to be in favour of Sacoolas being stripped of diplomatic immunity.
'I understand where the people from the UK [feel], and frankly a lot of Americans feel the same way,' he said.
But he said: 'The person that was driving the automobile has diplomatic immunity.
'It was an accident. It was a terrible accident.'  
Dunn's family met with UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab this afternoon, but slammed the meeting as a 'publicity stunt' that left them 'angry and frustrated'. 
A Downing Street spokesman revealed conversations between the Prime Minister and Mr Trump have taken place. 
He said: 'The two leaders discussed the tragic death of Harry Dunn.
'The Prime Minister urged the President to reconsider the US position so the individual involved can return to the UK, co-operate with police and allow Harry's family to receive justice.
'The President said he was fully aware of the case and deeply saddened by what has happened, and he expressed his condolences to Harry's parents.
'The leaders agreed to work together to find a way forward as soon as possible.' 
This afternoon Mr Raab met Harry's mother, Charlotte Charles, and father, Tim Dunn, who earlier today said they have been left in limbo after Ms Sacoolas fled to the US.
But speaking after the meeting, Harry's mother Charlotte Charles said: 'I'm disgusted and feel let down by both governments. Nothing useful came out of the meeting with Dominic Raab. Although he engaged with us, it just felt like a publicity stunt.'
Mr Dunn added: 'We feel extremely let down. The really disappointing thing is that it seems that it's OK to kill a young lad and then walk away just because you have diplomatic immunity.'
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The family of Harry Dunn, mother Charlotte Charles (second right) and father Tim Dunn (second left) leaving the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, where they met Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, but were left 'angry and frustrated.'
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Charlotte Charles (left) and Tim Dunn (right), the parents of Harry Dunn, arrive with their partners at the Foreign Office today ahead of the meeting with the Foreign Secretary
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Harry's parents say they've been left in limbo after the driver who allegedly hit him fled the UK
Asked about his son by reporters, Mr Dunn became emotional and was supported by his family as he called him a 'special boy'.
'He was a beautiful boy, a beautiful lad, he had so many friends, he loved life, he loved his motorbikes, loved his football,' he said.
'He didn't have a bad bone in his body, he just loved his family, he just loved everything.
'He was a special boy and I miss him like mad.'
The couple were accompanied by their lawyer Radd Seiger, who echoed the Dunn family's disappointment at the outcome of the meeting with Mr Rabb. 
Giving a statement on behalf of the family, he said: 'To say we are disappointed with the outcome would be an understatement. We are frustrated. We are angry.' 
He added: 'Before the meeting we were led to believe that something positive would come out of it. But all Mr Raab made clear to us is that the Americans insist that Mrs Sacoolas has full diplomatic immunity and under no circumstances are they going to grant a waiver.
'Our position is that she does not have diplomatic immunity and must return to Britain to face the consequences of her actions.'    
Ms Charles also said: 'I can't really see the point we were invited to see Dominic Raab, we are no further forward than where we were this time last week. 
'Although he is engaging with us, we have no answers. We are really frustrated that we could spend half an hour or more with him and just come out with nothing.'
The lawyer for Mr Dunn's family later said they are engaging lawyers to take a civil case against Anne Sacoolas in the US.
'Our position is that she doesn't have immunity and that waivers are always granted in these circumstances,' Radd Seiger told reporters in Westminster on Wednesday.
'Now we can disclose to you we have brought lawyers on board. We are going to Washington soon to help us get that justice for Harry.'
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Harry's parents, Charlotte and Tim, could be forced to go to the US to get answers
The Dunn family have hired leading lawyers Mark Stephens and Geoffrey Robertson, QC, who specialise in diplomatic law.
Central to their case is the issue of what level of diplomatic immunity Mrs Sacoolas and his family had, if any at all. Her husband was an intelligence official at RAF Croughton but did not appear on the list of diplomats in the UK with immunity. 
Mr Seiger has also has invited US president Donald Trump to have a conversation with the family about the issue. 
'If meeting with President Trump would help us get a step closer to seek justice for Harry, to get justice for that boy who died that night needlessly, one of the most wonderful kids in our community, if that's what it takes then I will extend an invitation now to President Trump,' he said.
'Meet us. Let's have a chat. Nobody wants to litigate.' 
Ms Charles added: 'We will still keep going, there's still fire in our bellies. We will continue to fight for justice for Harry because there's that feeling in our stomachs that something is not right.'
She called on Mrs Sacoolas to return and face justice, insisting that an apology was no longer sufficient.
'I want her to talk to us and face up to what she's done. I don't see how it can be correct to abscond like this. What sort of example is she setting to her children?
'She's had six weeks, an apology is not enough anymore.'
One of the family's lawyers, Mark Stephens told MailOnline: 'This family have been deliberately misled. To have full diplomatic immunity you have to be in an official diplomatic post and have to present your credentials. Mr Sacoolas did not do any of these things from my understanding.
'As a result, his wife was not entitled to leave the country because she did not have full diplomatic immunity. The Dunns need to start a civil action in America as quickly as possible and the Foreign Office should pay for it because they have let this family down.' 
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Harry Dunn (pictured, right, and, left, with his mother) died following a crash near the RAF airbase in Northamptonshire 
Prior to meeting the US Ambassador, Mr Raab raised the case in a telephone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Northamptonshire Police have also asked the US to consider waiving the immunity.
After Tuesday's meeting, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said: 'The Foreign Secretary met the US Ambassador today and urged the US to reconsider its position and do the right thing by Harry Dunn's family.'
Speaking to Sky News about the meeting with the Foreign Secretary, Ms Charles said: 'We've been offered the chance to now meet Dominic Raab and we've got that meeting this afternoon. We're very much hoping for some positivity.
'I hope he can look at us as human beings that just need our UK Government on our side.
'If we get that positivity and we get that breakthrough that we need, then we can actually start looking after ourselves and our other boy - his twin.
'Until we get the positivity and the answers we need, we are still in the mode of just keeping going with that fire in our belly that still keeps telling us that something is not right.'
Mr Dunn said: 'Hopefully he's going to tell us the news we want to hear - that they've got the waiver for the immunity and she is going to be coming back for justice for Harry.'
A crowdfunding page set up for Harry's family to begin their 'campaign to search for justice' and to help Harry's twin brother, Niall, reached its £10,000 target on Tuesday and has since passed £15,000.
Earlier today human right lawyer Mark Stephens today insisted that, if Mrs Sacoolas was not brought back to the UK, Harry's parents could bring civil legal action in the U.S. 
[size=18]Human rights lawyer says Harry Dunn's parents should travel to US




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Mr Stephens told BBC Breakfast: 'Immunity doesn't apply in the home country so even if the Foreign Office are correct and Mr and Mrs Sacoolas were entitled to immunity then, in those circumstances, if they've got back to America, immunity no longer applies.
'The family can go to America and sue Mrs Sacoolas in that country because she will not have immunity in America or any other third country.'
He said that, if the British government failed to have Mrs Sacoolas returned to the UK, the government should fund legal action in the US to uphold what he called Harry's parents' 'human right' to find out how he died.
Mr Stephens added: 'If the only way to do that [get answers] is by going to the US to sue Mrs Sacoolas it wouldn't be about money, it would be about the explanation that they have been asking for, hearing from her, what happened in those last moments.' 
Harry was going to his father's house when he was in the collision with Mrs Sacoolas's Volvo XC90 outside RAF Croughton, a US intelligence hub in Northamptonshire. 
Police said Mrs Sacoolas - who has driving offences to her name in America - had been travelling on the wrong side of the road for 400 yards when she collided with Harry's motorbike at around 8.30pm on August 27. 
Mrs Sacoolas initially cooperated with police after being told Harry had died, but later fled to the US with her husband and three children, citing immunity due to her husband's job at the base.
It came as: 


  • Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met with US ambassador Woody Johnson to 'ask the US to reconsider its position and do the right thing by Harry Dunn's family'; 
  • America was accused of hypocrisy after it emerged the US Department of State's own guidelines say diplomatic immunity should not be extended to those committing 'serious or repeat driving offences' in the US; 
  • Northamptonshire police was set to present a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service; 
  • Harry's family raised £10,000 via GoFundMe to travel to the US.


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Harry is pictured with his mother, Charlotte, in an undated photograph provided by the family 
With no sign America will back down, Mrs Charles, 44, said her family would travel to Washington if necessary, in the hope of speaking to President Trump.
The Foreign Office and US Embassy have confirmed Mrs Sacoolas's husband Jonathan and his family are entitled to immunity.
Mrs Charles believes their immunity should be waived as the crime was potentially serious and involved the loss of a life.
In a direct appeal to Mr Trump she urged him to 'try to see it from our point of view and our heartache' and said she hoped he could help in bringing Mrs Sacoolas back to the UK for justice and to 'help us to start grieving again'.
Harry's parents embarked on a round of interviews yesterday, including an appearance on ITV's This Morning. 
Harry's father Tim has devastatingly told how he cradled his dying son at the roadside. Mr Dunn, head of maintenance at an independent school, was called to the scene of the collision by a firefighter, a family friend who recognised Harry.
Mr Dunn, who described Harry as 'the centrepiece of the family and an amazing lad', asked police whether the driver had been injured, and was told she was fine. Harry suffered multiple horrific injuries and died in hospital. 
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The crash took place in August outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire (pictured) – a US intelligence hub in Britain
Boris Johnson said it is 'not right' to use immunity in this way, and has promised to raise the case with Mr Trump if it is not resolved.
Mrs Charles, who works in a GP surgery, said the family did not want to see Mrs Sacoolasjailed - only to speak to her and for the case to be concluded.
She added: 'We won't stop... diplomatic immunity is there to protect the diplomat and or their family when they are in danger - it is not there to protect them when they commit crimes as serious as this.' 
She also said Harry's twin, Niall, was 'devastated' and was trying to 'rediscover who he is' after the death of his brother.
There are around 23,000 people entitled to diplomatic immunity in the UK. In 2017, 26 crimes were allegedly committed by people with immunity. Five of these were driving-related.
The Sacoolas family were said to have lived in a rented property in a village less than two miles from the scene of the tragedy.
Mrs Sacoolas briefly sent the couple's children to Winchester House School, where Harry's father worked as a caretaker.

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Post by party animal - not! on Thu 10 Oct 2019, 11:00

On Trump complaining that the Kurds didn't help at Normandy, here are the best comments of the day:

https://twitter.com/LouiseMensch/status/1182077143343337473

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Post by annemarie on Thu 10 Oct 2019, 12:46

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7557543/Harry-Dunns-mother-slams-oafish-insulting-Donald-Trump-defends-spys-wife.html

[size=34]Harry Dunn's mother slams 'oafish and insulting' Donald Trump after he defends US spy's wife who killed her son in crash because it's difficult 'driving on wrong side of road' - then flashes note revealing she WON'T face justice in Britain[/size]


  • Harry Dunn died after being knocked down outside a US spy base in UK by US spy's wife Anne Sacoolas, 42 

  • Sacoolas, 42, had diplomatic immunity as a result of her husband's work and was flown home by private jet

  • Boris Johnson phoned President to ask for diplomatic immunity to be waived saying it shouldn't be allowed

  • Trump claimed UK roads are confusing: 'I won't say it happened to me, but it did. You have to be careful' 

  • But he gave family 'grain of hope' as he suggested he'd help arrange a meeting between families for 'healing' 


By MARTIN ROBINSON, CHIEF REPORTER and VIVEK CHAUDHARY FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 08:33, 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:20, 10 October 2019

     



Donald Trump was today branded 'oafish and insulting' as he defended the wife of a US spy who killed a British teenager while driving on the wrong side of the road by saying: 'It happens'.
The US President has revolted the bereft family of Harry Dunn who accused him of 'justifying' Anne Sacoolas' mistake with 'throw-away' claims British roads are so confusing for Americans that even he has driven the wrong way on them. 
Sacoolas allegedly hit 19-year-old motorcyclist Harry with her Volvo SUV on August 27 outside a US spy station in Northamptonshire after driving on the wrong side of the road for up to 400 yards.
Days later she was spirited from UK soil on a state-sponsored private jet from America's air base in Suffolk, RAF Mildenhall, protected by her husband Jonathan's diplomatic immunity. 

Mr Trump said: 'Those are the opposite roads. That can happen. I won't say it ever happened to me, but it did. When you get used to driving on our system and you're all of a sudden on the other system, where you're driving, it happens. You have to be careful.' 
Radd Seiger, the spokesman for the Dunn family told MailOnline today: 'Trump's comments are an attempted justification for what Anne Sacoolas did. They are insensitive, clumsy, oafish and insulting. We are horrified by his words and this has just brought more pain to the Dunn family.
'Trump has just inflamed the situation. He's caused more hurt and made the matter worse. His choice of words is appalling'. 
In a further blunder, Trump ended his extraordinary press conference in Washington last night by displaying a 'secret' briefing note that revealed the White House has already decided her immunity will never be waived - despite a personal plea from Boris Johnson in a call to the Oval Office this week.
His pocket-sized crib sheet, written by the US National Security Council, said: 'The spouse of the US government employee will not return to the United Kingdom. The spouse... will have to consider whether to make herself available for questioning by British authorities'.
Reacting to the slip-up, Harry's mother Charlotte Graham said: 'We're just disgusted' and in a message for Mr Trump she added: 'He must know exactly where she is. I would urge him to put her on a plane back to the UK to face our justice system here, face us, and talk to us.'.
Ms Charles continued: 'With Donald Trump saying yesterday that every driver has driven on the wrong side of the road at some point - perhaps they have. But not every driver has travelled the distance that Anne Sacoolas did and taken the life of a 19-year-old who was completely and utterly innocent. So to us, although it's a personal issue for us, it is more of a unique case than just having accidentally driven on the wrong side of the road so I'm not very happy about those throw-away comments'.
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Charlotte Graham, whose son Harry Dunn died six weeks ago, says she is 'disgusted' that Trump will not hand over alleged  killer Anne Sacoolas, who hit him with her car while on the wrong side of the road
[size=10][size=18]President Trump discusses fatal crash involving diplomat's wife




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Donald Trump appeared to defend the woman for hitting and killing a British teenager with her car saying: 'It happens'
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Mr Trump's bombshell briefing reveals the US has already told Britain she will not be returned to the UK to face justice
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Harry, 19, was killed n a car crash in Northamptonshire allegedly caused by the diplomat's wife



Anne Sacoolas (pictured on her wedding day in 2003) was travelling on the wrong side of the road for 400 yards
Anne Sacoolas appears to have been able to use a loophole to claim diplomatic immunity after allegedly killing Harry Dunn in a crash involving her Volvo SUV.
It was believed that diplomatic immunity only applied to US officials - and their families - if they worked at the US Embassy in London.
But it appears that because of the work done at RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire – a US intelligence hub in Britain - the same applies there. 
Sky News claims an immunity deal between the UK and US there started in  1994.
As a result Northamptonshire Police were planning to get Anne Sacoolas to sign a 'waiver of diplomatic immunity' - but she, her husband and their children fled.
Harry's family claim that Mrs Sacoolas had promised to work with police and admitted culpability.
His mother Charlotte said: 'We’ve got no answers. We’ve got nothing from her to say that she's remorseful We're appalled, disgusted'.



Last night in Washington Mr Trump acknowledged that 'a tragedy occurred' and described suspect Anne Sacoolas - who he did not name - as 'driving on the wrong side of the road'. He then suggested he had done the same too in the UK, where he has two golf courses.
But also said he will try to arrange a meeting between the family of a teenage car crash victim and the US diplomat's wife who was the driver, which Harry's mother Charlotte described as a 'grain of hope'. 
The US President admitted there is 'tremendous anger' over Harry Dunn's death and urged the families to meet 'so there can be some healing'.
Mr Trump described the death of the 19-year-old as a 'terrible accident' and said that Anne Sacoolas, 42, was driving on the wrong side of the road when she hit him. 
But he made no commitment to waive her diplomatic immunity, or return her to the UK to face further police questioning. 
Speaking at the White House, the President said: 'We're going to speak to the wife of the diplomat...and see what we can come up with so that there can be some healing.' 
He stressed that he 'hates this case' and admitted it was 'a very, very complex issue because we are talking about diplomatic immunity'.
His intervention caused even more anger. 
Family spokesman Radd Seiger said: 'We are pleased that he's involved and said that he was going to speak to Mrs Sacoolas. Trump could have gone about expressing his views in a better way but I guess that's him.
'We remain focused on getting justice for Harry and are still prepared to talk to President Trump to make this happen'.
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The family of Harry Dunn (left with blonde hair, his mother Charlotte Charles, and right his father Mr Dunn) have said a meeting with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab over the death of their son felt like a 'publicity stunt' - as they confirmed they were launching civil action against the suspect in the case
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Donald Trump was asked publicly about Harry Dunn's death and the suspicion that he was killed by an American spy's wife and addressed it for the first time, calling it 'a very complex issue.' He said he wanted the woman and the bereaved family to meet for 'some healing'. Boris Johnson has called him urging him to hand her over
The President's intervention comes after Harry's family spoke of their 'disappointment and anger' following a meeting with the Foreign Secretary. Harry's parents were left in tears after spending 45 minutes speaking to Dominic Raab about pushing for the return of Mrs Sacoolas.
Charlotte Charles, Harry's mother, was visibly distressed as she told how she felt they had been let down by the Government, branding the meeting little more than 'a publicity stunt'.
She and Harry's father, Tim Dunn, said they had their hopes raised by the prospect of an audience with the Foreign Secretary.
But they said Mr Raab told them that Mrs Sacoolas has diplomatic immunity and that it is highly unlikely the US will ever grant a waiver so she can return to the UK to face questioning.
Speaking at a press conference in Westminster after the meeting, Mrs Charles said: 'I can't really see the point as to why we were invited to see Dominic Raab. We are no further forward than where we were this time last week.
'Part of me is feeling like it was just a publicity stunt on the UK Government side to show they are trying to help.'
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Harry Dunn's mother Charlotte weeps as she and her family speak to the media following a meeting with foreign secretary Dominic Raab yesterday afternoon
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Harry Dunn (pictured, right, and, left, with his mother) died following a crash near the RAF airbase in Northamptonshire 

[size=34]Why are Americans at RAF Croughton in the UK?[/size]


RAF Croughton is an air base that is currently being leased by the US government. 
It houses the 422nd Air Base Group, but is also being used by spies working for the Joint Intelligence Operations Center Europe (JIOCEUR). 
JIOCEUR is a military intelligence analysis center which is part of the Defense Intelligence Agency. The agency is an external branch of government which provides intelligence to 'warfighters, defense policymakers and force planners in the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community'. 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 3 19396842-7557543-The_entrance_to_RAF_Croughton_is_shown_Sacoolas_was_exiting_the_-a-26_1570694789322
[size=16]
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The entrance to RAF Croughton is shown. Sacoolas was exiting the base when she turned onto the wrong side of the road on August 27

It provides intelligence information for the U.S. European and African commands as well as NATO.  
The Center is based at RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire but, following the 2015 announcement that it was to close in 2023, many of the positions were moved to Croughton. 
There are plans to consolidate it with the U.S. Africa Command to make a larger station at Croughton that will be known as the Joint Intelligence Analysis Complex - a major hub for US intelligence gathering.
According to locals in Croughton, the communications center - where Sacoolas' husband is said to work - is a 'site within the site' which has its own separate security.  
The US government is reconsidering the relocation after being met with resistance from lawmakers who said it would be too expensive.  
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A file photo of a geodesic dome covering radar scanners and satellite dishes at the base. It is an intelligence gathering hub which the US Defense Intelligence Agency uses to collect information from Europe and Africa 
[/size]



Boris Johnson has urged Mr Trump to intervene to ensure Mrs Sacoolas, who was driving a SUV Volvo in the collision with Harry, faces justice.
The Prime Minister spoke to the President last night to ask him to 'reconsider the US position', a Downing Street spokesman said.
The parents said they felt they now had no choice but to begin their own legal action. They have instructed Geoffrey Robertson QC and human rights lawyer Mark Stephens to begin their fight, and are launching a civil case against Mrs Sacoolas in America.
Mrs Charles, 44, said: 'We will still keep going. There's still fire in our bellies to continue.'
Becoming tearful, she described the 'nausea' she feels 'waking up each morning and realising you have lost your boy'.
Harry's father said he felt 'extremely let down' by the Government, adding: 'I am so disappointed. He was a beautiful lad.'
Harry was on his way to his father's house in Brackley, Northamptonshire, when he was involved in a collision with Mrs Sacoolas's car on August 27.
The diplomat's wife had reportedly pulled out of RAF Croughton, a US intelligence hub in Britain, on the wrong side of the road and collided with the teenager's motorbike at the brow of a hill. Harry suffered horrific injuries and died in hospital later that night.
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The crash took place in August outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire (pictured) – a US intelligence hub in Britain
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Harry is pictured with his mother, Charlotte, in an undated photograph provided by the family 
Mrs Sacoolas, whose husband is understood to work in intelligence at the base, was initially co-operative with police.
But Northamptonshire Police were later told she and her family had left the country and that she was citing diplomatic immunity. Requests for the US embassy to grant a waiver have so far been refused. 
Radd Seiger, who is representing the family, said the Foreign Office tried to prevent him from attending the meeting in London yesterday afternoon.
It was only when the Dunns said they did not want to proceed without him that he was allowed in.
He said when Mr Raab spoke to the American government they simply reiterated, 'No. You can't have her back. She's protected by immunity.' 
The lawyer said they would now take their fight to Washington and invited Mr Trump to meet them. 
Mr Raab said: 'We are continuing to press the US authorities for their co-operation to ensure the police can pursue this case unimpeded and to allow Harry's family to get justice.'

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Post by Donnamarie on Fri 11 Oct 2019, 04:40

It’s awful what happened to this family. Trump just made it so much worse. His total lack of humanity leaves him with zero diplomatic skills.

It does look like the family chose expert legal counsel in bringing on Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens to handle their case.
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Post by party animal - not! on Fri 11 Oct 2019, 11:14

....yep. They will do everything they can to keep the pressure up.

It turns out that the fact he was working on intelligence means that neither he nor his wife can claim diplomatic immunity - becos he's not a diplomat!

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Post by annemarie on Fri 11 Oct 2019, 13:40

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7560823/Karen-Pence-tells-audience-women-dont-afraid-knees-Donald-Trump.html

[size=34]Karen Pence tells audience of women 'don't be afraid to get on your knees' for Donald Trump as she urges them to pray for the president and praises his conduct with young women[/size]


  • Second lady appeared alongside Lara Trump, president's daughter-in-law, at a 'Women for Trump' rally in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Wednesday 

  • Karen Pence praised President Trump for his treatment of young women and says she was 'all in' after seeing how he behaved with her daughter, Charlotte 

  • Last month, it was reported that Karen Pence was 'livid' over Trump's 'grab them by the p***y' comments as heard on infamous Access Hollywood tape 

  • Karen Pence reportedly refused to kiss her husband, Vice President Mike Pence, on election night, saying: 'You got what you wanted, Mike. Leave me alone.' 


By ARIEL ZILBER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 19:30 EDT, 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 20:37 EDT, 10 October 2019

     





Karen Pence urged women across America to pray for President Trump and praised his treatment of young women despite reports that the devoutly religious second lady was disgusted by the infamous Access Hollywood tape.
‘Don’t be afraid to get on your knees [and pray for the president],’ Pence told an audience of hundreds who turned out for a ‘Women for Trump’ event in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Wednesday.
Pence, who appeared on stage alongside the president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, said she was ‘all in’ in backing Donald Trump after she saw how he treated her daughter, Charlotte, according to The New York Times.
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'All in': Karen Pence (seen above in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Wednesday) praised President Trump for his treatment of young women
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The second lady appeared alongside President Trump's daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, at a 'Women for Trump' event in St. Paul on Wednesday
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A Trump supporter posed with her sign before the start of the event in St. Paul. Trump's approval rating among women is hovering around 30 per cent, according to public opinion polls
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The New York Times' Katie Rogers reported that Karen Pence praised the president for 'how he interacted with daughter Charlotte'
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'Don't be afraid to get on your knees [and pray for the president],' Karen Pence told the crowd
Prominent female surrogates for the president insisted Trump was the best choice for American women during the event inside St. Paul's Union Depot in Minnesota on Wednesday night, although Lara recognized it's 'not easy sometimes' to support the president.

According to a September ABC News-Washington Post poll, Trump has a 30% approval rating among women.
The event took place a day before both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were scheduled to visit the Twin Cities and focus on the message of turning Minnesota red in 2020.
'We're going to do it here in Minnesota by the way in 2020,' said Lara Trump.
She added: 'I think if you're a young woman and you're on the fence, you need to look at the facts you need to look at the fact when you come out of college or high school or starting a family, this is a President that cares about your pocketbook.'
Karen Pence insisted that the President had 'empowered women like no other.' She added: 'All these young women here today, that is the future of our country and this president cares.'
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President Trump (seen at the White House on Thursday) is due to appear later on Thursday for a campaign rally in Minnesota
[size=10][size=18]Women in Minnesota get fired up for Trump rally in Minneapolis




L
[/size][/size]


Karen Pence used the economy as an example of how women are doing well under Trump. 'Just look at job rates, the unemployment for women is the lowest that it has been in 55 years,' she said.
Lara Trump, who is married to the president's son Eric, touched on a variety of issues including the economy and immigration.


She acknowledged: 'We know it's not easy sometimes to be a Trump supporter.'
The 'Women for Trump' movement was started by Lara Trump in 2016 while campaigning for her father-in-law.
Karen Pence’s appearance on behalf of Trump came just weeks after it was reported that she was ‘livid’ over remarks by the president from more than 10 years ago in which he is heard talking about grabbing women by the genitals.
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Karen Pence (seen above with husband Mike Pence in Minneapolis on Thursday) was reportedly 'livid' over Trump's 'grab them by the p***y' remarks on Access Hollywood
In 2005, Trump was recorded on a hot mic during an Access Hollywood video bragging about groping women.
The video surfaced weeks before the 2016 election.
According to Tom LoBianco’s book Piety & Power: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House, Karen Pence expressed her displeasure to her husband over the remarks.
But Pence, the former Indiana governor and evangelical Christian, told his wife it was too late to drop out of the ticket.
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Karen Pence also refused to kiss her husband on Election Night, according to a new book, Power & Piety: Mike Pence and the Taking of the White House
On election night, after Trump pulled off his shock victory over Hillary Clinton, Karen Pence reportedly refused to kiss her husband.
She is said to have told him: ‘You got what you wanted, Mike.
‘Leave me alone.’
Karen Pence’s appearance in St. Paul came on the same day that a new book revealed fresh allegations that Trump committed dozens of acts of inappropriate behavior.
One woman, Karen Johnson, accused Trump of grabbing her by her genitals at a New Year's Eve Party at his club Mar-a-Lago in the early 2000s while his then-girlfriend Melania was upstairs.
Former dancer Johnson made the shocking accusation to authors Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy in their upcoming book 'All the President's Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator', an excerpt of which appeared in Esquire Wednesday.
She told them, 'When he says that thing, 'Grab them in the p****,' that hits me hard because when he grabbed me and pulled me into the tapestry, that's where he grabbed me.'
Trump has publicly faced allegations from two dozen women. 
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Post by annemarie on Fri 11 Oct 2019, 19:50

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7561585/Former-Ukraine-envoy-scheduled-testify-Trump-impeachment-probe.html

[size=34]Fired diplomat unloads on Donald Trump: Former ambassador to Ukraine tells Congress that she was ordered home 'on the next plane' after 'concerted campaign based on false claims by people with clearly questionable motives'[/size]


  • U.S. envoy to the EU Gordon Sondland says he will testify to Congress about President Trump's Ukraine scandal next week 

  • The State Department had ordered him not to participate in hearings

  • Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is scheduled to give closed-door testimony to Democrat-run House Intelligence Committee today

  • President has said he had 'heard' that Yovanovitch was 'bad news'

  • Democrats want to know if she was recalled to Washington because she refused to push a corruption investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden


By GEOFF EARLE, DEPUTY U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR and DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and WIRES
PUBLISHED: 01:03 EDT, 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:20 EDT, 11 October 2019



     
 



The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine told three House committees on Friday that President Donald Trump dismissed her following a smear campaign and ordered back to Washington on the next available aircraft.
The deputy secretary of state, Marie Yovanovitch said in written testimony, told her that the State Department 'had been under pressure from the President to remove me since the Summer of 2018.'
Yovanovitch defended herself against what she called 'unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives,' including a rumor that she had handed Ukraine's top prosecutor a list of people who were not to be charged with crimes. 
She also dismissed public allegations that she had 'supposedly told the Embassy team to ignore the President’s orders “since he was going to be impeached”.' 

She rejected the contention that she was running interference for Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, as Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has claimed in what he has cast as an effort to protect the Bidens and Hillary Clinton while undermining Trump.
'Contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine,' the career diplomat who served presidents from both parties said. 
Yovanovich said she was 'incredulous' that the administration chose remove her from her post in May.
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President Donald Trump recalled Marie Yovanovitch (center), the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine; she talked to lawmakers behind closed doors on Friday
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Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, arrived Friday for Yovanovitch's deposition
[size=10][size=18]Ex-Ukraine ambassador arrives on Capitol Hill to testify





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Trump's lawyers had promised to stonewall a congressional impeachment inquiry. Yovanovitch's appearance behind closed doors was an early test of that defiance.
Yovanovich categorically denied the connection, put forth my a group of allies who pushed for her ouster, that she had stood in the way of the former prosecutor Viktor Lutsenko's way when it came to investigations. 
'As for events during my tenure in Ukraine, I want to categorically state that I have never myself or through others, directly or indirectly, ever directed, suggested, or in any other way asked for any government or government official in Ukraine (or elsewhere) to refrain from investigating or prosecuting actual corruption,' she said. 
'As Mr. Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General has recently acknowledged, the notion that I created or disseminated a “do not prosecute” list is completely false—a story that Mr.Lutsenko, himself, has since retracted.'
She also disputed having ever run down President Trump. Trump in a transcript of his July call with the president of Ukraine called the ambassador 'bad news.'
'Equally fictitious is the notion that I am disloyal to President Trump. I have heard the allegation in the media that I supposedly told the Embassy team to ignore the President’s orders “since he was going to be impeached.” That allegation is false. I have never said such a thing, to my Embassy colleagues or to anyone else,' she writes.
After daily revelations about efforts by President Trump and his allies to use U.S. government officials to push Ukraine to conduct politically sensitive probes, Yovanovich wrote: 'Today, we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within.'
She expressed her shock at her own sudden removal.
'Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the President, I was nevertheless incredulous that the U.S. government chose to remove an Ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives,' she writes.
'To make matters worse, all of this occurred during an especially challenging time in bilateral relations with a newly elected Ukrainian president. This was precisely the time when continuity in the Embassy in Ukraine was most needed.'
According to Yovanovich's account, she was instructed to return to Washington 'on the next plane' in April of this year – just a month after being asked to stay on until 2020.
She said she tried to find out why she was forced out, and contacted the deputy secretary of state – John Sullivan.
'He said that the President had lost confidence in me and no longer wished me to serve as his ambassador,' according to Yovanovich.
'He added that there had been a concerted campaign against me, and that the Department had been under pressure from the President to remove me since the Summer of 2018. He also said that I had done nothing wrong and that this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause.'  
The Trump administration announced Friday the president had nominated Sullivan to serve as the next ambassador to Russia. As such, he will face a confirmation hearing where senators will get the chance to ask him about State's Ukraine dealings. 
'Today, we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within. State Department leadership, with Congress, needs to take action now to defend this great institution, and its thousands of loyal and effective employees,' Yovanovich wrote. 'We need to rebuild diplomacy as the first resort to advance America’s interests and the front line of America’s defense,' she wrote.
Although Rudy Giuliani has publicly connected her to Ukrainian 'collusion' in 2016, Yovanovich said she has never spoken to him about the subjects at hand.
'With respect to Mayor Giuliani, I have had only minimal contacts with him—a total of three that I recall. None related to the events at issue. 'I do not know Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me. But individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine,' she said. 
Campaign for Yovanovich's ouster 
Yovanovich was the subject of a high-powered pressure campaign pushing for her removal.
In one key development, Lutsenko put forward the claim in an article by The Hill's John Solomon that Yovanovich 'gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute. Lutsenko later walked back the claim, but it gained currency with a group of Trump loyalists.
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted March 24: '"We need more ⁦@RichardGrenell's and less of these jokers as ambassadors,' referencing the U.S. ambassador to Germany. 
Trump ally Joseph DiGenova said on Fox News host Sean Hannity's program that same month: 'The current United States ambassador Marie Yovanovitch has bad- mouthed the President of the United States to Ukrainian officials and has told them not to listen or worry about Trump policy because he’s going to be impeached' – the claim she explicitly denied Friday.
By July 25, Trump would tell Ukrainian president Zelenksy in an infamous call: 'The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that.'
Zelensky agreed with Trump '100 per cent.'
Then the president added cryptically of Yovanovich: 'She's going to go through some things.' 
Also knocking Yovanovich was Texas Rep. Pete Sessions – who has a connection to two Rudy Giuiliani associates who were indicted Thursday on campaign finance charges.
Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman aided Giuliani's unproven theory about Ukrainian electoral collusion. They also gave $325,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC (the feds allege it wasn't actually their money) that spent $3 million to benefit Sessions. 
Soon after Parnas and indicted co-conspirator David Correia met with Sessions at the Capitol in 2018, Parnas wrote a letter to Sec. State Mike Pompeo pushing the removal of Yovanovich.  
Administration talking points obtained by CNN said House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff was putting Yovanovich in a 'precarious position' by questioning her in private without an administration lawyer who would advise her on what information may be classified.
Congressional lawmakers weren't sure Yovanovich would show up Friday, after the White House said earlier this week it would refuse to cooperate with what Trump has termed 'a kangaroo court.'
The inquiry was launched after a whistleblower complaint about a July 25 phone call in which Trump pressed his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a leading Democratic contender for the right to face Trump in the November 2020 election.

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Donald Trump recalled Yovanovitch to Washington, and Democrats want to know if he made the move because she was suspicious of his desire to see Joe Biden investigated for corruption
Democrats have accused Trump of pressuring a vulnerable foreign ally to dig up dirt on a domestic political opponent for his own political benefit. Trump has denied he did anything wrong on the call.
On Thursday, Parnas a Fruman, two foreign-born Florida businessmen who had helped Giuliani investigate the Bidens were arrested in what prosecutors said was a scheme to illegally funnel money to a pro-Trump election committee and other U.S. political candidates.
The pair, Ukraine-born Parnas and Belarus-born Fruman, were arrested at an airport outside Washington carrying one-way tickets to Vienna. Prosecutors said they conspired to contribute foreign money, including at least $1 million from an unidentified Russian businessman, to candidates for federal and state offices to buy influence.
The two had donated $325,000 to a pro-Trump political action committee called America First Action in May 2018, and the money was falsely reported as coming from a purported natural gas company set up to conceal its true source, according to the indictment.
[size=18]Trump remains defiant in face of impeachment during Minneapolis rally




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The investigation of Trump could lead to the approval of articles of impeachment – or formal charges – against the president in the House. A trial on whether to remove him from office would then be held in the U.S. Senate, where the Republicans who control the chamber have shown little appetite for ousting the president.
The testimony from Yovanovitch is the first of several depositions of key figures planned by the House committees spearheading the probe, and whether she makes her appearance will offer an early gauge of White House cooperation.
Yovanovitch, described by colleagues as a consummate professional, became the target in March of allegations – vehemently denied by the State Department – that she gave a Ukrainian prosecutor a list of people not to prosecute.


Trump allies called for her removal, accusing her of criticizing the president to foreign officials, something current and former colleagues found inconceivable. Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, alleged she blocked efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
According to a White House summary, Trump described her as 'bad news' to Zelensky in the July call in which he sought Zelinsky's help to investigate Biden and his son. 'She's going to go through some things,' Trump added.
One of the foreign-born businessman arrested on Thursday, Parnas, sought the help of a U.S. congressman – identified by a person familiar with the matter as Republican Pete Sessions – to get Trump to remove Yovanovitch, according to the indictment.
Giuliani told Reuters last week he had provided information to both Trump and the State Department about Yovanovitch, who he suggested was biased against Trump.
Sessions lost his House seat from Texas last year to a Democrat. In a statement quoted by Politico, he said his motivation in urging the removal of Yovanovitch was his belief that 'political appointees should not be disparaging the president, especially while serving overseas.'

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Post by annemarie on Fri 11 Oct 2019, 19:52

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7563373/Federal-appeals-court-turns-Trumps-attempt-block-Democrats-getting-tax-returns.html

[size=34]Federal appeals court rules Donald Trump's accountants MUST hand over his tax returns to Democrats in Congress - virtually guaranteeing Supreme Court will decide whether he can keep his financial records secret[/size]


  • Three-judge panel on a federal appeals court ruled 2-1 that House Democrats can subpoena Donald Trump's tax returns from his accountants

  • President's lawyers have insisted Congress can only see his financial records from years before he was president if it is engaged in a formal impeachment

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not taken a vote to authorize one

  • Next step is likely a request for the full D.C. appeals court to hear the case

  • The Supreme Court could then decide to take it up

  • Trump broke a historically recent tradition, but no law, in keeping his financial records private while he ran for president and while in office

  • But his accountants only have the power to resist a subpoena if courts allow it 


By DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 10:55 EDT, 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:17 EDT, 11 October 2019



President Donald Trump lost a key round Friday in the legal fight over whether members of Congress can get access to his personal and corporate tax returns.
In a 2-1 ruling, judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said House Democrats can enforce a subpoena for the documents. 
The ruling upholds a lower court's decision, leaving the president's attorneys with few ways to block his accountants, Mazars LLP, from complying with the House Oversight Committee's demands.
Trump could ask for a new decision from the full D.C. Circuit appeals court. That typical next step would leave him with only the U.S. Supreme Court as a last resort if he loses again.

An administration official with knowledge of the case said Friday that Trump will 'in all likelihood be headed to the Supreme Court for [legal] relief.'
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President Donald Trump has lost the most recent round in his legal fight to keep his personal and corporate income tax returns out of the hands of his enemies in Democrat-controlled congressional committees that are investigating him
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The House Oversight and Reform Committee, led by Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, subpoenaed Trump's accountants at Mazars LLP for his tax records
The high court could refuse to hear the case. It could also grant a hearing and press pause on the subpoena while the dispute winds its way toward a final resolution in 2020 – while Trump is in the thick of a re-election fight.
His attorneys Trump had argued that U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta should have reversed the subpoena. 
And the president had sued the House committee in April, arguing unsuccessfully that investigating his personal finances from years predating his time in office goes beyond the constitutional powers of Congress. 
Democrats are looking for evidence of conflicts of interest and payments from foreign governments that could justify impeaching President Trump. 
'Disputes between Congress and the president are a recurring plot in our national story,' Judge David Tatel wrote in the 66-page opinion. 'And that is precisely what the Framers intended.'  
[size=10][size=18]Federal judge orders Trump to hand over eight years of tax returns




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Trump's lawyers have insisted that Congress can only see his financial records from years before he was president if it is engaged in a formal impeachment process; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not taken a vote to authorize one
'The fact that the subpoena in this case seeks information that concerns the President of the United States adds a twist, but not a surprising one,' he added. 
Tatel was appointed by President Bill Clinton. Judge Patricia Millett, an Obama appointee, sided with him.
The lone dissent in Friday's ruling came from Judge Neomi Rao, who Trump nominated to the bench this year. 
Eleven judges sit on the full D.C. Circuit appeals court. Six of them were appointed by Democratic presidents.
Rao wrote on Friday that Congress can only get Trump's tax records if it is officially engaged in an impeachment proceeding, something House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not taken a vote to authorize. 
'Upholding the subpoenas 'would turn Congress into a roving inquisition over a co-equal branch of government,' she added.
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A knowledgeable administration official said Friday that Trump will 'in all likelihood be headed to the Supreme Court' as Democrats try to enforce their subpoena
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Trump broke a tradition, but not a law, in keeping his tax returns private; but his accountants don't have the ability to resist a congressional subpoena without intervention from the courts
[size=18]2020 hopefuls release taxes in contrast to Trump




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'The most important question is not whether Congress has put forth some legitimate legislative purpose, but rather whether Congress is investigating suspicions of criminality or allegations that the President violated a law,' Rao wrote, declaring that the House of Representatives 'may not use the legislative power to circumvent the protections and accountability that accompany the impeachment power.' 
Oversight committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said in a statement that the ruling 'is a fundamental and resounding victory for Congressional oversight, our Constitutional system of checks and balances, and the rule of law. For far too long, the President has placed his personal interests over the interests of the American people.'
The three-judge panel said Mazars doesn't have to comply with the House subpoena right away, granting a 7-day reprieve while Trump's lawyers file their next inevitable appeal. 
Trump broke a relatively recent tradition by not publishing his income tax returns as he ran for president as a major party nominee.
No law requires him to release the documents. By entrusting them to bankers and accountants, however, he provided Democrats in the Legislative Branch of the federal government with a way around his privacy concerns.
It remains up to the Judicial Branch to decide whether taking that route violates Trump's constitutional rights as the leader of the Executive Branch. 
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Post by LizzyNY on Fri 11 Oct 2019, 22:15

Thumbs up! So glad Yovanovich had the courage to testify! I hope it encourages others to do the same. Could it be that drumpf's finally going to find out that what goes around comes around and that payback's a bitch?!  Wheee!
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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 12 Oct 2019, 00:37

Yep, and now Sondland is going to testify 

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pa7xak/gordon-sondland-says-hell-defy-the-white-house-and-testify-on-the-ukraine-debacle

but on the other side of the world as a result of allowing Erdogan to move in, ISIS members have broken out of a prison

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/turkey-syria-trump-invasion-latest-kurds-mistake-military-a9151796.html

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Post by annemarie on Sat 12 Oct 2019, 01:14

Gordon Sondland Says He'll Defy the Trump Administration and Testify on the Ukraine Debacle




The U.S. ambassador to the EU has emerged at the center of the scandal around Trump pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.



By Cameron Joseph
Oct 11 2019, 9:28am



WASHINGTON — An ambassador who’s emerged at the center of President Trump’s Ukraine scandal will testify to Congress next week, defying State Department orders, his attorneys said Friday.
Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, will appear before the three committees leading the House impeachment investigation next Thursday.
“Notwithstanding the State Department’s current direction to not testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the Committees’ subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday,” Sondland lawyers Robert Luskin and Kwame Manley said in a statement.



Sondland made a number of trips to Ukraine over the summer, and the fact that the country is not part of the EU has raised questions as to why he was there in the first place. Text messages between him, Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, and then-U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker suggest that Sondland was a key player in working to push Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden at President Trump’s behest.
READ: How Gordon Sondland went from Trump critic to Trump's Ukraine whisperer.
Sondland was also mentioned by the anonymous intelligence-community whistleblower whose complaint launched this investigation — they said Sondland helped “‘navigate’ the demands that the president had made of" Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Sondland had been scheduled to testify earlier this week but was blocked by the State Department. Later that day, the White House announced it wouldn’t cooperate in any form with the House’s impeachment investigation, and planned to stonewall all requests.
It’s unclear how substantive the testimony will be or how open Sondland will be with the committees. Sondland’s attorneys say he won’t be able to produce the documents and materials relevant to the case that the committees have requested, arguing that federal law and State Department regulations bar him from sharing those materials without approval from the Secretary of State, though they request that his bosses agree to share the relevant information before his Thursday testimony.

Cover: BRUSSELS JULY 12 - New Ambassador of the United States to the European Union Gordon Sondland is talking to media prior an EU Energy Council, on July 12, 2018, in the Berlaymont, the EU Commission headquarter. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)



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Post by annemarie on Sat 12 Oct 2019, 01:17

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/turkey-syria-trump-invasion-latest-kurds-mistake-military-a9151796.html


Isis fighters break out of north Syria jail as Turkey offensive fuelling fears of jihadi resurgence

At least 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in the fighting




  • Bel TrewMiddle East Correspondent @beltrew

  • 15 hours ago 












The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 3 Syria-turkey
People run to take cover from mortars fired from Syria at the border town of Akcakale, Turkey, on Thursday 10 October ( AP )


Five Islamic State fighters have broken free from a jail in northeast Syria amid Turkish shelling, Kurdish forces have said, fuelling fears Ankara’s controversial offensive could trigger the resurgence of the group.
The detainees escaped from a prison in the Syrian border city of Qamishli, which is under heavy bombardment from Turkish forces and its Syrian rebel allies.
Marvan Qamishlo, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a key US ally, said artillery fire had pounded the area shortly before the jihadists broke free.


Isis separately claimed responsibility for a car bombing in the same city.
It came just hours after women affiliated with Isis attacked Kurdish officers during an attempted prison break in a camp about 80km south of Qamishli.
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Turkey launches offensive into Syria


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The incident at al-Hol camp, which holds 70,000 women and children from mainly Isis families, erupted in the foreigners’ section, spokesman Qamishlo added.
As the fighting intensified even US special operations came under fire from Turkish artillery which, according to US officials struck just a few hundred metres from their position near the Syrian city of Kobani.
While there was no indication the attack was deliberate,  Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General, told reporters at the Pentagon that Turkey had been told of Americans positions in Syria.
"The Turkish military is fully aware - down to explicit grid coordinate detail - of the locations of US forces," he said.
[size=19]A senior Pentagon official told Newsweek the Turkish shelling was so heavy "US personnel considered firing back in self-defence". There are approximately 1000 US soldiers in Syria.

On Wednesday Turkey launched a cross-border incursion against the US-backed SDF it labels a “terror group” for its links to Kurdish group PKK, which is outlawed in Turkey. 

The offensive began just days after President Donald Trump controversially announced the US would be pulling back troops and would not hinder a Turkish incursion, an action seen as abandoning their Kurdish allies.


I[/size]I would like to receive morning headlinesMonday - Friday plus breaking news alerts by email

Ankara has faced mounting criticism from its western allies and rights groups that have spoken of a brewing “humanitarian catastrophe” as well as the possible rebirth of Isis.







  • The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 3 Syria-2
    Tens of thousands flee Turkish bombing in Syria



Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, was the latest world leader to warn that thousands of captured Isis fighters held by the Syrian Kurdish militia “could just run away” in the fighting.
The SDF – the target of Turkey’s assault – were the US’s main ally in fighting against the global jihadi group and lost some 11,000 fighters in the years-long conflict. 
The militia currently holds some 12,000 captured Isis fighters, of whom around 1,000 are from European countries. Most were captured in the dying days of the Isis caliphate, the last remnants of which were destroyed by the SDF with US backing. 
The SDF has repeatedly warned that if it is forced to divert troops to the frontline against Turkey, it will be unable to guard Isis jails and camps.
At least 26 civilians, including four children, have been killed on both sides since the conflict erupted three days ago.
Turkey reported four of its soldiers have also died on the battlefield. Monitoring group say just over 40 have been killed on the other side. 
At least 100,000 people have already fled their homes, according to the United Nations, which said only one national hospital was still operating, while markets, schools, clinic and water stations had been hit in the fighting.




On Friday Kurdish forces were forced to evacuate a camp near to the border that is sheltering more than 7,000 displaced people and a second camp for 13,000 people including families of Isis fighters, after both were hit by shelling.
Turkey’s defence minister said that Turkey’s troops had advanced up to 8km into northern Syria
Monitoring groups said that Turkish-led forces have captured at least 11 villages and have surrounded Kurdish-held towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn.
President Trump has been blamed for "greenlighting" the operation, after announcing on Sunday that US troops would not be present in the area where Turkey intended to attack and neither would they hinder it.

The SDF called the action a “stab in the back” saying they had only just dismantled key military defences along the Syria-Turkey border as part of a US-penned security arrangement. 

The White House and other branches of the government have repeatedly denied approving Mr Erdogan’s offensive.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 3 Turkish
Turkish-led forces have captured at least 11 villages and have surrounded Kurdish-held towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn (AFP via Getty)

The Pentagon said on Friday that Ankara’s actions were damaging US-Turkey relations and tried to reassure the US’s Kurdish partners they had not abandoned them.
But senior US state department officials in a press briefing the day before admitted they were “extremely distressed” by the pullback of US troops, calling it a “very big mistake”.
One unnamed official said: “I’m right up there with the Saudis and [Israeli prime minister] Bibi Netanyahu. This was a very big mistake and it has very big implications for all of our security.”
The official added: “I don’t know of anybody who isn’t upset with it.  But I also don’t know why anybody thinks that we gave the Turks a green light.”
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 3 Qamishli
Flames rise from burning cars at the site of an explosion in the city of Qamishli, in northeastern Syria, on Friday 11 October (ANHA via AP)

The International Committee of The Red Cross said that there are more than 100,000 people currently being hosted in displacement camps that rely on humanitarian aid and so are at serious risk.
Save The Children, meanwhile, sounded the alarm about access to 8,000 foreign children, held in camps for Isis suspects and fighters in the area. 
The UK, the European Union, most of the US’s allies in the Middle East including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE as well as Finland, Denmark and India have condemned Turkey’s military operation. 
In Washington dozens of President Trump’s fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives said they would try to introduce legislation to impose sanctions against Turkey. French officials on Friday signalled the EU may consider similar measures. 
Turkey’s foreign ministry hit back at the mounting criticism saying allegations of a humanitarian crisis and mass displacement were “fabricated in order to discredit Turkey’s counterterrorism efforts”. 

MORE ABOUT
SYRIA |  SDF |




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Post by annemarie on Sat 12 Oct 2019, 14:22

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7564421/Explosion-near-U-S-military-outpost-northern-Syria-U-S-official.html

[size=34]'The Turks KNEW we were present': Pentagon counters Turkish claim that attack on US troops in Syria was 'a mistake', as it reveals American soldiers have NOT withdrawn from Syria despite Trump's orders[/size]


  • American soldiers in northern Syria came under Turkish artillery fire on Friday, but none were wounded

  • The shelling occurred in Kobani where US Special Forces have been stationed in support of Kurdish troops 

  • Trump ordered that they be removed earlier this week, but some remain in the area during the draw down

  • The Kurds have been instrumental in fighting both ISIS and the Syrian regime led by the country's president, Bashar Assad 

  • Turkey however deems the Kurds to be a terrorist group and they want them clear of the border 

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed he wants to create a 'safe zone' and 'save' two million Syrian refugees who are in the middle of the fighting

  • Republicans have voiced fury at Trump over withdrawal and warned Turkish invasion will lead to atrocities against Kurds 


By REUTERS and ARIEL ZILBER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 16:38 EDT, 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 23:34 EDT, 11 October 2019

     



The Pentagon says that Turkey knew that U.S. troops were present in the area of northern Syria that came under artillery fire from Turkish positions on Friday.
In warning Turkey on Friday following the shelling, the Department of Defense appeared to reject Ankara's claims that its soldiers accidentally launched shells which fell just a few hundred meters from an American observation post in northern Syria. 
While no American forces were wounded, the incident highlights the risks to U.S. troops as Turkey wages an offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish militia.
'The explosion occurred within a few hundred meters of a location outside the Security Mechanism zone and in an area known by the Turks to have U.S. forces present,' Navy Captain Brook DeWalt, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

DeWalt said that all U.S. troops were accounted for after the incident near Kobane, Syria late on Friday.
[size=10][size=18]US forces withdraw from northern Syria to make way for Turkey




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Members of the Turkish-backed Syrian Free Army enter Syria's Rasulayn clear the town on Friday. Turkey is gradually making its advance on the Kurdish-controlled portion of Northern Syria where it says it wants to create a 'corridor of peace' 
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Kobani is a border city in the area of northern Syria being controlled by Kurds. Turkey is moving in to take control of it. The US Special Forces Unit was stationed on Mashtenour hill
U.S. troops have not withdrawn from Kobane, he said.
Turkey's Defense Ministry said it had taken all measures to ensure that no U.S. base was damaged while it responded to harassment fire that originated near a U.S. base close to Kobane.


'The firing was ceased as a result of the issue being relayed to us by the U.S.,' the ministry said in a statement.
U.S. forces have had a successful partnership with Kurdish YPG militia in Syria to oust the Islamic State group.
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A US military convoy is pictured in a joint patrol with Turkish troops in al-Hashisha on the outskirts of Tal Abyad in September. The US is slowly removing troops from the region 
'The U.S. demands that Turkey avoid actions that could result in immediate defensive action,' DeWalt said.
Turkey's Defense Ministry said there was no firing on the U.S. observation post, adding that it fired in response to an attack on its military posts south of the town of Suruc, across the border from Kobane.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told reporters at the Pentagon earlier on Friday that Turkey had been told of U.S. positions in Syria, 'down to explicit grid coordinate detail.'
Top Pentagon officials stressed the need for Turkey to avoid doing anything to endanger U.S. forces inside Syria, which numbered about 1,000 before the incursion.
Although U.S. troops had no intention of firing on Turkey, a NATO ally, the Pentagon noted they had the right to defend themselves.
'Everyone is fully aware that we are the United States military. We retain the right of self-defense,' Milley said.
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Turkish army armored tanks on October 9. They began Operation Peace Spring, along with the Syrian Free Army, to try to create what they are calling a 'corridor of peace' but critics are skeptical of their motives
Turkey's offensive began days after U.S. President Donald Trump spoke by phone on Sunday with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and ordered U.S. troops to be moved out of the way.
U.S. military officials denied accusations by lawmakers and policy analysts that the Trump administration had abandoned its allies. 
Turkey says its aim is to defeat the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as an enemy for its links to insurgents in Turkey.

annemarie
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Post by Donnamarie on Sat 12 Oct 2019, 20:33

LizzyNY wrote:Thumbs up! So glad Yovanovich had the courage to testify! I hope it encourages others to do the same. Could it be that drumpf's finally going to find out that what goes around comes around and that payback's a bitch?!  Wheee!


Yes! cheers Yovanovitch was courageous! I’m so proud of her defying the White House and coming forward yesterday. I understand that the White House actually called her very late Thursday night to tell her she could not appear before the Committee on Friday morning. She showed them! But it hasn’t stopped the Republicans from criticizing the Dems and claiming that this whole mess is nothing more than a partisan takedown of Trump. The Republicans are still living in Trump’s reality. I think it’s going to take many more brave people to come forward to out Trump and his corruption - literally drown out the naysayers. The FACTUAL reality is that there is enough evidence right now to bring impeachment charges against Trump. But the cowardly and delusional Senate Republicans will still not convict him.
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