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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 12 Oct 2019, 21:50

Donnamarie - It's possible the situation he created in Syria might be the last straw for any Republicans in Congress who still have a shred of self respect. Not only did he turn a blind eye to the Kurd's plight and put our remaining troops in danger, but he opened the gates for ISIS to regroup and spread. And anyone with a brain knows that they will - to Europe and the US. If the Dems don't pound that (along with all the other reasons why what he did was disgusting) into the public's consciousness they don't deserve to win.
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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 12 Oct 2019, 22:45

https://news.sky.com/story/diplomats-wife-devastated-and-wants-to-meet-harry-dunns-parents-11833917

She apparently does not have diplomatic immunity now because she left the UK

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Post by LizzyNY on Sat 12 Oct 2019, 23:17

I saw something earlier that said she didn't have immunity because her husband was s CIA employee and not a member of the diplomatic service. Whatever the truth, she shouldn't have run. I hope the family gets satisfaction.
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Post by party animal - not! on Sat 12 Oct 2019, 23:40

Well, they're over in the States now hoping to meet her, but the UK police could now  prosecute her and she would have to return and appear in court to be charged.

Next thing we know, Trump will be claiming that it was all down to him and arrange a photo op of them in the Oval Office!

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Post by annemarie on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 02:35

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7566667/Former-Secretary-Defense-James-Mattis-warns-ISIS-resurge-U-S-troops-Syria.html

[size=34]'It's absolutely a given that ISIS will come back': Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis warns that the terrorist organization will resurge with Trump's removal of U.S. troops from Syria[/size]


  • Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned Sunday that ISIS will 'absolutely come back' with the removal of U.S. troops from Syria

  • 'ISIS is not defeated. We have got to keep the pressure on ISIS so they don't recover,' he told Chuck Todd on Meet The Press 

  • On Thursday, President Trump defended his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria and abandon America's Kurdish allies to a Turkish invasion 

  • Trump also suggested that he isn't worried about ISIS fighters being held by the Kurds escaping amid Turkish attacks, because 'they'll go back to Europe'


By KAYLA BRANTLEY FOR DAILYMAIL.COM 
PUBLISHED: 17:15 EDT, 12 October 2019 | UPDATED: 20:00 EDT, 12 October 2019

     






Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis is warning that ISIS will 'absolutely come back' with the removal of U.S. troops from Syria.   
'ISIS is not defeated. We have got to keep the pressure on ISIS so they don't recover,' Mattis told Chuck Todd Sunday on Meet The Press when asked if President Trump made the right decision by pulling troops from Northern Syria last week.  
'It's in a situation of disarray right now,' Mattis, who resigned as Secretary of Defense in January, said of the situation between Turkey and Syria.
'Obviously the Kurds are adapting to the Turkish attacks. We'll have to see if they can maintain the fight against ISIS. It's going to have an impact. The question is how much.

'We may want a war over; we may even declare it over. You can pull your troops out as President Obama learned the hard way out of Iraq, but the ''enemy gets the vote'', we say in the military. And in this case, if we don't keep the pressure on, then ISIS will resurge. It's absolutely a given that they will come back.' 
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Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned Sunday that ISIS will 'absolutely come back' with the removal of U.S. troops from Syria
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'ISIS is not defeated. We have got to keep the pressure on ISIS so they don't recover,' he told Chuck Todd on Meet The Press. Pictured are Syrian protesters carrying a banner that reads 'the north and east of Syria will become a cemetery from Erdogan and Daech' 
On Thursday, President Trump defended his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria and abandon America's Kurdish allies to a Turkish invasion because 'they didn't help us with Normandy'.
The President insisted that he likes the Kurds - who led the fight against ISIS alongside the US - but added that they had been acting in their own self-interest in battling ISIS and it was time for them to continue the fight alone.
Trump also suggested that he isn't worried about ISIS fighters being held by the Kurds escaping amid Turkish attacks, because 'they'll go back to Europe.' 
'That's where they want to go, they want to go back to their homes, but Europe didn't want them' he said on Wednesday night.
'For months we could have given it to them, they could have had trials, they could have done whatever they wanted, but as usual it's not reciprocal.
'That's all I want, I don't want an edge I just want reciprocal... It's not a fair deal for the United States.'
Trump spoke out just hours after Turkey began bombing Kurdish strongholds in northern Syria and marched troops across the border in order to establish a 'peace corridor' in the north of the country.
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On Thursday, Donald Trump defended his decision to abandon America's Kurdish allies in Syria to a Turkish invasion because 'they didn't help us in Normandy' 
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The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces reported multiple Turkish bombing raids against their strongholds on Wednesday, saying multiple civilians were killed 

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[size=18]Turkish military begins bombing of border towns across northern Syria




Loa
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It comes after Trump agreed to withdraw US troops from the region and hand security operations over to Turkey during a routine call with President Erdogan.
Erdogan says he wants to drive terrorists - by which he means the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces - away from Turkey's border so he can resettle some 2million Syrian refugees there. 
But critics agree with Mattis, saying the move will destabilize the region, lead to civilians being killed, and may cause an ISIS resurgence.
Of particular concern are prison camps being run by the SDF which contain some 10,000 ISIS fighters, around 2,500 of them foreigners - mainly from Europe.
Under Trump's plan, Turkey would take responsibility for these prisoners.
'The Kurds are fighting for their land,' Trump told reporters gathered in the Roosevelt Room of the White House for a briefing about business deregulation.
[size=18]Donald Trump defends decision to abandon the Kurds in Syria




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Post by party animal - not! on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 18:27

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/13/the-guardian-view-on-syria-and-trump-a-disaster-still-being-made

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Post by annemarie on Sun 13 Oct 2019, 19:52

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current edition:US edition 




Opinion
Donald Trump

The Guardian view on Syria and Trump: a disaster, still being made
Editorial

The US president was warned about the consequences of betraying the Kurds. Now he can see them, and he still doesn’t care

Sun 13 Oct 2019 13.17 EDTLast modified on Sun 13 Oct 2019 13.18 EDT


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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 2538
 ‘“Very smart not to be involved in the intense fighting along the Turkish Border,” Mr Trump crowed on Twitter, as though he had not triggered the conflict’s outbreak.’ Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA
[size=89]“Total disaster,” wrote the former US anti-Islamic State envoy, Brett McGurk, on Sunday, summarising the events of the past few days. Donald Trump’s decision to abandon America’s Kurdish partners in north-east Syria and wave in Turkish forces was made so abruptly that parts of his own administration were taken by surprise. The grim consequences have arrived with equal speed. But they were widely predicted.
First came the humanitarian catastrophe: around 130,000 people are said to have fled Turkey’s offensive already. Second came allegations from a human rights monitor that nine civilians, including a prominent Kurdish politician, have been executed by Turkish-backed militias. Third came reports that at least 750 people with suspected Islamic State links have fled the Ain Issa camp after Turkish shelling nearby.

Turkey draws no distinction between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the PKK, responsible for a four-decade domestic insurgency. Its stated aim is to secure a buffer zone, and resettle Syrian refugees there. But the US defence secretary, Mark Esper, now says that Turkey is likely to attack further south and west than planned; the estimated 1,000 US troops in Syria are accordingly being withdrawn from the country’s north to protect them. “Very smart not to be involved in the intense fighting along the Turkish Border,” Mr Trump crowed on Twitter, as though he had not triggered the conflict’s outbreak.

Impeachment proceedings and the 2020 election have fuelled the US president’s longstanding desire to extract troops from the region. Asked about the potential threat posed by Isis-related prisoners, he shrugged: “They’re going to be escaping to Europe.”
The SDF lost thousands of fighters in the ground war against Isis, and has taken charge of guarding prisoners since. Its grip on them was already fragile; the camps have never been a long-term solution. But faced with the difficulty of securing domestic convictions, and the risk of otherwise allowing dangerous individuals to walk free, Europe has hardly rushed to take responsibility for its nationals. Britain’s decision to strip Shamima Begum of her citizenship was the most glaring example of its determination to treat people born and radicalised here as someone else’s problem. Our duty to children who never chose to go to Syria and who have no one else to turn to – including three British orphans reportedly found at the Ain Issa camp – is particularly compelling. These issues can no longer be put off.
The former defence secretary, James Mattis, warns that the resurgence of Isis is a given. That threat is one more reason to press Turkey to halt this deadly offensive. So is the fact that Kurdish leaders are openly talking about cutting deals with Russia and Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The consequences of Mr Trump’s fateful call to the Turkish president, only a week ago, are stacking up. Total disaster? This has only just begun.

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Post by annemarie on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 00:07

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7569061/US-diplomat-accused-killing-Harry-Dunn-no-longer-immunity.html

[size=34]'Amazing!' Crash parents hail legal 'breakthrough' as they fly to the US for potential showdown with diplomat's wife who fled the UK after allegedly killing their 19-year-old son[/size]


  • Parents Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn hailed the news as a 'breakthrough'  

  • The Foreign Office made the revelation in a letter to the family yesterday   

  • Anne Sacoolas’s lawyers described the death of Harry, 19, as a ‘tragic accident’ 


By ARTHUR MARTIN and ANDY DOLAN FOR THE DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 17:00 EDT, 13 October 2019 | UPDATED: 18:52 EDT, 13 October 2019

     




The family of Harry Dunn flew to the US yesterday for a potential showdown with the diplomat’s wife accused of killing the teenager in a car crash.
Harry’s parents Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn hailed a ‘breakthrough’ after learning US citizen Anne Sacoolas no longer has diplomatic immunity from potential prosecution over the case.
The Foreign Office made the revelation in a letter to the family yesterday, explaining it is because her husband Jonathan has left his posting at RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire. 
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Harry Dunn's parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn (pictured) hailed a 'breakthrough' after learning that US citizen Anne Sacoolas no longer has diplomatic immunity
Mrs Charles said: ‘The letter from the FCO was amazing, we felt like we finally had a breakthrough, we finally had confirmed that the immunity that we didn’t think she had has been confirmed, that she doesn’t have it, certainly since she absconded back to the USA.

‘A statement from her lawyer is promising that we may be able to hopefully get a meeting put together – whether it’s face to face or lawyer to lawyer, not really sure on that basis yet but fingers crossed we’re stepping in the right direction.’
Mrs Sacoolas’s lawyers released a statement at the weekend describing the death of Harry, 19, in August as a ‘tragic accident’. They said she is ‘devastated’ and has expressed a desire to meet with the teenager’s family, who have arrived in New York in their quest for justice.   
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Harry Dunn, 19, (pictured) was killed after Sacoolas, 42, crashed her Volvo SUV into him near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire

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Harry’s parents are planning to give a series of interviews with America’s main TV networks to heap pressure on the US government to hand Mrs Sacoolas over.
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Sacoolas (pictured) initially claimed diplomatic immunity to avoid potential prosecution over the case 
They will then travel to Washington DC to meet senior figures in the US government to express their outrage at the handling of the case.
Their lawyer Radd Seiger told the Mail: ‘Harry’s parents want to look the US President in the eye and ask him to resolve this painful situation. He needs to understand they are utterly heartbroken.
‘We will not rest until we have Mrs Sacoolas back in the UK. That’s the only way they can get closure.’ Mr Seiger said Mrs Sacoolas, 42, has been asked four times if she would be willing to return to the UK, and on each occasion she failed to respond to the question.
He added: ‘Harry’s family just want a direct answer as to whether she will to back to the UK and continue to help the police with their investigation. 
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Mrs Charles (pictured) said: '‘The letter from the FCO was amazing, we felt like we finally had a breakthrough, we finally had confirmed that the immunity that we didn’t think she had has been confirmed, that she doesn’t have it'
‘We’ve asked the same question four separate times and on each occasion this question is ignored. That’s unacceptable.’
Mrs Charles, Harry’s mother, said that Mrs Sacoolas’s response to the crash ‘just doesn’t cut it’.
‘My opinion on Anne Sacoolas now wanting to come forward and say sorry... is not really quite enough,’ she told Sky News.
‘But I’m still really open to meeting her, as are the rest of us. I can’t promise what I would or wouldn’t say, but I certainly wouldn’t be aggressive.’ Harry’s parents are reluctant to meet the mother of three unless she gives some sort of assurances that she is willing to be extradited to the UK. 
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Police have CCTV of Sacoolas driving on the wrong side of the road (pictured are new signs that have appeared outside the RAF base) but she claimed diplomatic immunity, meaning detectives could not launch a criminal investigation
But the matter may now be taken out of her hands if the Crown Prosecution Service applies to the US to extradite her. As the wife of a US intelligence officer, Mrs Sacoolas initially claimed diplomatic immunity and fled the UK after the crash just outside the military base.
On Saturday evening the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wrote to Harry’s family and said: ‘The UK Government’s position is that immunity, and therefore any question of waiver, is no longer relevant in Mrs Sacoolas’s case, because she has returned home.
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Mrs Sacoolas’s lawyers released a statement at the weekend describing the death of Harry (pictured) in August as a ‘tragic accident
‘The US have now informed us that they too consider that immunity is no longer pertinent.’ Although grateful for the letter, Harry’s family want to know why the Foreign Office only reached this conclusion on the eve of their trip to the US – weeks after Mrs Sacoolas left the country.
Mr Seiger said: ‘The family could have been told weeks ago that she no longer had diplomatic immunity. The failure to do so has put needless and unnecessary stress on a grieving family.’
Harry suffered horrific injuries in the crash and died later in hospital. Mrs Sacoolas had pulled out of the base, a US spy hub, on the wrong side of the road and collided with the teenager’s motorbike on the brow of a hill.
New road markings and a sign have appeared outside the base. Arrows indicating the direction of travel have been painted on each side of the road and a yellow ‘Please Drive on Left’ sign has also been placed on the roadside.
Home Secretary Priti Patel yesterday played down suggestions that Mrs Sacoolas could be extradited from the US.
Asked on BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show whether this could happen, she said: ‘It very much seems that the lady in question wants to start co-operating with the discussions and the investigations and I think that we should support that.
‘We need to ensure that justice is done but obviously that co-operation with this investigation takes place. That is absolutely right.’  

[size=34]How diplomat's wife could now face prosecution for the crash [/size]


Before the crash, Anne Sacoolas was entitled to immunity from prosecution because she is married to a US diplomat.
This allowed her to fly home without being held by the British police.
But once back in America, Mrs Sacoolas’s husband was no longer considered to be at his post at RAF Croughton. 
It meant the UK and US governments agreed Mrs Sacoolas is no longer entitled to immunity and could face prosecution over the crash if she sets foot on British soil.
For the case to continue, she must either return to the UK of her own volition or be extradited. 
The Crown Prosecution Service can apply to the US government to extradite her, but there are no guarantees.

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Post by LizzyNY on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 00:23

If they do get to meet with drumpf they need to keep in mind his response to Nadia Murad and understand that, no matter what he's coached to say, he really doesn't give a damn.
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Post by party animal - not! on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 00:43

I w ould really hope they did not get talked into that because it looks as if this arrangement has absolutely nothing to do with him. And it turns out that Sacoolas should not have fled back to the States because it completely negates her diplomatic status. She could be charged.

It would be better for his parents if the whole thing was done privately without any other orchestration. Let us hope the Doughty Street lawyers will be there to guide them

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Post by annemarie on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 10:48

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7569619/Horrific-video-meme-Donald-Trump-massacres-fake-news-media-shown-resort.html

[size=34]Horrific video meme where Donald Trump massacres 'fake news media' and Democrats like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi is shown at the President's Miami resort[/size]


  • The video was screened at an event staged by the conservative group American Priority at the Trump National Doral Miami last week 

  • Video is an edited version of church massacre scene from the 2014 dark comedy film Kingsman: The Secret Service, starring Colin Firth 

  • It shows Trump's head superimosed on Firth's body as he shoots and stabs parishioners in 'church of fake news' 

  • The parishioners include the 'fake news' media as well as Democrats like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Maxine Waters 

  • The clip also depicts Trump as killing Senator Mitt Romney, MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski, actor Rosie O'Donnell, comedian Kathy Griffin, and George Soros 

  • Among those who attended the event were Donald Trump Jr; former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders; and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis 


By ARIEL ZILBER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 22:04 EDT, 13 October 2019 | UPDATED: 04:01 EDT, 14 October 2019

     





A horrifically violent video which depicts President Trump massacring a group of journalists and political opponents inside a 'church of fake news' was shown to a group of his supporters at his Miami resort, it was reported.
The disturbing display took place at the Trump National Doral Miami last week, which was the site of a three-day conference held by a pro-Trump organization called American Priority.
The event was attended by former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders; the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr; and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, according to The New York Times.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19673094-7569619-image-a-3_1571017626858


A gruesome, violent video which depicts Donald Trump killing members of the media and Democrats in a 'church of fake news' was screened during an event attended by the president's supporters at his Miami resort last week
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19673596-7569619-image-a-4_1571017915750


The video is an edited version of the church massacre scene from the 2014 film Kingsman: The Secret Service. Trump's head is superimposed on the body of the film's star, Colin Firth, who goes on to kill the parishioners who are depicted as media entities
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The graphic clip shows Trump shooting and stabbing the parishioners as well as prominent Democrats and media personalities
Sanders and an individual close to Don Jr told the Times that they did not see the video in question.

'I was there to speak at a prayer breakfast, where I spoke about unity and bringing the country together,' Sanders told the Times.
'I wasn't aware of any video, nor do I support violence of any kind against anyone.'
DeSantis has yet to comment on the matter.
A spokesperson for Trump's re-election campaign, Tim Murtaugh, said he knew nothing about the video.
'That video was not produced by the campaign, and we do not condone violence,' said Murtaugh.


The video, which is being circulated on the internet by Trump supporters, is an edited version of the church massacre scene from the 2014 dark comedy film Kingsman: The Secret Service, starring Colin Firth.
It shows Trump's head superimposed on Firth's body as he walks into 'the church of fake news,' where the congregants represent major American news outlets like NBC, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, Politico, Vox, Vice News, The Hill, BuzzFeed News, and others.
Trump then goes on a killing rampage, using a gun and spear to shoot and stab the parishioners.










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The event at Trump's resort in Miami was attended by former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (left); Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (center); and the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr (right)
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A spokesperson for Trump's re-election campaign says the campaign had nothing to do with the clip. The Trump National Doral Miami is seen in the above stock image
Among the victims - aside from 'fake news' - are prominent Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former President Barack Obama, Senator Bernie Sanders, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and others.
Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican who has frequently criticized Trump, is also one of Trump's 'victims.'
Other Trump 'enemies' who are shown as victims include MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, actor Rosie O'Donnell, and financier George Soros. 
The Times reported that one of the people in attendance at the conference recorded the showing with a cell phone.
That person then asked an intermediary to send the clip to a Times reporter.
An organizer of the event told the Times that the video was shown as part of a 'meme exhibit.'
'Content was submitted by third parties and was not associated with or endorsed by the conference in any official capacity,' said the organizer, Alex Phillips.
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The White House Correspondents Association issued a statement on Sunday calling on the president, his family, and his campaign officials to condemn the video
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CNN released a statement which read: 'Sadly, this is not the first time that supporters of the president have promoted violence against the media in a video they apparently find entertaining - but it is by far and away the worst'
'American Priority rejects all political violence and aims to promote a healthy dialogue about the preservation of free speech.
'This matter is under review.'
The White House Correspondents Association and CNN issued statements condemning the video and calling on Trump, his family, and administration and campaign officials to denounce violence.
'All Americans should condemn this depiction of violence directed towards journalists,' the statement from the White House Correspondents Association said.
'We have previously told the president his rhetoric could incite violence. 
'Now we call on him and everybody associated with this conference to denounce this video and affirm that violence has no place in our society.'
CNN released a statement which read: 'Sadly, this is not the first time that supporters of the president have promoted violence against the media in a video they apparently find entertaining - but it is by far and away the worst.
'The images depicted are vile and horrific. 
'The president and his family, the White House and the Trump campaign need to denounce it immediately in the strongest possible terms. 
'Anything less equates to a tacit endorsement of violence and should not be tolerated by anyone.' 
Since his successful campaign for president, Trump has rallied his supporters against the news media, particularly outlets that he considers 'fake news.'
[size=18]Trump rails against Democrats, Mueller and 'fake news' at 2020 rally




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In July 2017, Trump posted a tweet showing himself wrestling an opponent whose head was covered with the CNN logo
In July 2017, Trump sparked outrage when he tweeted a clip showing him wrestling an opponent representing CNN.
The video appeared to be a modified version of a 2007 appearance by Trump at World Wrestling Entertainment's WrestleMania 23 promotion, in which Trump 'takes down' WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. In Sunday's video, McMahon's head has been replaced with the CNN logo.
After Trump appears to beat on the CNN effigy, a logo, 'FNN Fraud News Network' appears at the bottom of the screen in script similar to that of CNN. 
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  • Macabre Video of Fake Trump Shooting Media and Critics Is Shown at His Resort - The New York Times


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Post by annemarie on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 13:39

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7570275/Harry-Dunns-parents-meet-wife-accused-killing-son-promises-return-Britain.html

[size=34]Harry Dunn's parents say they will only meet US wife accused of killing the 19-year-old in a crash IF she promises to surrender and return to Britain[/size]


  • Parents Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn have set out 'non-negotiable' condition

  • They said they will only meet Anne Sacoolas if she promises to return to Britain 

  • She 'fled' to the US after their son Harry Dunn was killed after being hit by a car

  • They flew to US to 'put pressure on the US administration to do the right thing'

  • The Foreign Office told the pair Sacoolas does not have diplomatic immunity

  • Mrs Sacoolas's lawyers described the death of Harry, 19, as a 'tragic accident' 


By AMIE GORDON FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 03:18 EDT, 14 October 2019 | UPDATED: 06:28 EDT, 14 October 2019

     


The parents of 19-year-old Harry Dunn have today said they will only meet the US woman suspected of causing their son's death if she promises to return to Britain.
Family spokesman Radd Seiger told Sky News the condition was a 'non-negotiable red line in the sand' if Anne Sacoolas wished to meet with the teenager's parents while they are in America.
Harry, 19, died when his motorbike crashed into a car outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27.
The suspect, 42-year-old Mrs Sacoolas, had fled to the US IN the wake of the fatality, claiming diplomatic immunity. 

But that protection is now in dispute after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wrote to Harry's parents over the weekend, telling them the government had 'pressed strongly for a waiver of immunity, so that justice can be done.' 
Harry's parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, flew to the US on Sunday to, as Mr Seiger said, 'put pressure on the US administration to do the right thing'. 
[size=10][size=18]Harry Dunn family spokesman says Sacoolas 'must commit to UK return'




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Harry Dunn's parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn (pictured) hailed a 'breakthrough' after learning that US citizen Anne Sacoolas no longer has diplomatic immunity
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Harry Dunn, 19, (pictured) was killed after Sacoolas, 42, crashed her Volvo SUV into him near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire

How the diplomatic row unfolded 


August 27: Harry Dunn, 19, was killed as he rode his motorbike near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire. Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a US diplomat, reportedly hit him with her Volvo while driving on the wrong side of the road.
August 28: Police speak with Sacoolas but she is granted diplomatic immunity
August 28: September 16: Sacoolas leaves the country for the US
October 4: Harry's parents call on President Trump to intervene and return Sacoolas to the UK
October 9: Boris Johnson says he will speak to Trump to ask for Sacoolas's return and rescind diplomatic immunity
October 9: Trump defends Sacoolas, saying it's difficult to drive on the correct side of the road in the UK
October 12: Lawyers from both sides make contact for the first time 



Ms Charles said before boarding her flight that she had received a letter from Mrs Sacoolas expressing her 'deepest sympathies and apologies'.
'To be perfectly honest, yes, it's the start of some closure for our family,' she was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.
'Having said that, as it's nearly seven weeks now since we lost our boy, sorry just doesn't cut it'.
Earlier, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) wrote to the family to say Mrs Sacoolas did not have diplomatic immunity.
Mr Seiger said the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab's letter stated: 'The US have now informed us that they too consider that immunity is no longer pertinent.'
The letter, sent by Mr Raab to the family, said: 'We have pressed strongly for a waiver of immunity, so that justice can be done... Whilst the US government has steadfastly declined to give that waiver, that is not the end of the matter.
'We have looked at this very carefully... the UK Government's position is that immunity, and therefore any question of waiver, is no longer relevant in Mrs Sacoolas' case, because she has returned home.'


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Sacoolas (pictured) initially claimed diplomatic immunity to avoid potential prosecution over the case 
Mr Raab added that the matter was now 'in the hands' of Northamptonshire Police and the CPS.
An FCO spokesman told the PA news agency that the office 'would not be commenting further on the content of the letter'.
Before the letter was sent by the FCO, the family's lawyer Mark Stephens told PA: 'There are approximately 20,000 official diplomats in this country - there's a definitive list of who is and who isn't.
'We know definitively that this guy was not a diplomat and therefore was not entitled to diplomatic immunity. That has a number of consequences.
'That means that the Americans have made a false claim. She would not have been entitled to claim diplomatic immunity.'
[size=18]Harry Dunn: Parents hail 'breakthrough' over diplomatic immunity




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Meanwhile, Mrs Sacoolas's legal representative Amy Jeffress, from the law firm Arnold and Porter, said: 'Anne is devastated by this tragic accident.
'No loss compares to the death of a child and Anne extends her deepest sympathy to Harry Dunn's family.'
On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said America was 'absolutely ruthless' in its safeguarding of Mrs Sacoolas following the decision to grant her diplomatic immunity.
Mr Johnson said although President Donald Trump was sympathetic towards Mr Dunn's family's views on the use of diplomatic immunity, the US was 'very reluctant' to allow its citizens to be tried abroad.
Speaking of taking their campaign to the US, Mr Dunn's family said in a statement that they 'continue to live in a nightmare' and have so far been unable to grieve after his death.
A statement released on behalf of the family said: 'As if losing Harry was not enough, they now find themselves having to expend enormous time and energy, which they can ill afford, generating sufficient publicity to garner public support to persuade the US government to help achieve closure and return the driver Mrs Sacoolas to England to face the consequences of her actions.'
Mrs Charles said: 'The letter from the FCO was amazing, we felt like we finally had a breakthrough, we finally had confirmed that the immunity that we didn't think she had has been confirmed, that she doesn't have it, certainly since she absconded back to the USA.








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Mrs Charles (pictured) said: ''The letter from the FCO was amazing, we felt like we finally had a breakthrough, we finally had confirmed that the immunity that we didn't think she had has been confirmed, that she doesn't have it'
'A statement from her lawyer is promising that we may be able to hopefully get a meeting put together – whether it's face to face or lawyer to lawyer, not really sure on that basis yet but fingers crossed we're stepping in the right direction.'
Mrs Sacoolas's lawyers said she was 'devastated' and has expressed a desire to meet with the teenager's family, who have arrived in New York in their quest for justice. 
Harry's parents are planning to give a series of interviews with America's main TV networks to heap pressure on the US government to hand Mrs Sacoolas over.
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Mrs Sacoolas's lawyers released a statement at the weekend describing the death of Harry (pictured) in August as a 'tragic accident
They will then travel to Washington DC to meet senior figures in the US government to express their outrage at the handling of the case.
Their lawyer Radd Seiger told the Mail: 'Harry's parents want to look the US President in the eye and ask him to resolve this painful situation. He needs to understand they are utterly heartbroken.
'We will not rest until we have Mrs Sacoolas back in the UK. That's the only way they can get closure.' 
Mr Seiger said Mrs Sacoolas, 42, has been asked four times if she would be willing to return to the UK, and on each occasion she failed to respond to the question.
He added: 'Harry's family just want a direct answer as to whether she will to back to the UK and continue to help the police with their investigation. 
'We've asked the same question four separate times and on each occasion this question is ignored. That's unacceptable.'
Mrs Charles, Harry's mother, said that Mrs Sacoolas's response to the crash 'just doesn't cut it'.
'My opinion on Anne Sacoolas now wanting to come forward and say sorry... is not really quite enough,' she told Sky News.
'But I'm still really open to meeting her, as are the rest of us. I can't promise what I would or wouldn't say, but I certainly wouldn't be aggressive.' Harry's parents are reluctant to meet the mother of three unless she gives some sort of assurances that she is willing to be extradited to the UK. 
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Police have CCTV of Sacoolas driving on the wrong side of the road (pictured are new signs that have appeared outside the RAF base) but she claimed diplomatic immunity, meaning detectives could not launch a criminal investigation
[size=18]Boris Johnson hopes that Anne Sacoolas will be sent back to UK




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But the matter may now be taken out of her hands if the Crown Prosecution Service applies to the US to extradite her. As the wife of a US intelligence officer, Mrs Sacoolas initially claimed diplomatic immunity and fled the UK after the crash just outside the military base. 
Harry suffered horrific injuries in the crash and died later in hospital. 
Mrs Sacoolas had pulled out of the base, a US spy hub, on the wrong side of the road and collided with the teenager's motorbike on the brow of a hill.
New road markings and a sign have appeared outside the base. Arrows indicating the direction of travel have been painted on each side of the road and a yellow 'Please Drive on Left' sign has also been placed on the roadside.
Home Secretary Priti Patel yesterday played down suggestions that Mrs Sacoolas could be extradited from the US.
Asked on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show whether this could happen, she said: 'It very much seems that the lady in question wants to start co-operating with the discussions and the investigations and I think that we should support that.
'We need to ensure that justice is done but obviously that co-operation with this investigation takes place. That is absolutely right.'  

[size=34]How diplomat's wife could now face prosecution for the crash [/size]


Before the crash, Anne Sacoolas was entitled to immunity from prosecution because she is married to a US diplomat.
This allowed her to fly home without being held by the British police.
But once back in America, Mrs Sacoolas's husband was no longer considered to be at his post at RAF Croughton. 
It meant the UK and US governments agreed Mrs Sacoolas is no longer entitled to immunity and could face prosecution over the crash if she sets foot on British soil.
For the case to continue, she must either return to the UK of her own volition or be extradited. 
The Crown Prosecution Service can apply to the US government to extradite her, but there are no guarantees.

annemarie
Casamigos with Mr Clooney

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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by LizzyNY on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 14:48

PAN - Not to take away from the seriousness of this situation, but what on earth is a "heavy plant crossing"?
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Post by annemarie on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 16:38

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7570285/Assad-moves-soldiers-Syrian-border-confront-Turkish-aggression.html

[size=34]President Trump suggests Kurdish fighters are releasing ISIS militants in a bid to force the US to maintain their role in Syria as Turkey prepares to directly attack Assad's forces[/size]


  • Donald Trump has accused the Kurds of freeing ISIS jihadis from prison camps to lure US back into Syria 

  • Comes after more than 800 terrorists - largely the wives and children of fighters - escaped a camp in Ain Issa

  • The Kurds say prison camps have been deliberately targeted by Turkey to free jihadis to help in their assault 

  • Turkey was gearing up for an attack on Manbij Monday, as Assad's soldiers moved in to help Kurdish forces 

  • Russia said it is in regular contact with Turkey to avoid any possibility of fighting between their troops


By CHRIS PLEASANCE  and JACK NEWMAN FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 04:22 EDT, 14 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:22 EDT, 14 October 2019

     



Donald Trump has suggested that Kurdish fighters are releasing imprisoned ISIS jihadists to bait the United States into remaining involved in northeastern Syria.
The President spoke out after more than 800 ISIS followers - largely wives and children of fighters - escaped from a prison camp near Ain Issa at the weekend after the Kurds said Turkish forces bombed the camp.
However, Trump hinted that the Kurds - America's closest ally in the country until he ordered US forces to withdraw - were instead to blame.
He spoke out just hours after the Kurds signed a deal with the Russian-backed Syrian Army to defend them, and as Bashar al-Assad's tanks and troops rolled up to the border to combat 'Turkish aggression'.

Despite the new threat, Turkish President Erdogan vowed to continue his offensive 'no matter what', saying he would only stop 'when ultimate victory is achieved'. 
Syrian troops were pictured Monday around the city of Manbij as Erdogan said Turkish forces were ready to attack, and near Tel Abaid and Sari Kani where fighting between Turkey and the Kurds is already underway. 
[size=10][size=18]Soldiers in tank fly Syrian national flag as they move to border




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Turkey's President Erdogan has said his troops are ready to attack Manbij even as Assad's forces arrived in the area (pictured, a Syrian government tank, reportedly in Manbij) raising the prospect that the two sides will fight for the first time
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A Syrian army tank (right) was shown rolling into Manbij on Monday, hours after Assad struck a deal with the Kurds to help defend them in return for territory
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Syrian government forces have begun moving into Kurdish territory to defend against a Turkish invasion of northern Syria after striking a deal with the former US allies. Assad's troops were seen near Manbij on Monday as Erdogan said his forces were ready to attack. Syrian troops also arrived in Ain Issa and Sari Kani, where fighting is already underway
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Donald Trump has suggested the the Kurds may be releasing ISIS prisoners deliberately to get the US back into the conflict in Syria, though the Kurds say President Erdogna's men are deliberately bombing prison camps in order to free the jihadis 
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Trump also threatened to level big sanctions against Turkey over its attacks on the Kurds, despite giving President Erdogan permission to move into the region himself 
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President Trump spoke out after more than 800 ISIS terrorists - mainly wives and children of fighters - escaped from a prison camp at Ain Issa (pictured) at the weekend, after guards left to fight the oncoming Turkish army
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In return for providing security, the Kurds have agreed to hand over control of the border towns of Manbij (pictured, Turkish tanks near the town) and Kobane, ending five years of autonomous rule
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Turkish soldiers drive American-made M60 tanks in the town of Tukhar, north of Syria's northern city of Manbij, as Turkey and its regional allies fight against Kurdish forces in the area
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Soldiers riding on top of a tank carry the Syrian national flag, a symbol of the government's army, into Manbij province as they arrive in defence of the Kurds
The battle would mark a significant shift in the regional balance of power because Assad is backed by Russia and Iran, which until now had been firm allies of Turkey over Syria. 
It would also mark the first time that Kurdish forces have fought alongside the Russian-backed Syrian government, after previously allying with America until Donald Trump suddenly withdrew US forces from the region. 
President Trump tweeted Monday: 'Kurds may be releasing some to get us involved. Easily recaptured by Turkey or European Nations from where many came, but they should move quickly.'
Turkish state media has repeatedly denied Kurdish allegations that its planes and artillery have been bombing ISIS prison camps in order to help fighters escape, and has pointed the finger of blame at the Kurds instead.    
Asked about the possibility of a direct confrontation between Russian and Turkish forces, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin 'wouldn't even like to think about that scenario'. 
Trump has face international outcry and fierce domestic opposition to his move, even from within the Republican party, for handing control of a volatile and resource-rich region over to America's enemies. 

[size=34]Kurdish forces do a deal with Assad[/size]


Kurdish forces have agreed to allow Bashar al-Assad's troops to occupy their territory in exchange for helping to repel an invasion by Turkey that was sparked when Donald Trump suddenly withdrew US troops.
Direct conflict between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and Syrian Arab Army has been rare during the country's seven-year civil war, but until now they have found themselves on opposite sides of the fight against ISIS as the Kurds were backed by the US and Assad was supported by Russia.
However, after Trump dropped American support for the Kurds and handed over control of regional security to Turkey - which considers Kurdish militias to be terrorists - they have been forced to seek support elsewhere.
As part of the deal, brokered by Russia, the SDF agreed to hand over control of the border towns of Manbij and Kobane which it has ruled over for the last seven years in exchange for help battling Erdogan's troops.
On Monday Syrian government forces were pictured at Manbij as Turkey threatened to assault the city, and at Tel Abaid and Sari Kani, where fighting is already underway. 
The deal means one of America's closest allies in the region is now fighting with assistance from Russia, and marks a big win for Assad in his attempts to regain complete control of Syria.
The deal also pits Russia and Iran, which back Assad, against Turkey, despite the three countries spending months putting on a united front in the region.




But according to six sources close to the President, he and some of his senior advisers thought Erdogan was bluffing over plans to attack northern Syria and believed he wouldn't go through with it, Axios reported.  
Speaking about the attack on Manbij, Erdogan said Turkey's aim will be to return the city to Arab populations whom he said where its rightful owners. 
Speaking ahead of a visit to Azerbaijan, Erdogan said Turkey would implement its plans for Manbij and settle Arabs there, after an agreement with Washington last year for YPG fighters to leave the town fell through.
'Our agreement with the United States was for the terrorist organisations to clear Manbij in 90 days,' he said, referring to the YPG. 
'However, a year has passed and Manbij has not been cleared,' Erdogan told reporters at the airport in Istanbul.
'We, as Turkey, will not go into Manbij when it's emptied. The real owners of that area, the Arabs, and the tribes who are the true owners of that will go there. Our approach on this is for them to be settled there and to provide their security,' he added.
Asked about the deal struck between the Kurdish forces and Damascus, Erdogan said that he did not expect any problems to emerge in the town of Kobane and added that Russian President Vladimir Putin had a 'positive approach.'
'There are many rumours at the moment. However, especially through the embassy and with the positive approach of Russia in Kobani, it appears there won't be any issues,' he said, without elaborating.
America ordered its final 1,000 troops to withdraw from Syria 'as quickly and safely as possible' on Sunday in the face of the Turkish advance, amid fears they will be accidentally targeted by Turkish artillery and airstrikes.
A tweet by SANA, the Syrian army's news agency, on Monday said forces had entered the town of Tall Tamr and were ready 'to confront Turkish aggression'. 
The Kurdish administration said in a statement on its Facebook page: 'In order to prevent and confront this aggression, an agreement has been reached with the Syrian government... so that the Syrian army can deploy along the Syrian-Turkish border to assist the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).' 
In their statement the Kurds said that the agreement struck with the Damascus government 'paves the way to liberate the rest of the Syrian cities occupied by the Turkish army such as Afrin', a majority Kurdish enclave in the northwest.
Turkey's attacks have been heavily condemned by European leaders, with France - which has special forces stationed in Syria among the most vociferous critics.
On Monday French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced he will not to attend Monday's match between the French and Turkish football teams in Paris. 
Le Drian had previously planned to be at the game, said the minister's department. 
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Turkish-backed Syrian rebels haul down a Kurdish flag that had been flying over a town on the outskirts of Tel Abaid after seizing control of the border city
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Rebels from the Syrian National Army (also known as the Free Syrian Amry), a Turkish-backed rebel group, raise their flag above a town on the outskirts of Tel Abaid
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Syrian government troops arrive in Ain Issa, where the ISIS prison break took place, on Monday as they reinforce Kurdish troops fighting in nearby Tel Abaid
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Soldiers loyal to Bashar al-Assad roll into Ain Issa, in northern Syria, close to the border town of Tel Abaid where heavy fighting has taken place between Turkey and the Kurds
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Locals welcoming Syrian government forces as they enter the northern town of Ain Issa after they were allowed to enter the territory as part of a deal with the Kurds
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Members of Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army, a militant group active in parts of northwest Syria, heading toward Syrian town of Tal Abiad as they continue their assault against the Kurds
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Turkish-backed Syrian fighters speak with people after withdrawing from the front line back into Turkish territory
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Turkish military vehicles carrying armoured personal carriers head toward the Syrian town of Tal Abaid near the border
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Turkey moved its forces into northern Syria last week after Donald Trump agreed to withdraw US troops and hand over control of regional security to Ankara
French officials are planning to step up security ahead of this evening's European Championship game in the Stade de France between the two countries, following the condemnation by France and the European Union of the Turkish offensive.
Meanwhile Jens Stoltenberg, chief of NATO which Turkey is a member of, also criticised the offensive - saying it risks creating further instability in the region.
'We see a very unstable situation in Syria,' he said on a visit to London on Monday. 'We see human suffering... I expressed deep concerns when I was in Istanbul.' 
In the past five days, Turkish troops and their allies have pushed into northern towns and villages, clashing with the Kurdish fighters over a stretch of 200 125 miles. 
The offensive has displaced at least 130,000 people.
Abandoned in the middle of the battlefield, the Kurds turned to Assad and Russia for protection and announced Sunday night that Syrian government troops would be deployed in Kurdish-controlled towns and villages along the border with Turkey to help repel Turkish advances.
'We are going back to our normal positions that are at the border,' said a Syrian officer, as embattled Kurdish authorities invited the government to retake towns and villages in the north.
Syrian troops arrived Monday in the northern province of Raqqa aboard buses and pickup trucks with mounted machine guns.  
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Bashar al-Assad has deployed Syrian government troops (pictured) to the town of Tal Tamr, around 20 miles from Sari Kani (also known as Ras al-Ain) where heavy fighting occurred between Turkey and Kurdish forces at the weekend
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Syrian regime forces are pictured as they patrol a street on the western entrance of the town of Tal Tamr after being sent there to 'combat Turkish aggression'
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Syrian regime forces moved towards the Turkish border Monday after Damascus reached a deal with beleaguered Kurdish forces following a US withdrawal announcement
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 An image released by the Syrian Arab Army shows its troops in Tal Tamr on Monday - territory which was formerly occupied by Kurdish forces
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Syrian government troops were moved close to the border after Russia helped strike a deal between Assad and the Kurds to provide protection against the Turkish invasion
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Assad's forces published images showing their troops being welcomed by Kurdish locals after American suddenly withdrew from the region, paving the way for Turkey to attack
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A man greets a Syrian army soldier in the town of Tel Tamer in northeast Syria, in pictures taken by Assad's troops
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A Syrian army soldier sits at a back of a truck in the town of Tell Tamr in northeast Syria on Monday
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A woman gestures as a Syrian army soldier stands on a back of a truck in the town of Tell Tamr in northeast Syria
Troops moved into the towns of Tal Tamr, 12 miles from the Turkish border, Ein Issa and Tabqa, known for its dam on the Euphrates River and a nearby air base of the same name.
The government deployment sets up a potential clash between Turkey and Syria and raises the specter of a resurgent Islamic State group as the U.S. relinquishes any remaining influence in northern Syria to Assad and his chief backer, Russia.
Turkey has pressed on with its invasion of northern Syria, warning its NATO allies in Europe and the United States not to stand in its way.
The European Union unanimously condemned Turkey's military move and asked all 28 of its member states to stop selling arms to Ankara, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell told The Associated Press.
In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Russian and Turkish officials have remained in close contact.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled his military was ready to launch an assault on the Kurdish-held region of Manbij, on the western flank of the Euphrates.  
[size=18]Turkish offensive continues around Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad




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Medics carry people wounded in Turkish air strikes into a hospital in Tal Tamr, which is now under the protection of Syrian Arab Army troops
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Tal Tamr, which is 20 miles from the border town of Sari Kani (also known as Ras al-Ain), has seen some of the fiercest fighting of the campaign so far
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Medics carry wounded civilians injured in an alleged Turkish airstrike at a hospital in Tal Tamr, northeastern of Syria
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Images of the attack showed the airstrike shatter an otherwise quiet street and footage shows bodies and severed limbs strewn in the street
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Casualties pour into Syrian hospitals as the Turkish border offensive continues with as many as 74 injured in today's convoy strike
[size=18]Injured pour into Syrian hospitals during Turkish border offensive




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The flashpoint area housed U.S. troops who patrolled the region since 2017 to deter a confrontation between Turkey and Kurdish fighters.
A U.S. official said Monday troops were still the town, preparing to leave.
'We are about to implement our decision on Manbij,' Erdogan told reporters, adding that Turkey aimed to return the city to Arab populations that he said were its rightful owners.
Turkish forces were already positioned at the city's edge, according to CNN-Turk. Syrian troops already have a presence south of Manbij.
Erdogan has already said Turkey will not negotiate with the Syrian Kurdish fighters, saying they have links to a long-running Kurdish insurgency within its own borders.
Heavy fighting there on Sunday reached a Kurdish-run camp for displaced persons in Ein Issa. The camp is home to about 12,000 people, including around 950 wives and children of IS fighters, and hundreds are believed to have escaped amid the chaos.
Syria's state-run news agency SANA said government forces planned to 'confront the Turkish aggression,' without giving further details.
Photos posted by SANA showed several vehicles and a small number of troops in Tal Tamr, a predominantly Assyrian Christian town that was once held by IS before it was retaken by Kurdish-led forces. 
Many Syrian Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Syria's prewar population of 23 million, left for Europe in the past 20 years, with the flight gathering speed since the conflict began in March 2011.

[size=18]Protesters in Syria seen on route to Ras al-Ain from Qamishli




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Journalists, including foreigners, were accompanying the convoy. A Kurdish news agency, Hawar, said one of its reporters was killed
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In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border with Syria, in Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province, smoke billows from fires on targets in Ras al-Ayn
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Images shared by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights appear to picture people running away from the Ain Issa 
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The Observatory said journalists, including foreigners, were accompanying the convoy. A Kurdish news agency, Hawar, said one of its reporters was killed
[size=18]Wounded people being helped away from site of an attack in Syria




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Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, as seen from the Turkish border town of Akcakale today, as military action continues
[size=18]Injured civilians arriving at Tal Tamr hospital in Syria




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A Turkish-backed Syrian fighter fires a heavy machine gun in the border Syrian town of Tal Abyad on Sunday during further clashes
Turkey's cross-border attack in northern Syria against Kurdish forces widened to target the town of Suluk which was hit by Ankara's Syrian rebel allies. There were conflicting accounts on the outcome of the fighting.
Turkey is facing threats of possible sanctions from the US unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its NATO allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports to Turkey. The Arab League has denounced the operation.
France said today it was 'worried' to hear of the report that hundreds of relatives of foreign jihadists had escaped.
'Of course we are worried about what could happen and that is why we want Turkey... to end as quickly as possible the intervention it has begun,' government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye told France 3 television.
This was echoed by Germany as Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the phone to stop his country's military offensive.
A statement by the Chancellery said regardless of 'legitimate Turkish security interests,' the military operation threatens to displace major parts of the local population.
Germany says the offensive also threatens to destabilise the region and restrengthen the extremist Islamic State group.
It came as Vladimir Putin said all foreign troops should leave Syria unless the Syrian government asks them to stay.
[size=18]Explosions go off as fighting continues in Ras al-Ayn




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A Turkish military truck carries tanks on the way to Northern Syria for the military operation in Kurdish areas in Akcakale district, Turkey
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Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters sit in a military tank in the village of Yabisa, near the Turkish-Syrian border, on Sunday
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A man waves a Syrian opposition flag reading 'Free Syria' on Sunday in Akcakale, Turkey, as smoke rises in the background
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Turkish army vehicles and military personnel are stationed near the Turkish-Syrian border in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, today
The Russian president said in an interview with three Arabic television stations that was released Sunday that 'all foreign nations' should withdraw their troops unless they have been asked by the Syrian government to stay there.
He said Russia, which has a significant military presence there as well as an air and a naval bases, would also leave if President Bashar Assad asks it to.

[size=34]Trump sends $50million in emergency financial aid to Syria[/size]


President Trump says he will send $50million in emergency financial aid for Syria as Turkey continues its attacks on Kurdish territory just one week after the president pulled US troops from the area.
The money will be sent to assist human rights groups and other organizations to 'protect persecuted ethnic and religious minorities and advance human rights,' according to a statement released Saturday night by the Office of the Press Secretary. 
On Sunday, President Trump defended his decision to pull U.S. troops from Northern Syria, leaving the America's Kurdish allies to a Turkish invasion, calling it 'very smart' for the US to 'not be involved in the intense fighting along the Turkish Border, for a change.' 
'Those that mistakenly got us into the Middle East Wars are still pushing to fight.They have no idea what a bad decision they have made. 
'Why are they not asking for a Declaration of War?' he added.
Trump spoke of the $50million in aid while at the Values Voters Summit's Faith, family and Freedom gala dinner Saturday night.
'Other presidents would not be doing that, they'd be spending a lot more money but on things that wouldn't make you happy,' he said. 
'The U.S. condemns the persecution of Christians and we pledge our support to Christians all over.'



Putin, a staunch backer of Assad, stopped short of condemning Turkey for sending its troops across the border into northeastern Syria earlier this week, but said that other nations should respect Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
And the US appeared to oblige as it is now poised to evacuate about 1,000 US troops from northern Syria, Defence Secretary Mark Esper said in an interview today.
'In the last 24 hours, we learned that [the Turks] likely intend to extend their attack further south than originally planned, and to the west,' Esper said in a pre-taped interview with CBS.
'We also have learned in the last 24 hours that the ... SDF are looking to cut a deal, if you will, with the Syrians and the Russians to counterattack against the Turks in the north.'
Esper called the situation 'untenable' for US forces, saying he spoke with Trump last night, and that the president directed the U.S. military to 'begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria.'
Ankara launched the assault against the Kurdish YPG militia after Trump's first withdrawal of some US troops from the border region last week.
It says the YPG is a terrorist group aligned with Kurdish militants waging an insurgency in Turkey.
Turkey's stated objective is to set up a 'safe zone' inside Syria to resettle many of the 3.6 million Syrian war refugees it has been hosting. President Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to send them to Europe if the EU does not back his assault.
But the Turkish incursion has raised international alarm over large-scale displacements of civilians and, amidst the upheaval, the possibility of Islamic State militants escaping from prisons run by the Kurdish-led authorities.    
The Kurdish-led forces have been the main regional ally of the United States against Islamic State in Syria.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) hold swathes of territory that was once part of Islamic State's 'caliphate'. 
The SDF has been keeping thousands of IS jihadists in jail and tens of thousands of their family members in camps.


SDF official Marvan Qamishlo said there were not have enough guards for the camp, which is north of Raqqa and about 20 miles south of the Turkish border.
'The guarding is very weak now,' he said, adding there were now just 60-70 security personnel at the camp compared with a normal level of no less than 700 in the camp of 12,000 people.
Along the front lines, Turkish forces and Syrian rebels entered Suluk, some 6 miles from Turkey's border, the Observatory said on Sunday.
Turkey's state-owned Anadolu news agency said the rebels seized complete control of Suluk. But the SDF's Qamishlo said SDF forces had repelled the attack and were still in control. 
[size=18]Turkish-backed rebels on Ain Issa Road in a tank raising guns




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It is believed the ISIS 'matchmaker' Tooba Gondal (pictured), 25, from Walthamstow, who reportedly lured Shamima Begum to Syria, was in the camp with her two children after she was caught trying to get to Turkey following the fall of Baghuz
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Pictures taken by British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights show the inside of the camp as Turkish-backed forces approached
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Syrian rebel fighters ride on a truck mounted with a weapon in the village of Yabisa, near the Turkish-Syrian border, on Sunday
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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor confirmed 'around 100' foreign women and children from families of IS members escaped the camp (file photo of a volunteer caretaker inside the camp), without specifying their nationalities
[size=18]ISIS families allegedly rioting and attempting to escape Syrian camp




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[size=34]Hundreds of demonstrators including Kurdish citizens march through central London towards Westminster in protest against Turkey's military offensive in Syria[/size]


Hundreds of protesters with placards showing Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and slogans reading 'Murderer Turkish State' and making their way through central London towards Westminster.
Demonstrations began at the BBC's Broadcasting House at around 12.30pm against the continued Turkish military presence in Rojava, in northern Syria.
The crowd, which included Kurdish citizens, then marched down Regent Street, chanting 'down with fascism' and setting off red smoke. 
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Demonstrations began at the BBC's Broadcasting House at around 12.30pm against the continued Turkish military presence in Rojava, in northern Syria. Pictured on Regent Street 

Niaz Maarof, 41, a driver from London, was part of the march and said the Kurdish community was opposed to the Turkish military presence in northern Syria.
'This is a demonstration showing against Erdogan and Turkey attacking the Kurdish in Rojava after almost 10 years that we have been fighting against ISIS.
'They liberated the area, they are running a democratic government and now Turkey, with the green light from America, is attacking the area. So, as Kurds, we are not happy about it.
Mr Maarof from South Kurdistan said he agreed with Boris Johnson, who this week urged President Erdogan to end the military assault but that more action was needed from the British Government.
'The world does owe the Kurdish now for what they did in Syria. If you really mean it, the British should stop selling Turkey weapons, because last year Theresa May gave them planes and now they are using them against us.
'The whole world is watching and no-one is saying anything.
'We, the Kurdish, are upset, not only with Turkey but with most of the world, because we are not being helped.'
Protesters chanted 'wake up UK, Turkish state is Isis' and set off coloured smoke as the march made its way through central London towards Parliament Square.[/size]

annemarie
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 16:40

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7570175/Syrian-troops-enter-town-close-Turkeys-border.html

[size=34]Donald Trump clobbers Fox News host for saying Turks are 'carving up the Kurds right now and we're just moving out' as he promises 'big sanctions on Turkey' for Syria invasion[/size]


  • 'Fox & Friends' co-host Brian Kilmeade complained on the air that Turkey is 'carving up the Kurds' 

  • He blamed Donald Trump for withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria

  • President was watching, and vented on Twitter that Kurds may be releasing ISIS prisoners on purpose in order to draw him back in

  • Trump complained that European nations whose citizens joined ISIS and were later captured in Syria should take them back 


By DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 02:38 EDT, 14 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:07 EDT, 14 October 2019

     





Donald Trump lashed out at a Fox News Channel host on Monday for saying Turkey is 'carving up the Kurds' after the president ordered American forces to begin 'moving out' of Syria.
'Brian Kilmeade over at @foxandfriends got it all wrong,' the president complained on Twitter. He also claimed Kurds in northern Syria 'may be releasing some' ISIS fighters from their prisons as a tactic to draw the U.S. military back in.
The militants, he said, would be '[e]asily recaptured by Turkey or European Nations from where many came, but they should move quickly.'
The Turkish onslaught in Syria has raised fears that ISIS fighters and their families held by the Kurdish-led forces previously allied with Washington might escape and reorganize the terrorist group. Hundreds are said to have escaped already.

Kilmeade and his two 'Fox & Friends' co-hosts, Ainsley Earhardt and Steve Doocy, began the 7:00 a.m. hour on Monday with a news alert about a coming Turkish incursion aimed at driving Kurdish-led fighters from the Syrian town of Manbij.
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President Donald Trump said Monday that Kurds in northern Syria are releasing some ISIS militants from prisons as Turkish troops approach, and claimed it was a tactic to get the U.S> to return to the battlefield
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Trump lashed out at a Fox News Channel host on Monday for saying Turkey was 'carving up the Kurds' as a result of Trump's troop pullout from northern Syria
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A Turkish-backed Syrian fighter is pictured firing during clashes in the border town of Ras al-Ain on Sunday as Turkey and its allies continue their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria
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'Fox & Friends' began its second hour on Monday with a 'news alert' about Turkey's advance on Kurdish-controlled Syrian border towns, leading Brian Kilmeade (right) to complain about the president's actions
'Breaking overnight, the country of Turkey warning of an imminent attack on a major Kurdish stronghold,' Doocy said.
'That's right,' Earhardt added. 'The Syrian city is at risk three years after U.S. troops helped the Kurds take it back from ISIS.'
Kilmeade, who has been the trio's most critical of Trupm since he announced the Syria troop pullout, quipped: 'Yeah, they're carving up the Kurds right now and we're just moving out.'
He added a jab about 'how the U.S. is responding – or not responding.'
Trump blames other nations for relying on U.S. backed Kurds to keep thousands of ISIS fighters under wraps while refusing to repatriate them.
'Europe had a chance to get their ISIS prisoners, but didn't want the cost,' he tweeted Monday. '"Let the USA pay," they said.'
He also announced 'ig sanctions on Turkey coming!'
Syrian government troops moved into a series of towns and villages in northern Syria Monday, setting up a potential clash with Turkish-led forces in the area, as U.S. troops prepared to pull out.
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Protesters attended a New York City demonstration Saturday against the Turkish military operation in northern Syria
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Smoke rises after Members of Syrian National Army hit terror targets in Syria's Ras al-Ayn to clear the town from PKK terror group and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey regards as a terror group, following entering the territory east of Euphrates River in northern Syria
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People look on as smoke rises from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, in a picture taken from the Turkish side of the border in Ceylanpinar during Turkey's military operation against Kurdish forces
The Syrian army's deployment near the Turkish border came hours after Syrian Kurdish forces previously allied with the U.S. said they had reached a deal with President Bashar Assad's government to help fend off Turkey's invasion, now in its sixth day.
The announcement of a deal between Syria's Kurds and its government is a major shift in alliances that came after President Donald Trump ordered all U.S. troops withdrawn from the northern border area amid the rapidly spreading chaos.
The shift sets up a potential clash between Turkey and Syria and raises the specter of a resurgent Islamic State group as the U.S. relinquishes any remaining influence in northern Syria to Assad and his chief backer, Russia.
The fighting also seems likely to endanger, if not altogether crush, the brief experiment in self-rule set up by Syria's Kurds since the war began.
'We are going back to our normal positions that are at the border,' said a Syrian officer said, as embattled Kurdish authorities invited the government to retake towns and villages in the north.
Syrian troops arrived on Monday in the northern province of Raqqa aboard buses and pickup trucks with mounted heavy machineguns.
Turkey has pressed on with its invasion of northern Syria, warning its NATO allies in Europe and the United States not to stand in its way.
[size=10][size=18]Trump will pull about 1,000 US troops from Northern Syria




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In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, residents welcomed Syrian soldiers shortly after they entered the northern town of Tal Tamr on Monday; Kurds said Syrian government forces agreed to help them fend off Turkey's invasion, a major shift in alliances
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to the media in Istanbul on Monday, criticizing NATO allies that are looking to broaden an arms embargo against Turkey over its push into northern Syria
Turkish troops and Syrian proxy forces have steadily pushed their way south of the border, clashing with the Kurdish fighters over a stretch of 200 kilometers (125 miles). The offensive has displaced at least 130,000 people.
Turkey's president signaled that it was ready to launch an assault on the city of Manbij, where Kurdish-led groups invited Syrian government forces to re-enter and defend the town.
'We are about to implement our decision on Manbij,' President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Monday.
He added that Turkey's aim would be to return the city to Arab populations whom he said where its rightful owners.
Turkish forces were already positioned at the city's edge, according to CNN-Turk.
Erdogan has already said Turkey will not negotiate with the Syrian Kurdish fighters, which it considers 'terrorists' for links to a long-running Kurdish insurgency within its own borders.
Syrian state media reported late Sunday that government troops were marching toward Manbij - as well as the border town of Kobani that in 2015 witnessed the Islamic State group's first defeat in a battle by U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters.
[size=18]Injured rushed to hospital following bombardment by Turkish forces





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Trump has long argued that the U.S. should be involved in less military adventurism around the globe
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Turkish-backed Syrian fighters are pictured in the town of Ayn al-Arus, south of the border town of Tal Abyad, on Monday as Turkey and its allies continue their assault on Kurdish-held border towns
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A wounded child injured in an alleged Turkish airstrike is pictured receiving medical treatment at a hospital in Tal Tamr, northeastern of Syria, on Sunday
In another direction, Syrian troops moved east from Aleppo province to Raqqa where state media said they had reached Ein Issa. Heavy fighting the previous day there reached a Kurdish-run displaced-person camp that is home to some 12,000 people, including around 1,000 wives and widows of ISIS fighters and their children. Hundreds are believed to escaped amid the chaos.
The Syrian army also moved into the town of Tal Tamr, which is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Turkish border, and Tabqa, known for its dam on the Euphrates River and its nearby air base that carries the same name.
SANA said government forces planned to 'confront the Turkish aggression,' without giving further details. Photos posted by SANA showed several vehicles and a small number of troops in Tal Tamr.
Tal Tamr is a predominantly Assyrian Christian town that was once held by ISIS before it was retaken by Kurdish-led forces. Many Syrian Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Syria's pre-war population of 23 million, left for Europe over the past 20 years, with the flight gathering speed since the country's conflict began in March 2011. 

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Post by annemarie on Mon 14 Oct 2019, 21:50

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7572645/Donald-Trump-says-Kurds-Assads-problem-threatens-sanctions-against-Turkey.html

[size=34]BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump says the Kurds are Assad's problem now and ANYONE is welcome to help protect them as he invites Russia, China and 'Napoleon Bonaparte' to step up - while revealing sanctions on Turkey[/size]


  • Donald Trump issues five-tweet long dramatic change in U.S. policy leaving the Kurds in the hands of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad

  • He called Assad 'our enemy' but said: 'Syria and whoever they chose to help, wants naturally to protect the Kurds.'

  • Then he said: 'Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte.'

  • He also issued lengthy statement saying sanctions on Turkey were being put in place, including a steel tariff going back up immediately

  • Did not address if Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's invitation to the White House next month was rescinded

  • He said one garrison of U.S. forces would remain in Syria but in the south to prevent a resurgence by ISIS

  • The U.S.-trained and armed Kurdish forces to fight ISIS but as American forces left they turned to former enemy Assad for help from invading Turkish military


By DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 16:19 EDT, 14 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:45 EDT, 14 October 2019

     






Donald Trump said Monday that as U.S. troops withdraw from Syria, he has put the fate of America's former Kurdish allies in the hands of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whose regime he called 'our enemy' in the same breath.
And he announced that his administration aims to punish Turkey's incursion into Syria by canceling a $100 billion trade agreement, hiking import tariffs on Turkish steel, and readying economic sanctions against anyone in Erdoğan's government who threatens 'peace, security, or stability' in Syria.
Turkey is a NATO ally. It's also the aggressor whose military incursion both the Syrian army and the Kurds are trying to push back. And sitting on an air base 250 miles inside Turkey, which the U.S. has shared since the mid-1950s, are about 50 American tactical nuclear weapons.
A senior U.S. official told The New York Times on Monday that the weapons, though under American control, have effectively become Erdoğan's hostages.

Leaving them there could become a deadly security risk in a nation whose artillery have already fired across the border on U.S. military units as they bugged out of Syria. Pulling them out of Incirlik would signal an end to a military alliance that gives the United States a crucial staging ground for Middle East operations.
Erdoğan said in September that he 'cannot accept' international rules that stand in the way of Turkey obtaining its own nuclear weapons. Trump has already invited him to visit the White House in November.
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How Trump changed U.S. policy in Syria: Scroll down to read his full statement 
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Sanctions threat: Donald Trump announced the threat of sanctions against Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a Monday afternoon statement
The U.S. president's policy announcements, made in five tweets, completed a stunning reversal of eight days ago that has already seen Syrian and Turkish forces squaring off for full-blown armed conflict across a border hundreds of miles long.
Caught in the middle as Turkey invades are a Kurdish minority, whom the U.S. trained and protected since 2014, shortly after Syria's Russia-backed army abandoned the vast region where they live at the height of a civil war.
Now, Kurdish military units who once fought alongside American soldiers against the ISIS terror army are aligned with Assad against Turkey, which considers them terrorists.
Syrian government troops have since assembled in Kurdish-controlled border towns to help push back Turkish fighters. Assad has so far allowed the Kurds to maintain political control of the region that they see as part of a future sovereign country stretching across parts of five nations.  
The new alliance has quickly replaced the fragile one Trump crumbled in his fingers by announcing a troop pullout that drew near-universal condemnation.
'Some people want the United States to protect the 7,000 mile away Border of Syria, presided over by Bashar al-Assad, our enemy,' he tweeted. 'At the same time, Syria and whoever they chose to help, wants naturally to protect the Kurds. I would much rather focus on our Southern Border.'
Trump may not have had practical choices other than a withdrawal or the sort of long-term military heel-digging that he has publicly railed again.
'Anyone who wants to assist Syria in protecting the Kurds is good with me,' he tweeted, 'whether it is Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!'
Instead of focusing on the Kurds' long-term survival, which is itself bound up with that of other Kurdish populations in Iran and Iraq, the president chose Monday to rattle sabers in Erdogan's direction.
'Turkey's military offensive is endangering civilians and threatening peace, security, and stability in the region. I have been perfectly clear with President Erdoğan: Turkey's action is precipitating a humanitarian crisis and setting conditions for possible war crimes,' he warned in a lengthy written statement.
'Turkey must ensure the safety of civilians, including religious and ethnic minorities, and is now, or may be in the future, responsible for the ongoing detention of ISIS terrorists in the region.'

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Syrian government forces have begun moving into Kurdish territory to defend against a Turkish invasion of northern Syria after striking a deal with the former US allies. Assad's troops were seen near Manbij on Monday as Erdogan said his forces were ready to attack. Syrian troops also arrived in Ain Issa and Sari Kani, where fighting is already underway
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Turks move in: Turkish infantry troops and a light armored vehicle were on patrol in Tukhar, inside Syria, Monday 
Threatening economic sanctions, Trump said he is 'fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey's economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.'
The president's tweets in the hour that preceded that statement, written in his own disjointed voice, criticized European nations for their unwillingness to hold ISIS detainees who left their countries to wage jihad.
'I offered ISIS prisoners to the European countries from where they came, and was rejected on numerous occasions. They probably figured that the U.S. would bear the tremendous cost as always!' he tweeted.   
His more formal statement boasted that 'United States forces have defeated the ISIS physical caliphate,' and tweaked his previous statements to indicate that some servicemen and women will remain in Syria to prevent new flare-ups.
'United States troops coming out of Syria will now redeploy and remain in the region to monitor the situation and prevent a repeat of 2014, when the neglected threat of ISIS raged across Syria and Iraq,' he said.
'A small footprint of United States forces will remain at At Tanf Garrison in southern Syria to continue to disrupt remnants of ISIS.'
Both the Syrian and Russian governments consider the presence of that small U.S. base to be illegal. It houses an estimated 200 military personnel.

[size=34]DONALD TRUMP'S STATEMENT N SANCTIONING TURKEY  [/size]


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October 14, 2019
I will soon be issuing an Executive Order authorizing the imposition of sanctions against current and former officials of the Government of Turkey and any persons contributing to Turkey's destabilizing actions in northeast Syria. Likewise, the steel tariffs will be increased back up to 50 percent, the level prior to reduction in May. The United States will also immediately stop negotiations, being led by the Department of Commerce, with respect to a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey.
This Order will enable the United States to impose powerful additional sanctions on those who may be involved in serious human rights abuses, obstructing a ceasefire, preventing displaced persons from returning home, forcibly repatriating refugees, or threatening the peace, security, or stability in Syria. The Order will authorize a broad range of consequences, including financial sanctions, the blocking of property, and barring entry into the United States.
Since my first day in office, the Trump Administration has worked tirelessly to preserve the safety and security of the United States and its citizens. The United States and our partners have liberated 100 percent of ISIS's ruthless territorial caliphate. Turkey must not put these gains in jeopardy. Turkey must also prioritize the protection of civilians, particularly vulnerable ethnic and religious minorities in northeast Syria. Indiscriminate targeting of civilians, destruction of civilian infrastructure, and targeting of ethnic or religious minorities is unacceptable. Additionally, the return of refugees must be conducted in a safe, voluntary, and dignified manner.
Turkey's military offensive is endangering civilians and threatening peace, security, and stability in the region. I have been perfectly clear with President Erdogan: Turkey's action is precipitating a humanitarian crisis and setting conditions for possible war crimes. Turkey must ensure the safety of civilians, including religious and ethnic minorities, and is now, or may be in the future, responsible for the ongoing detention of ISIS terrorists in the region. Unfortunately, Turkey does not appear to be mitigating the humanitarian effects of its invasion.
As I have said, I am withdrawing the remaining United States service members from northeast Syria. As United States forces have defeated the ISIS physical caliphate, United States troops coming out of Syria will now redeploy and remain in the region to monitor the situation and prevent a repeat of 2014, when the neglected threat of ISIS raged across Syria and Iraq. A small footprint of United States forces will remain at At Tanf Garrison in southern Syria to continue to disrupt remnants of ISIS.
The United States will aggressively use economic sanctions to target those who enable, facilitate, and finance these heinous acts in Syria. I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey's economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.

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Post by annemarie on Tue 15 Oct 2019, 01:56

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10136460/donald-trump-demands-ceasefire-nuclear-weapons/

[size=40]'LAY DOWN ARMS' 
[size=40]Donald Trump demands Turkey ceasefire after threatening Erdogan with strict sanctions for holding 50 US nuclear bombs hostage[/size]

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  • Lottie Tiplady-Bishop



  • 15 Oct 2019, 0:47
  • Updated: 15 Oct 2019, 1:28







 








MIKE Pence has claimed US President, Donald Trump phoned the Turkish Prime Minister and demanded an immediate end to Turkey's invasion of northern Syria.
Pence said he was on his way to negotiations with Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan "as quickly as possible" to begin talks of a ceasefire.

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Trump has been criticised on both sides for the proposed sanctionsCredit: AFP or licensors
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Trump also cited humanitarian concernsCredit: AFP or licensors
Erdogan's forces stormed into northern Syria, bringing claims of executions by their allies and prompting the U.S.'s former Kurdish allies to turn to Bashar al-Assad for help.
The Turkish government currently effectively holds around 50 American nuclear weapons at the strategically-vital air base at Incirlik.

The base also stores part of the American nuclear deterrent and is in use by Turkish planes to support its incursion into northern Syria.
Pence said the president is "very concerned about instability in the region", however denied Trump had instigated it saying he didn't give Turkey the green light to launch the invasion when he announced the pullout of US troops.
He said: "The United States of America simply is not going to tolerate Turkey's invasion in Syria any further.
"We are calling on Turkey to stand down, end the violence and come to the negotiating table."

Just hours earlier, Trump publicly washed his hands of the Kurds, inviting "Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte" to step in and save them.
The US President tweeted he had put the fate of America's former Kurdish allies in the hands of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad - whose regime he had bizarrely branded America's "enemy" in the same sentence.
He also said his administration will aim to punish Turkey's incursion into Syria by cancelling a $100 billion trade agreement, hiking import tariffs on Turkish steel, and readying economic sanctions against anyone in Erdoğan's government.
He added the Turkish Prime Minister's government threatened "peace, security, or stability" for Syria.
Trump's move has been heavily criticised from both sides of the political spectrum.
A senior US official told The New York Times on Monday that the WMDs - though under American control - have in a way now become Erdoğan's hostages.
One of Trump's staunchest reporters - South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham tweeted: "Just spoke with President @realdonaldTrump. I applaud his decision to work with Congress to stop Turkeys aggression in Syria through crippling economic sanctions. This decision by President Trump will be a game changer -- in all the wrong ways -- for Turkey."




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 Trump threat to send in US troops to stop ethnic cleansing of Kurds by Turkey



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 Turkey threatens to send 3.6m refugees to Europe amid Syria invasion






In a statement announcing the sanctions, Trump said: "I have been perfectly clear with President Erdogan: Turkey’s action is precipitating a humanitarian crisis and setting conditions for possible war crimes.
"Unfortunately, Turkey does not appear to be mitigating the humanitarian effects of its invasion."

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Trump discussed the issue on Twitter[size=16]Credit: Twitter

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Turkish forces embarked on Syria following the pullout of US troopsCredit: AFP or licensors
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Mike Pence says he is heading to the Middle EastCredit: AP:Associated Press
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The president of Turkey is accused of 'effectively' holding weapons 'hostage'Credit: Getty - Contributor



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Post by annemarie on Tue 15 Oct 2019, 03:00

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7573341/Diplomats-wife-Anne-Sacoolas-breaks-silence-fireball-crash-killed-Brit-Harry-Dunn.html

[size=34]'I was driving on the wrong side of the road… I'm terribly sorry': Diplomat's wife Anne Sacoolas breaks her silence on fireball crash that killed British motorbiker Harry Dunn, 19[/size]


  • In a statement issued by her lawyers, Sacoolas said she had 'no time to react' 

  • In her first account of the crash, she said she spoke to the 19-year-old at scene

  • The mother of three, 42, said she was 'terribly, terribly sorry for tragic mistake'

  • She said she wanted to meet Harry's family to 'apologise and take responsibility'

  • It is seven weeks since horror crash outside RAF Croughton, Northamptonshire


By ARTHUR MARTIN IN NEW YORK FOR THE DAILY MAIL
PUBLISHED: 20:17 EDT, 14 October 2019 | UPDATED: 21:05 EDT, 14 October 2019

     




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Anne Sacoolas (pictured), 42, said she had 'no time to react' when the teenager came towards her on his motorbike over a hill 
The US diplomat's wife accused of killing Harry Dunn in a head-on crash admitted last night that she was driving on the wrong side of the road.
In a statement issued by her lawyers, Anne Sacoolas, 42, said she had 'no time to react' when the teenager came towards her on his motorbike over a hill.
In her first account of what happened, she also said she spoke to the 19-year-old at the scene before comforting her own children, who were in her car.

The mother of three said she was 'terribly, terribly sorry for that tragic mistake'.
Mrs Sacoolas, the wife of a US intelligence officer, said she wanted to meet Harry's family to 'apologise and take responsibility'.
A spokesman from her law firm Arnold & Porter said: 'Anne was driving on the wrong side of the road and had no time to react when she saw the motorbike – the crash happened too fast.
'Anne stayed on the scene of the accident to assist. She spoke to Harry Dunn to tell him that she would call for help. She waved down another car.
'That driver pulled over and offered to assist Harry so that Anne could comfort her young children, who had been in her car and were on the scene.'
The spokesman added that Ministry of Defence police arrived shortly after the crash but it took a 'long time' for the ambulance to arrive.
It is seven weeks since Mrs Sacoolas collided with Harry's motorbike on the road outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire.
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In her first account of what happened, she also said she spoke to 19-year-old Harry (pictured) at the scene before comforting her own children, who were in her car 
Mrs Sacoolas, whose husband Jonathan worked as US intelligence official at the base, claimed diplomatic immunity and left the UK.
The statement went on: 'She and her family left the United Kingdom approximately three weeks after the accident, after they and the US authorities determined that it would be difficult for the couple and their children to remain in the small Croughton community under these tragic circumstances.
'She and her family returned home on a commercial flight. Our understanding is that the British authorities were informed and aware of their departure before they returned to the United States.'
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It is seven weeks since Mrs Sacoolas collided with Harry's motorbike (pictured) on the road outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire 


It came as Harry's father told of the final words he said to his teenage son as he lay fatally injured after being hit by a car.
Tim Dunn, who had reached the scene of the accident when Harry was still alive, said: 'I could see broken bones coming out of his arms, but he was talking. I called over and said: 'Harry, it's your dad, they are going to fix you, be calm.'
'He stopped moaning and calmed then,' he told US news channel CBS, 'and a couple of minutes later one of the doctors said they needed to sedate him because he was having trouble breathing.'
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Tim Dunn (pictured), who had reached the scene of the accident when the 19-year-old was still alive, said: 'I could see broken bones coming out of his arms, but he was talking
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Mr Dunn told his son (pictured with mother Charlotte) he would be sedated because it was 'for the best' and said he would see him in hospital
Mr Dunn told his son he would be sedated because it was 'for the best' and said he would see him in hospital. 
These were the last words between father and son as Harry never woke up.
After flying to the US, Harry's parents are on a campaign to get Mrs Sacoolas to return. Speaking at a Press conference in New York, his mother Charlotte Charles said: 'She needs to do the right thing and come back and face what she has done. Face our family. Face the UK justice system.'
[size=18]Harry Dunn's father recounts how he rushed to reach his dying son




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Mrs Sacoolas, whose husband Jonathan worked as US intelligence official at the base, claimed diplomatic immunity and left the UK. Pictured: Harry Dunn's family in New York
Asked what he would say to Donald Trump, Mr Dunn said: 'I would say to him as a man, as a father, how could you let this happen? If you are a father and your child died surely you'd want that person to own up and take responsibility for their actions.' 
On Saturday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wrote to Harry's family saying that Mrs Sacoolas no longer had diplomatic immunity from potential prosecution because her husband had left his posting at the RAF base.
If Northamptonshire Police submit a file of evidence which meets the US extradition threshold, she could be extradited to face justice here.

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Post by annemarie on Tue 15 Oct 2019, 10:50

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7573637/Trump-lawyer-Giuliani-paid-500-000-consult-indicted-associates-firm.html

[size=34]Rudy Giuliani admits he was paid $500,000 to consult for company owned by Ukrainian-American associate now charged with 'using foreign funds to influence US politicians'[/size]


  • President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani has admitted he was paid $500,000 by a company owned by businessman Lev Parnas

  • Parnas and his fellow Ukranian-American associate, Igor Fruman, were arrested last week on campaign finance charges

  • The pair are accused of using foreign cash to gain influence with U.S. politicians and candidates 

  • Parnas and Furman are accused of funneling $325,000 from a mystery Russian businessman into America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC 

  • The pair also allegedly assisted Giuliani's effort to get Ukraine to investigate activities pertaining to Trump's 2020 rival Joe Biden


By ANDREW COURT FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 22:57 EDT, 14 October 2019 | UPDATED: 03:36 EDT, 15 October 2019

     



President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has admitted he was  paid $500,000 for work he did for a company co-founded by the Ukrainian-American businessman arrested last week on campaign finance charges. 
The businessman, Lev Parnas, is a close associate of Giuliani and was involved in his effort to investigate Trump's political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination.
Speaking with Reuters on Monday, Giuliani said Parnas' company, Boca Raton-based Fraud Guarantee engaged Giuliani Partners, a management and security consulting firm, around August 2018. 
Giuliani claims he was hired to consult on Fraud Guarantee's technologies and provide legal advice on regulatory issues.  Fraud Guarantee advertises itself as a business which aims to help clients 'reduce and mitigate fraud',

Federal prosecutors are 'examining Giuliani's interactions' with Parnas and another Giuliani associate, Igor Fruman, who was also indicted on campaign finance charges, a law enforcement source told Reuters on Sunday.
Last week, The New York Times reported that Parnas had told associates he paid Giuliani hundreds of thousands of dollars for what Giuliani said was business and legal advice. 
Giuliani told Reuters for the first time on Monday that the total amount was $500,000.
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President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has admitted he was paid $500,000 for work he did for a company co-founded by the Ukrainian-American businessman, Lev Parnas, who was arrested last week on campaign finance charges
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Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were arrested and charged with campaign finance crimes in an indictment unsealed Thursday
Giuliani told Reuters the money came in two payments made within weeks of each other. He said he could not recall the dates of the payments. He said most of the work he did for Fraud Guarantee was completed in 2018 but that he had been doing follow-up for over a year.
Parnas and Fruman were arrested at Dulles Airport outside Washington last week on charges they funneled foreign money to unnamed U.S. politicians in a bid to influence U.S.-Ukraine relations in violation of U.S. campaign finance laws. The men were preparing to board a plane to Europe.


According to an indictment unsealed by U.S. prosecutors, an unidentified Russian businessman arranged for two $500,000 wires to be sent from foreign bank accounts to a U.S. account controlled by Fruman in September and October 2018. 
The money was used, in part, by Fruman, Parnas and two other men charged in the indictment to gain influence with U.S. politicians and candidates, the indictment said.
Foreign nationals are prohibited from making contributions and other expenditures in connection with U.S. elections, and from making contributions in someone else´s name.
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Fruman (second from left) and Parnas (center) are pictured with VP Mike Pence, President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani in 2018
Parnas and Furman are accused of funneling $325,000 from a mystery Russian businessman into America First Action, a pro-Trump super PAC.
The House Intelligence committee wants both men to testify about their work with Giuliani in Ukraine as part of its impeachment probe into Trump's interactions with Ukraine. 
Both men met with Trump and Giuliani  at The White House in 2018, where they posed for pictures with the President. 
However, Trump has denied any relationship with the men, stating last week: 'I have pictures with everybody. I don't know if there's anybody I don't have pictures with,' he said. 'I don't know them. I don't know about them. I don't know what they do.'
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Dining at the White House: Lev Parnas bragged that he was a guest of Donald Trump in spring 2018 

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Post by annemarie on Tue 15 Oct 2019, 14:02

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7574477/President-Erdogan-tells-world-leaders-Syria-begin-admitting-refugees.html

[size=34]President Erdogan tells world leaders to back his incursion into Syria or 'begin admitting refugees' as Turkey bombards border city after Kurdish counter-attack[/size]


  • President Erdogan defended his decision to invade northern Syria after US troops withdrew from the region

  • Said he acted to stop refugees coming to Turkey, and told leaders to back him or help by accepting settlers

  •  Turkey began shelling the border city of Ras al-Ayn on Tuesday following a Kurdish counterattack overnight

  • Turkish troops and Syrian rebels were also massed on the outskirts of Manbij and poised for an attack 


By CHRIS PLEASANCE FOR MAILONLINE  and WIRES
PUBLISHED: 06:32 EDT, 15 October 2019 | UPDATED: 08:44 EDT, 15 October 2019

     



The Turkish President has defended his attack on northern Syria, saying he decided to act after world leaders failed to stem the tide of refugees arriving in his country. 
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the international community either needs to back his mission to open up a 'peace corridor' in Kurdish territory to resettle some 2million displaced people, or else begin accepting those people themselves.
The Turkish invasion entered its seventh day on Tuesday, with heavy fighting reported in the early hours around the border city of Ras al-Ayn.
Turkish forces opened fire with artillery and carried out at least one airstrike after a major Kurdish counter-attack overnight seized back parts of the border crossing point. 

Despite Erdogan's claims that his attack would help the refugee situation, Kurdish forces said some 275,000 people including 70,000 children have already been displaced by the fighting. 
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Major fighting was underway Tuesday in the city of Ras al-Ayn, with Kurdish forces launching a counter-attack after being reinforced by the Syrian army. Syrian army troops also reinforced positions in Ain Issa ahead of an expected counter-attack on Tel Abaid. Turkish troops and Syrian rebels were also massing on the outskirts of Manbij, ready for an attack
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A member of the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group backed by Turkey, fires through a concrete wall during fighting around the city of Ras al-Ayn on Tuesday
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A Turkish-backed rebel soldier fires through a gap in a concrete wall during clashes in Ras al-Ayn, which has come under heavy attack by Kurdish forces, on Tuesday
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Turkish-backed rebel fighters fire a machine gun during heavy clashes around Ras al-Ayn on Tuesday
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A Toyota truck mounted with a heavy machine gun opens fire on Kurdish forces during fighting around Ras al-Ayn on Tuesday
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Clouds of dust rise over Ras al-Ayn after Turkish artillery struck the city, with at least one air strike carried out early Tuesday
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Smoke rises over the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, as seen from the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar
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President Erdogan has defended his attack on northern Syria, saying he acted after world leaders failed to stem the tide of refugees coming to Turkey - and told governments to either back him or begin admitting refugees themselves
[size=10][size=18]Erdogan claims Syria offensive aims to 'eliminate terrorist groups'




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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 'fortifications, tunnel networks and a continuous supply of reinforcements' had enabled the SDF to hold off Turkish efforts to take the town.  
Syrian rebel forces and Turkish army units were also pictured massing near the Kurdish-held city of Manbij, after Erdogan announced he was ready to attack.
Russian-backed government troops entered the city with tanks and armoured vehicles Tuesday, and reportedly raised the regime flag before shelling Turkish positions.
Turkey said one of its soldiers had been killed and another eight wounded, adding that it returned fire and killed 15 'terrorists'. 
Erdogan spoke out after EU leaders agreed to restrict arms sales to Turkey, while America imposed heavy sanctions and called for a ceasefire. 
The UK joined Italy, Germany, France, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands on Wednesday by banning weapons sales to Turkey, though only of the kinds of weapons deemed most likely to be used in the conflict.


However, Erdogan showed no signs of slowing the assault down Tuesday, as he said the attack would not stop 'until our objectives have been achieved'. 
'God willing, we will quickly secure the region stretching from Manbij to our border with Iraq and ensure that, in the first stage, one million, and then two million Syrian refugees return to their homes on their own free will,' he said. 
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, the Turkish President also sought to allay fears that some 100,000 ISIS members currently held by Kurdish forces will escape during the onslaught. 
'We will ensure that no ISIS (Islamic State) fighters leave northeastern Syria,' Erdogan wrote. 
[size=18]Turkey-backed rebels capture city from Kurdish control




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Turkish-backed Syrian fighters move on the way to Northern Syria for a military operation in Kurdish areas, near the Syrian border, in Akcakale district of Turkey
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Turkish-backed Syrian fighters move on the way to Northern Syria for a military operation against Kurdish forces
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Turkey-backed Syrian rebels are taken towards the front lines as they prepare to battle against Kurdish forces
But he added that Western countries were hypocritical to worry that Turkey's operation against Kurdish militants risked a mass escape of jihadists.
'The same countries that lecture Turkey on the virtues of combating ISIS today, failed to stem the influx of foreign terrorist fighters in 2014 and 2015,' Erdogan wrote.
Turkish police also detained four mayors from a pro-Kurdish party in dawn raids, widening a crackdown since Ankara launched an incursion into northern Syria a week ago, state media said Tuesday.
The pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) mayors of the Kurdish-majority districts of Hakkari, Yuksekova, Ercis and Nusaybin, near Turkey's borders with Syria and Iraq, were held over terrorism links, the HDP and Anadolu news agency said, without elaborating.
President Tayyip Erdogan and his government accuse the HDP of being linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, and thousands of its members have been prosecuted for the same reason, including its leaders.
The United States slapped sanctions on Turkey Monday as it demanded an end to the military operation, accusing its NATO partner of putting civilians at risk and allowing the release of extremists.
The alliance's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that he was ' deeply concerned about the consequences' of the attack, including 'human suffering and stability in the wider region'.
[size=18]US troops and Syrian Army cross path on road between Manbij and Kobani




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Turkish-backed Syrian forces take up positions in Ras al-Ayn as they fight against a Kurdish counter-attack on the city
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Members of the Free Syrian Army, a Turkish-backed rebel group, celebrate capturing Ras al-Ayn before the counter-attack
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Turkish-backed rebels launch an operation in Syria's Ras al-Ayn rural after the city came under attack by the Kurds
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A Syrian woman fleeing the battle zone between Turkey-led forces and Kurdish fighters around the border city of Ras al-Ayn on Tuesday
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Erdogan says he attacked Syria to help stem the tide of refugees, but observers have warned fresh conflict will simply make the situation worse (pictured, civilians flee Ras al-Ayn)
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Syrian families fleeing the battle zone between Turkey-led forces and Kurdish fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in and around the northern flashpoint town of Ras al-Ain
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A woman and her baby ride in the cab of a flat-bed truck near the city of Ras al-Ayn amid heavy fighting between Kurdish and Turkish forces
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A young Syrian girl fleeing with her family from the Syrian flashpoint town of Ras al-Ayn
[size=18]Erdogan says that Turkey's offensive as "vital" as Cyprus campaign




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Kurdish authorities claim the Turkish assault makes it difficult to maintain security at their detention centres.
They say 800 ISIS family members escaped a camp at Ain Issa on Sunday, and five jihadists broke out of another prison on Friday.
Turkey says Kurdish forces have deliberately set free detainees 'to fuel chaos in the area'. Some relatives of IS family members have made the same claim to AFP.
Ankara has vowed to take control of all detention centres in its operational area.
'We are prepared to cooperate with source countries and international organizations on the rehabilitation of foreign terrorist fighters' spouses and children,' Erdogan wrote in the Wall Street Journal editorial.
After earlier agreeing to hand control of regional security over to Turkey, Trump phoned Erdogan on Monday to demand an immediate end to Turkey's invasion of northern Syria.
Vice President Mike Pence said he was being dispatched 'as quickly as possible' to negotiate a ceasefire after Erdogan's forces stormed into northern Syria.
[size=18]Trump will pull about 1,000 US troops from Northern Syria




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Syrian army soldiers ride in vehicles in the town of Ain Issa, close to fighting in the border city of Tel Abaid
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Syrian army soldiers gesture as they stand in vehicles in the town of Ain Issa
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Turkish soldiers and Turkey-backed Syrian fighters gather on the northern outskirts of the Syrian city of Manbijl, ready for an attack
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Syrian Arab civilians flash the victory sign as Turkish armoured personnel carriers gather on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Manbij
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Turkish troops deploy in Syria's northern region of Manbij, ahead of an anticipated attack on the city
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Turkish troops on an armored vehicle deploy in Syria's northern region of Manbij
Pence said the president is 'very concerned about instability in the region' but denied that Trump had started it, saying he did not give Turkey the green light to launch the invasion when he announced a troop pullout.
'The United States of America simply is not going to tolerate Turkey's invasion in Syria any further. 
'We are calling on Turkey to stand down, end the violence and come to the negotiating table,' Pence told reporters outside the White House. 
He spoke just over two hours after Trump washed his hands publicly of the Kurds and invited 'Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte' to save them.
Trump tweeted that he had put the fate of America's former Kurdish allies in the hands of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whose regime he called 'our enemy' in the same breath.
And he announced that his administration aims to punish Turkey's incursion into Syria by canceling a $100 billion trade agreement, hiking import tariffs on Turkish steel, and readying economic sanctions against anyone in Erdoğan's government who threatens 'peace, security, or stability' in Syria. 
[size=18]Injured rushed to hospital following bombardment by Turkish forces




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Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters raise the Syrian opposition flag at town of Tel Abaid
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Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters take selfies after capturing the border town of Tel Abaid
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A Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighter give the V for victory symbol after the group announced it had taken the town of Tel Abaid from Kurdish forces
The Kurds were forced to sign a defence pact with the Russian-backed Syrian army Sunday in an effort to secure reinforcements for the fight against Turkey.
On Monday Bashar al-Assad's forces rolled into strategic positions along the new frontline, including the battlegrounds of Ras al-Ayn, Tel Abaid and Kobane.
Syrian army units also deployed to Manbij - even as Turkey prepared to attack the city - Al Tabqah and Raqqa.
It is not clear whether any of the troops have yet been involved directly in fighting, or whether they are simply supporting Kurdish fighters.
Any conflict between Assad's troops and Turkey would mark a turning point for the region, because Russia and Iran back the regime. 
The two countries had previously allied with Turkey to create a peace plan for Syria.
It would also mark the first time the Kurds, America's closest ally in the country, had fought alongside Russian-backed troops.

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Post by annemarie on Wed 16 Oct 2019, 02:04

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7577013/Parents-UK-crash-victim-seek-justice-White-House.html

[size=34]What if it was your son?' What parents of British motorcyclist Harry Dunn, 19, who was killed by US diplomat's wife, said to Trump as they left  White House after refusing his SURPRISE offer to meet their son's killer waiting in a room next door[/size]


  • Harry Dunn's parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, had a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday afternoon 

  • Their 19-year-old son was killed in August when his motorcycle collided with a car allegedly driven by Anne Sacoolas outside a British air force base in the UK

  • Case attracted widespread interest after Sacoolas, who is a U.S. diplomat's wife, flew back to the United States and claimed diplomatic immunity 

  • During the White House meeting Trump told Harry's parents that Sacoolas, who killed their son, was in the next room

  • The president asked them if they wanted to meet her but they said no 

  • Harry's mother Charlotte Charles said after the meeting: 'We basically reiterated that we would still be willing to meet, but on UK soil'


By MICHELLE CURRAN FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 16:27 EDT, 15 October 2019 | UPDATED: 20:55 EDT, 15 October 2019

     



The parents of a British teenager killed in a car crash have refused to meet with the  American diplomat's wife who was behind the wheel during an extraordinary meeting with President Donald Trump. 
Trump met Harry Dunn's parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, at the White House Tuesday afternoon and told them Anne Sacoolas, who allegedly killed their son, was in the next room. 
The president asked them if they wanted to meet her but they said no.   
Harry's mother Charlotte Charles told reporters after the meeting: 'We basically reiterated that we would still be willing to meet, but on UK soil. 

'And she needs to come back and face the justice system.' 
She continued: 'And he (Trump) was quite respondent. He said -  when we said to him, "You know, if this was your son you would be doing the same, trying to get justice for him." and he agreed with that, and he said he would now push to look at this from a different angle.' 
Their 19-year-old son was killed in August when his motorcycle collided with a car allegedly driven by Sacoolas, who is a U.S. diplomat's wife, outside a British air force base in Northamptonshire. 
Harry's parents said they were not given an idea of what Sacoolas wanted to say to them and Trump did not suggest that he would send Sacoolas back to the UK.
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Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn (seen left) are seen above addressing reporters after leaving the White House on Tuesday evening
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Charles and Tim Dunn (in blue T-shirt), were spotted arriving at Union Station in Washington on Tuesday ahead of their meeting at the White House
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Harry Dunn's parents, Charlotte Charles (left) and Tim Dunn (right) are seen above in Washington DC on Tuesday afternoon
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Harry Dunn, 19, was killed in August when his motorcycle collided with a car allegedly driven by Anne Sacoolas outside a British air force base in Northamptonshire
[size=10][size=18]Family of Harry Dunn arrive in the US for White House meeting




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Charles said: 'He (Trump) still hasn't suggested that he will do that, but he has said at the end that he would look at it from a different angle, and try and push it from a different angle for us. 
'He seemed to understand that our grief has been locked in for seven weeks now, on a case that should have been very, very clear-cut. 
'And he understands, or he seemed to understand, that that meeting needs to be with therapists and mediators in the room, and not just her and us. It's, you know, that's not - I wouldn't imagine that's even advisable for her, let alone us.' 
Charles said Trump held her hand during the meeting and she felt that he was very sincere. She added that he squeezed her hand, and she squeezed back. 
The case has attracted widespread interest after Sacoolas flew back to the United States following the crash and claimed diplomatic immunity.   
Sacoolas has not been charged with criminal wrongdoing but her claim of immunity and return to the U.S. provoked an uproar in Britain.



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'Hopefully it's good news that she's' coming back to the UK and the government has said this is the way to go,' Dunn's father (seen above) said
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Charlotte Charles, left in sunglasses, arrives at Union Station in Washington DC ahead of the White House meeting
Harry's dad Tim Dunn said after the meeting: 'The president was very professional and he spoke very well to us. He listened to Charlotte very well. She spoke excellent to him, and he was understanding. And I think he generally will look to try and resolve this is a way to help us.' 
They did not say how long they spent with the president but said 'they didn't try to rush us out'. 
Charles said she thinks Harry would have been proud of them taking their fight to the White House.
She said: 'We were very proud of him. Extremely proud of him. And we've set out to make him, when he's riding the skies up there, very proud of us and his twin brother. We, President Trump, I don't think actually realized that he was a twin. He seemed quite surprised at that information. And we need to do him proud as well.'
Dunn's parents had brought their case directly to U.S. audiences this week, holding a New York news conference and urging Sacoolas to return to Britain. 
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President Donald J. Trump is seen above earlier on Tuesday during an event hosting the 2019 Stanley Cup Champions St. Louis Blues in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington
Ahead of their meeting, Dunn's parents told Sky News they were shocked they received a White House invitation so quickly.   
Trump last week called it 'a terrible accident' and said he planned to intervene and potentially arrange a meeting between the Dunns and Sacoolas.  
Dunn's parents announced the White House meeting on a 'Justice4Harry' crowd-funding page. 
In a post on the page they said of the meeting at the White House: 'We are grateful for the invitation, which we hope represents a positive development in our fight for justice.
'Our priority, as any parent will understand, is justice for our child. We believe this can only be achieved if Anne Sacoolas returns to England and engages properly with the justice system, where she will be treated fairly in a proper investigation of what happened to our son on that day – an investigation that cannot happen without her co-operation.
'Friends tell each other the truth. If Britain and America are friends then we believe there should be no possibility of a citizen of one country hiding from justice in another while falsely claiming a privilege such as diplomatic immunity.' 
Sacoolas's lawyer, Amy Jeffress, told the BBC earlier that her client was 'devastated' by the accident and wanted to meet with the parents to 'express her deepest sympathies'.
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Sacoolas's lawyer, Amy Jeffress, told the BBC earlier that her client was 'devastated' by the accident and wanted to meet with the parents to 'express her deepest sympathies'
[size=18]Harry Dunn's family call on Anne Sacoolas to 'come back to the UK'




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The family, who met Foreign Secretary Dominic Rabb in the UK last week, have also demanded an investigation over the Foreign Office's (FCO) advice to Northamptonshire Police that Ms Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity.
They are demanding to see all emails, messages and notes sent in relation to her immunity status.
Speaking in New York, family spokesman Radd Seiger said: 'We want to conduct an investigation into the FCO's decision to advise Northamptonshire Police that this lady had the benefit of diplomatic immunity.
'What we don't know is whether somebody cocked up or whether they were put under pressure by the Americans to concede.'
If they are not happy with the documents, the family say they will then ask for a judge's opinion on the lawfulness of the FCO's decision.
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A letter sent to the family by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, explaining that the US suspect in the case of Harry´s death does not have diplomatic immunity (Family of Harry Dunn/PA)
[size=18]Harry Dunn's mother speaks about Anne Sacoolas in NY press conference




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Post by annemarie on Wed 16 Oct 2019, 19:22

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7580305/Donald-Trump-calls-Turkish-invasion-Syria-strategically-BRILLIANT-U-S.html


[size=34]Donald Trump calls Turkish invasion of Syria 'strategically BRILLIANT' for the U.S. as he slams Kurds as 'no angels' and says: 'There's a lot of sand they can play with. It's not our problem'[/size]


  • Trump launches new defense of his pullout of troops from northern Syria saying: 'The Kurds are much safer right now.'

  • Syria's Kurds, former U.S. allies until the pullout, made a hurried pact with Russian-backed dictator Bashar al-Assad for protection    

  • But they are being shelled by Turkish forces who have crossed the border - with Trump now saying: 'It's not our problem.'

  • 'Syria's friendly with the Kurds. The Kurds are very well protected. Plus, they know how to fight. And, by the way, they're no angels,' he said

  • Trump said the pullout was 'strategically brilliant' because U.S. forces were safe

  • Comments throw emergency mission of Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo to Ankara to plead for a ceasefire with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan

  • Erdogan has already scoffed at their mission, dismissed a ceasefire and said: 'When Trump comes here I will be talking to him.'

  • Republican senator Lindsey Graham lashed out at Trump almost immediately, saying: president risked 'a disaster worse than Obama's decision to leave Iraq.'

  • Trump said it was a 'semi-complicated problem' that was 'nicely under control'

  • He welcomed further Russian military intervention in northeastern Syria 


By GEOFF EARLE, DEPUTY US POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 11:45 EDT, 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:12 EDT, 16 October 2019

     



Donald Trump launched a new defense of his pullout of American forces from northern Syria Wednesday, saying the situation is 'strategically brilliant for the U.S.' and dismissing the Kurds as 'no angels.' 
At a White House press conference Wednesday, Trump welcomed further Russian military intervention in the region, as it teams with Moscow-backed Syria and Iran to counter Turkey's attack on Syrian territory – a conflagration to which Trump declared: 'welcome to it.'
The president attacked U.S. allied Kurdish fighters as 'no angels,' and said described them as a mercenary force, even as critics from both parties lamented a policy shift as leaving them victim to slaughter at the hands of the Turks.
'Syria has a relationship with the Kurds – who by the way are not angels,' Trump told reporters alongside Italian President Sergio Mattarella. 'Who is an Angel? There aren't too many around. But Syria has a relationship with the Kurds. So they'll come in for their border. And they'll fight,' Trump said.

'They may bring partners in, they could bring Russia in. And I say welcome to it,' Trump continued. 
Trump then cast Syria as a potential quagmire for Russia – but also said their assisting the Kurds was a 'good thing.'
'Russia went into Afghanistan. When it was the Soviet Union and it became Russia. It became a much smaller country because of Afghanistan. You can overextend,' Trump observed.
'You can do a lot of things. But frankly, if Russia's going to help in protecting the Kurds that's a good thing, not a bad thing. But it would be led by Syria. And Syria doesn't want Turkey to take its land. I can understand that. But what does that have to do with the United States of America?'
'They're fighting over Syria's land. Are we're supposed to fight a NATO member in order that Syria who is not our friend – keeps their land? I don't think so. But Syria does have a relationship with the Kurds,' Trump said.
Trump was non-plussed about a problem he described as 'semi-complicated.'
'So it's a very semi-complicated – not too complicated if you're smart – but it's a semi-complicated problem and I think it's a problem that we have nicely under control,' Trump said. 
Speaking earlier in the Oval Office, he said the invasion of northern Syria by Turkey's military was 'not our problem' and claimed: 'The Kurds are much safer right now.'
He was dismissive of Kurdish desires for a protected homeland, and said the Kurdistan Workers Party, the PKK, was 'worse at terror and more of a terrorist threat' than ISIS. Turkey has long feared establishment of Turkish-controlled territory on its border out of concerns it could lead to domestic unrest. 
'We have one country that wants land perhaps that doesn't belong to them because they want a 22-mile strip of they call it freedom, call it a lot of things,' Trump said. 'They want to get terrorists out. You have another country that says, you can't have our land and they're going to have to work that out.'
Despite sending his vice president Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Ankara to hold urgent talks with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on a ceasefire, Trump described the fighting in northern Syria as 'not our problem.'
He also indicated there may be a one-day delay in Pence's trip, after Turkish President Recep Erdogan said he wouldn't meet with Pence, only Trump.
'He'll be leaving either late tonight or tomorrow. And he was going to leave yesterday but they have to have certain security done, he's a very important man in our country,' Trump said.
Trump took a similar tone in remarks in the Oval Office earlier Wednesday. 
'If Turkey goes into Syria it is between Turkey and Syria. It's not our problem,' he said.
'Syria's friendly with the Kurds. The Kurds are very well protected. Plus, they know how to fight. And, by the way, they're no angels.' 
As bombing and shelling continued in northern Syria, he said: 'I view the situation on the Turkish border with Syria to be, for the United States, strategically brilliant.
'All American soldiers are away from the site.' He added: 'They shouldn't be [there] as two countries fight over land.'
In fact U.S. ground forces still present in northern Syria had called in attack helicopters are strike fighters in a show of force on Tuesday to prevent Turkish-backed forces approaching their position. 
And Trump also threw ceasefire talks into confusion he said: 'Syria and Turkey can fight. They've got a lot of sand over there. There's a lot of sand that they can play with.'
Almost immediately he faced a Republican backlash, with Lindsey Graham warning he risked 'disaster worse than President Obama’s decision to leave Iraq,' and adding: 'I fear this is a complete and utter national security disaster in the making and I hope President Trump will adjust his thinking.'
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'If Turkey goes into Syria it is between Turkey and Syria. It's not our problem,' Trump said in the Oval Office
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The Syrian town of Ras al-Ain was seen being bombarded on the eighth day of Turkey's military operation against Kurdish forces
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Russia has so far proved the most effective peacekeeper in Syria, after brokering a deal between the Kurds and Syrian government forces that has seen Assad's troops move to the front line (red arrows). Vladimir Putin has also positioned his troops between Turkey and government forces around Manbij, stopping an anticipated attack
Turkey launched a military operation against Kurdish fighters allied with the United States after Trump pulled troops from the region earlier this month. 
His decision was strongly condemned in the U.S. - including by usual Republican allies in Congress - and around the world as contributing to regional instability and the abandonment of an ally.
He noted that Syria was getting 'some help with Russia and that's fine.'
'If Russia wants to get involved with Syria, that's really up to them,' he said. 'It's not our border. We shouldn't be losing lives over it.' 
Trump also suggested the Kurds had intentionally allowed some ISIS prisoners to escape prisons where they were being held. A U.S. attempt to remove the 50 prisoners the most dangerous failed when American troops had to withdraw more quickly.
'Some were released just for effect to make us look a little bit like "oh gee, we have to get right back in there,"' he said.
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All-out attack: Lindsey Graham unloaded on Trump within minutes of his Oval Office outburst
'You have a lot of countries over there that have power and that hate ISIS very much, as much as we do.'
Among those who 'hate' ISIS more than the U.S., he suggested, were Russia. 
Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, sat impassively beside Trump as he defended his actions.
The U.S. president spoke as the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain was seen coming being bombarded on the eighth day of Turkey's military operation against Kurdish forces - and as Erdogan scoffed about the U.S. peace delegation saying he had no intention of implementing a ceasefire.
Intense fighting continued Wednesday around the border towns of Tel Abaid and Ras al-Ain, while Russian and Syrian government troops - which took control of Manbij on Tuesday - moved up to the outskirts of Kobane, another key crossing point. 
Erdogan, speaking to reporters in the Turkish parliament earlier on Wednesday, said he was reevaluating his planned visit to Washington in November - where Trump had invited him to the White House but may visit Russia. 
At the White House, Trump's latest public pronouncement only added to confusion over Pence and Pompeo's mission in Turkey.
Pence said he was seeking a ceasefire on Trump's orders, but by describing it as 'not our problem,' Trump appeared to publicly countermand that. 


And Erdogan said Wednesday that he will refuse to meet with U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien and his delegation when he arrives later in the day to discuss his country's invasion of Syria.
'I am not going to talk to them. They will be talking to their counterparts. When Trump comes here I will be talking to him,' Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters at the Turkish parliament. 
O'Brien flew to Ankara as an emergency measure to try to stave off an escalation of Turkey's attacks on Syrian Kurds. 
 Pence and Pompeo are due to arrive Thursday. Initial media reports described Erdogan saying he would refuse to meet with them. Those turned out to be incorrect, according to a transcript released by Turkey's presidential communications office.
Pompeo said Wednesday during a Fox Business Network interview that he has 'every expectation' he and Pence will meet with Erdogan. 
Erdogan did say, however, that he may re-evaluate whether to visit the White House on November 13. 
Trump extended the invitation this month, but the Turkish leader complained Wednesday that 'arguments, debates, conversations being held in Congress regarding my person, my family and my minister friends are a very big disrespect.'    
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'I am not going to talk to them. They will be talking to their counterparts. When Trump comes here I will be talking to him,' Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters at the Turkish parliament, spaking about a delegation led by the U.S. national security adviser
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Thousands of civilians have been fleeing the Kurdish-held town of Kobani ahead of the imminent arrival of Turkish troops
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These Syrian government forces were gathering at Tabqa airbase near Raqqa, northern Syria. It was formerly in U.S. hands
The move to come up with a sanctions package was pushed by Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator who has publicly split from his golf companion Trump over the troop pullout.
The sanctions being suggested by Congress appear to go far further than those threatened by Trump, who signed an executive order last week giving him power to impose new tariffs on Turkish steel and a range of other measures.
In Turkey the sanctions have been meet with scorn. 
Turkey's foreign minister said Wednesday that the country will retaliate against U.S. sanctions with measures of its own, but did not specify what these would be.
Mevlut Cavusoglu told parliament that the current US position towards Turkey is at a 'critical juncture' and urged Congress to turn back from its 'damaging approach.'
He added that he will convey the message to Pence, when he arrives on Thursday. 
In his interview with the Turkish journalists, Erdogan also shared an anecdote from his telephone call with Trump this week.
'I told Trump: 'You get very angry with the media from time to time. You are now under their influence. Don't listen to them, you are a strong leader. This does not befit a strong leader',' he said.
So far Russia has proved the only effective peacekeeper, after negotiating a defense pact between the Kurds - America's former allies - and the Syrian government.
[size=18]Fighting intensifies during conflict in Ras al-Ain




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Putin has also ordered Russian troops to stand between Turkish and Syrian forces around the city of Manbij, halting an anticipated attack on the city.    
Even as Erdogan vowed to keep Pence and Pompeo waiting for a meeting with him, the Kremlin announced a summit between the Turkish leader and Putin, scheduled to take place in the coming days.
Moscow said the meeting was to ensure the Turkish operation does not turn into all-out war between Erdogan and Assad's forces. 
Earlier on Wednesday, Erdogan vowed to defy calls from Washington to stop the violence, vowing: 'We will never declare a ceasefire.' 
He added: 'They [America] are pressuring us to stop the operation. They are announcing sanctions. Our goal is clear. We are not worried about sanctions.'
Russia's presence did not completely prevent the bloodshed, with Erdogan blaming Syrian government forces for a mortar attack which killed one of his soldiers.   
Reuters journalists accompanied Syrian government forces who entered the centre of Manbij, a flashpoint where U.S. troops had previously conducted joint patrols with Turkey.
Russian and Syrian flags were flying from a building on the city outskirts and from a convoy of military vehicles.
Russia's Interfax news agency, citing Moscow's Defence Ministry, said later that Syrian forces had taken control of an area of more than 1,000 square km - 386 square miles - around Manbij, including Tabqa military airfield, which had been used by U.S. forces.

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Post by party animal - not! on Wed 16 Oct 2019, 23:00

So pleased Harry Dunn's parents did the right thing. He's about as subtle as a brick.

And tonight, having mentioned how he MIGHT wreck Turkey's economy (remember his hotels!) he said all of this!

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2019/oct/16/trump-news-today-live-elizabeth-warren-bernie-sanders-impeachment-latest

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Post by annemarie on Wed 16 Oct 2019, 23:51

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7581143/Lindsey-Graham-steps-rebellion-Syria-insists-wont-watch-Turkey-slaughter-Kurds.html

[size=34]Republicans rebel over Syria: Lindsey Graham threatens to be Trump's 'worst nightmare' for 'slaughter of Kurds' and House votes overwhelmingly to rebuke president – who slams Kurdish allies as 'no angels' and invites RUSSIA to intervene[/size]


  • Trump ally Graham said the president needs to 'up his game'

  • Graham said he won't 'sit along the sidelines'

  • Comes after Trump urged him to stick to his Judiciary work, where Graham is investigated perceived Trump enemies

  • The House voted 354 to 60 to oppose Trump's move to stop efforts to prevent Turkish attacks against the Kurds in Syria 

  • Trump slammed Kurds as 'no angels'  and said the conflict was 'not our problem' as he defended pullout of U.S. troops

  • Graham made the comments on the Christian Broadcast Network's 700 Club 


By GEOFF EARLE, DEPUTY U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 16:08 EDT, 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:30 EDT, 16 October 2019

     


President Donald Trump faced a Republican rebellion Wednesday over his sudden withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria – as a lopsided House majority condemned the move and ally Sen. Lindsey Graham vowed to become Trump's 'worst nightmare' to protect the Kurds.
Graham, who has been a Trump ally in fending off the Russia probe, blasted the president for abandoning Kurdish allies in Syria in an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network, where evangelical leaders have been voicing concern about the risk to minorities including Christians in the region.   
'I will do anything I can to help him, but I will also become President Trump's worst nightmare,' Graham vowed. 'I will not sit along the sidelines and watch a good ally, the Kurds, be slaughtered by Turkey.'
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'I will do anything I can to help him, but I will also become President Trump's worst nightmare,' South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday
Graham cautioned: 'This is a defining moment for President Trump. He needs to up his game.'

Another forceful rebuke came in the vote tally for a House resolution to oppose 'the decision to end certain United States efforts to prevent Turkish military operations against Syrian Kurdish forces in Northeast Syria.'
After getting fast-tracked to the floor by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the resolution was backed by 354 lawmakers, with 60 voting against. The resolution said the Kurds fought 'courageously' against the 'brutality of ISIS.'


The resolution quotes from the surprise White House statement that announced the coming operation by Turkey and 'calls on the United States to continue supporting Syrian Kurdish communities through humanitarian support, including to those displaced or otherwise affected by ongoing violence in Syria.'
It also calls on the White House to 'present a clear and specific plan for the enduring defeat of ISIS,' amid fears captured fighters will get the chance to renew territorial gains that had been wiped out.
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'Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years,' said Trump. He urged Graham to 'focus' on his Judiciary Committee work, where his actions have insulated the president
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This picture taken on October 15, 2019 shows smoke rising from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, from the Turkish side of the border at Ceylanpinar district in Sanliurfa, on the first week of Turkey's military operation against Kurdish forces
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UNDER CONTROL: President Donald Trump welcomed Russian intervention along with Syria to push back against Turkey's incursion into Syrian territory. Of the overall conflict, he said: 'It's a very semi-complicated – not too complicated if you're smart – but it's a semi-complicated problem, and I think it's a problem that we have nicely under control'
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'If Turkey goes into Syria it is between Turkey and Syria. It's not our problem,' Trump said Wednesday. Here a woman covers her face as she stands along the side of a road on the outskirts of the town of Tal Tamr near the Syrian Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain along the border with Turkey in the northeastern Hassakeh province on October 16, 2019, with the smoke plumes of tire fires billowing in the background to decrease visibility for Turkish warplanes that are part of operation "Peace Spring".
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The House voted 354 to 60 for a resolution opposing Trump's moves in Syria
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A T-155 Firtina fires at the points being specified as terror targets by the Turkish Armed Forces within Turkey's Operation Peace Spring in Sanliurfa, Turkey on October 15, 2019
[size=18]Trump defends Syria pullout, tells Graham to 'focus on the judiciary'




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Among Republicans, 129 vote for it and 60 against.
The action came on a day when Trump blasted Graham, a frequent golf partner and ally in fending off the Mueller inquiry. Graham chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and has said he wants to probe the alleged FBI misconduct as Trump wants him to do. 
'Lindsey Graham would like to stay in the Middle East for the next thousand years with thousands of soldiers and fighting other people's wars,' Trump snapped. 'I want to get out of the Middle East. I think Lindsey should focus right now on Judiciary – like the Democrats, the do-nothing Democrats,' Trump admonished Graham.  
'And I think Lindsey should focus on Judiciary. He ought to find out about what happened with Comey, what happened with McCabe, Lisa, what happened with Peter Strzok, what happened with President Obama, what happened with Brennan,' Trump said, firing off names of national security and FBI officials from the Obama era who he blames for the Russia probe.
'That’s what Lindsey ought to focus on. That’s what the people of South Carolina want him to focus on. The people of South Carolina don’t want us to get into a war with Turkey – a NATO member – or with Syria. Let them fight their own wars. They’ve been fighting for 1,000 years. Let them fight their own wars. The people of South Carolina want to see those troops come home. And I won an election based on that. And that’s the way it is, whether it’s good or bad. That’s the way it is.'
At a White House press conference Wednesday, Trump welcomed further Russian military intervention in Syria, as Moscow teams with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and U.S. rival Iran to counter Turkey's attack on Kurds in Syrian territory – a conflagration about which Trump proclaimed 'Welcome to it.'
The president attacked U.S. allied Kurdish fighters as 'no angels,' and described them as a mercenary force, even as critics from both parties lamented a policy shift as leaving them victim to slaughter at the hands of the Turks.
'Syria has a relationship with the Kurds – who by the way are not angels,' Trump told reporters alongside Italian President Sergio Mattarella. 'Who is an Angel? There aren't too many around. But Syria has a relationship with the Kurds. So they'll come in for their border. And they'll fight,' Trump said.
'They may bring partners in, they could bring Russia in. And I say welcome to it,' Trump continued, after earlier in the day comparing the area to 'a lot of sand' that various sides can play with. 
Amid the pushback against his policy in Turkey and Syria, Trump indicated he would soon allow the release of a letter he penned to Turkish President Recep Erdogan shortly after he sent Turkish troops across the border into Syria.
The Oct. 9 letter encourages Erdogan to negotiate – but also taunts him not to be a 'tough guy' or the 'devil.'  
'History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way. It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don't happen,' Trump wrote.
'Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!' he wrote, then added: 'I will call you later.'
Trump told reporters he hadn't given Erdogan 'a green light' to invade, and claimed releasing 'a very powerful letter' would dispel misconceptions about the impact of his troop withdrawal from Syria days before he wrote it.
'If anybody saw the letter, which can be released very easily if you’d like – I could certainly release it,' he said.
'But I wrote a letter right after that conversation – a very powerful letter. There was never given a green light.' 
'Let's work out a good deal!' he wrote. 'You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don't want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy—and I will.'
Trump promised new concessions from Mazloum Kobani, commander of the Kurdish army known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.
'General Mazloum is willing to negotiate with you, and he is willing to make concessions that they would never have made in the past,' he wrote. 'I am confidently enclosing a copy of his letter to me, just received.'
The U.S. has funded and trained Mazloum's forces for at least five years. The SDF was America's main proxy fighting the ISIS terror army in Syria.
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Post by annemarie on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 01:29

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7578463/Erdogan-dismisses-Trumps-threats-vows-NEVER-declare-ceasefire.html

[size=34]Erdogan MOCKS Trump, saying he 'can't keep track' of the President's tweets about Turkey's Syria invasion after dismissing US economic sanctions as nothing to worry about[/size]


  • Turkey's invasion of northern Syria entered its eighth day on Wednesday 

  • President Erdogan vowed he will not declare a ceasefire despite US demands

  • He then mocked Trump, saying he cannot 'keep track' of the President on Syria 

  • Trump effectively green-lit Turkey's invasion by withdrawing US troops from the region, before Washington imposed sanctions and demanded a ceasefire


By CHRIS PLEASANCE FOR MAILONLINE  and REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 04:57 EDT, 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:18 EDT, 16 October 2019

     


Turkish President Erdogan has mocked Donald Trump - saying he can no longer 'keep track' of his counterpart's tweets on Syria. 
'When we take a look at Mr Trump's Twitter posts, we can no longer follow them,' Erdogan told reporters as he returned from a summit where he vowed to continue with his assault in defiance of US sanctions and calls for a ceasefire.  
America has been scrambling to regain the initiative after Trump unexpectedly agreed to withdraw US troops from Syria during a phone call with Erdogan, and handed over control of regional security to Turkey.
[size=10][size=18]Fighting intensifies during conflict in Ras al-Ain




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Turkish residents stood overlooking the Syrian border and the town of Ras al-Ein which is under attack by the Turkish military 
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Large plumes of smoke blackened the sky after Turkish military forces pounded Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria
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Thousands of civilians have been fleeing the Kurdish-held town of Kobani ahead of the imminent arrival of Turkish troops
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Intense fighting continued Wednesday around the border towns of Tel Abaid and Ras al-Ayn, while Russian and Syrian government troops - which took control of Manbij on Tuesday - moved up to the outskirts of Kobane, another key crossing point
Intense fighting continued Wednesday around the border towns of Tel Abaid and Ras al-Ayn, while Russian and Syrian government troops - which took control of Manbij on Tuesday - moved up to the outskirts of Kobane, another key crossing point. 

Vice President Mike Pence has been sent to Turkey alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to try and straighten out relations between the two NATO allies, and were due to arrive Thursday.
Trump's own thinking on Syria has been anything but clear, as he penned often contradictory tweets praising his decision to withdraw, then boasting about bipartisan support for sanctions against Turkey for moving in. 
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These Syrian government forces were gathering at Tabqa airbase near Raqqa, northern Syria
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The airbase had been under US control until Donald Trump withdrew all his troops
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Kurdish forces managed to rout ISIS on behalf of the United States, however Donald Trump's decision to withdraw his troops has opened up large sections of northern Syria to Bashar al-Assad's regime, Russia, and Turkey
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Russian and Turkish forces have moved into the area following the withdrawal of US troops
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Turkish President Erdogan mocked Donald Trump on Wednesday saying he cannot 'keep track' of his US counterpart's views on Syria, as the invasion entered its eighth day (pictured)
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Erdogan also vowed to press ahead with his attacks in northern Syria. Pictured is a member of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army during fighting in Ras al-Ayn
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Turkey's invasion of northern Syria has now entered its eighth day, with heavy clashes reported around the city of Ras al-Ayn (pictured, Turkish-backed rebels around the city)
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Turkey is fighting to regain complete control over Ra al-Ayn, on the Syrian border, after it initially seized the city then lost parts of it to a Kurdish counter-attack
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Erdogan vowed to press ahead with his attack despite calls for a ceasefire and said he isn't worried about US sanctions against Turkey (pictured, rocket artillery attacks Ras al-Ayn) 
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Trump has repeatedly suggested over the past week that it is a good thing Turkey is taking over from the US in Syria, while also boasting about sanctioning the country over its role
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Russia has so far proved the most effective peacekeeper in Syria, after brokering a deal between the Kurds and Syrian government forces that has seen Assad's troops move to the front line (red arrows). Putin has also positioned his troops between Turkey and government forces around Manbij, stopping an anticipated attack
He has also welcomed the arrival of Russian and Syrian government forces to protect the Kurds, despite describing them as 'our enemy'.
And, in an abrupt reversal of relations, he has amplified Turkish claims that Kurdish militias are terrorists who have been deliberately releasing ISIS members from prison - despite being allied with the Kurds as recently as a week ago.
In one typically contradictory tweet, Trump announced: 'Big sanctions on Turkey coming! Do people really think we should go to war with NATO member Turkey? Never ending wars will end!'
Turkey's foreign minister said Wednesday that the country will retaliate against US sanctions with measures of its own, but did not specify what these would be.
Mevlut Cavusoglu told parliament that the current US position towards Turkey is at a 'critical juncture' and urged Congress to turn back from its 'damaging approach'.
He added that he will convey the message to an American delegation including Mike Pence, when he arrives on Thursday. 
In his interview with the Turkish journalists, Erdogan also shared an anecdote from his telephone call with Trump this week.
'I told Trump: "You get very angry with the media from time to time. You are now under their influence. Don't listen to them, you are a strong leader. This does not befit a strong leader",' he said.
So far Russia has proved the only effective peacekeeper, after negotiating a defence pact between the Kurds - America's former allies - and the Syrian government.
Vladimir Putin has also ordered Russian troops to stand between Turkish and Syrian forces around the city of Manbij, halting an anticipated attack on the city.  
[size=18]Erdogan claims Syria offensive aims to 'eliminate terrorist groups'




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Turkey's attack began after Donald Trump agreed to withdraw US troops from the region, but Washington has since called for a ceasefire (pictured, Turkish tanks near Manbij)
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In one typically contradictory tweet, Trump amplified Turkish state claims that the Kurds are releasing ISIS prisoners, raised the prospect of war with Turkey, then vowed 'never ending wars will end' 
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Trump has also repeatedly pushed the idea that the US should have nothing to do with Syria, while also saying 'we are watching the situation closely'
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The President also claimed there is 'great consensus' on sanctions against Turkey for attacking the Kurds, despite effectively green-lighting the invasion himself
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Trump also tweeted about a Kurdish military operation which he claimed happened in Syria, when in fact it took place in Kirkuk, which is in neighbouring Iraq
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A member of the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group backed by Turkey, fires his weapon during fighting around Ras al-Ayn
Even as Erdogan vowed to keep Pence and Pompeo waiting for a meeting with him, the Kremlin announced a summit between the Turkish leader and Vladimir Putin, scheduled to take place in the coming days.
Moscow said the meeting was to ensure the Turkish operation does not turn into all-out war between Erdogan and Assad's forces. 
Earlier on Wednesday, Erdogan vowed to defy calls from Washington to stop the violence, vowing: 'We will never declare a ceasefire.' 
He added: 'They [America] are pressuring us to stop the operation. They are announcing sanctions. Our goal is clear. We are not worried about sanctions.'
Russia's presence did not completely prevent the bloodshed, with Erdogan blaming Syrian government forces for a mortar attack which killed one of his soldiers.   


Reuters journalists accompanied Syrian government forces who entered the centre of Manbij, a flashpoint where U.S. troops had previously conducted joint patrols with Turkey.
Russian and Syrian flags were flying from a building on the city outskirts and from a convoy of military vehicles.
Russia's Interfax news agency, citing Moscow's Defence Ministry, said later that Syrian forces had taken control of an area of more than 1,000 square km (386 miles) around Manbij, including Tabqa military airfield.
Fighting continues in earnest elsewhere including in the city of Ras al-Ayn, which saw heavy bombardment by Turkish forces Tuesday after Kurds recaptured part of the border crossing during a counter-attack. 
U.S. President Donald Trump's unexpected decision to withhold protection from Syria's Kurds after a phone call with Erdogan a week ago swiftly upended five years of U.S. policy on Syria.
[size=18]Turkish FM says US sanctions and threats are 'unacceptable'




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Kurdish forces say hundreds of thousands of people, including tens of thousands of children, have been displaced by fighting along the border
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Turkish-backed Syrian rebels load their weapons as they take a break between battles in villages surrounding Ras al-Ayn
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A transport carrying members of the Free Syrian Army close to the city of Ras al-Ayn
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Free Syrian Army units, allied to Turkey, drive armoured vehicles around the city of Ras al-Ayn
As well as clearing the way for the Turkish incursion, the U.S. withdrawal gives a free hand to Washington's adversaries in the world's deadliest ongoing war, namely Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies.
The Syrian army deployments into Kurdish-held territory amount to a victory for Assad and Russia, giving them a foothold in the biggest remaining swathe of Syria that had been beyond their grasp through much of its eight-year-old war.
The United States announced on Sunday it was withdrawing its entire force of 1,000 troops from northern Syria. Its former Kurdish allies immediately forged a new alliance with Assad's government, inviting the army into towns across their territory.
A Reuters cameraman on the Turkish frontier reported heavy bombardment on Tuesday morning of the Syrian border town of Ras al Ain, where an SDF spokesman reported a battle going on.
U.S. military aircraft carried out a 'show of force' around the town of Kobani after Turkish-backed fighters came close to American forces, a U.S. official told Reuters. The Turkish-backed fighters dispersed after the show of force, the official said.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will meet Erdogan on Thursday in Ankara.
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Members of Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army, a militant group active in parts of northwest Syria, load up with supplies in the Turkish town of Akcakale
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The Free Syrian Army, units of the government army that defected during the civil war and are now loyal to Turkey, load up with supplies
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The Free Syrian Army is now facing off against their former comrades in Manbij, after government forces moved up to defend the city (pictured, a re-supply run in Turkey)
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This picture taken on October 15, 2019 from the Turkish side of the border at Ceylanpinar district in Sanliurfa shows smoke rising from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn
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Ras al-Ayn has seen the majority of the fighting so far, after Turkey seized control of the city but was partially pushed back by a Kurdish counter-attack
'Vice President Pence will reiterate President Trump's commitment to maintain punishing economic sanctions on Turkey until a resolution is reached,' the White House said in a statement.
After Trump announced a set of sanctions on Monday to punish Ankara, U.S. prosecutors hit Turkey with charges on the majority state-owned Halkbank for taking part in a multibillion-dollar scheme to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran.
A Turkish embassy official in Washington said the indictment did not contribute positively to the current state of U.S.-Turkey ties. Turkish and American officials had been in talks on the Halkbank case for at least a year. 
A senior Trump administration official said Washington would threaten more sanctions to persuade Turkey to reach a ceasefire and halt its offensive.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a loyal Trump supporter who has nevertheless been highly critical of the president's troop withdrawal, said he would introduce a bill on Thursday to impose tougher sanctions on Turkey.
The measures announced on Monday - mainly a hike in steel tariffs and a pause in trade talks - were less robust than financial markets had anticipated, and Trump's critics derided them as too feeble to have an impact.
[size=18]Russian military enter Manbij region and 'stop' Turkish advance




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Free Syrian Army soldiers have a rest during fighting in villages around Ras al-Ayn
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Turkey's Operation Peace Spring has entered its eighth day, will heavy fighting still taking place around Ras al-Ayn (pictured)
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Turkey-backed rebels position a rocket launcher ready for attacks in Ras al-Ayn
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Pro-Turkey rebels attempt to clear Ra al-Ayn of Kurdish fighters after a counter-attack saw them lose partial control of the city
The Turkish lira, which had fallen on the expectation of tougher U.S. measures, recovered after the sanctions were announced, as did its bond and stock markets, with traders noting that Trump had spared Turkish banks.
Bilateral trade between Turkey and the United States is relatively small - around a tenth the size of Turkey's trade with Europe. Washington's most effective form of economic leverage would be to hinder Turkey's access to U.S. financial markets, a step Trump has so far avoided.
In a potentially more damaging blow, German carmaker Volkswagen said it was postponing a final decision on whether to build a 1 billion euro ($1.1 billion) plant in Turkey, citing concern over 'current developments'.
Following Trump's announcement, the U.S. Treasury said on Monday it had sanctioned Turkey's energy, defence and interior ministers. 
Trump has defended his reversal of U.S. policy as part of a plan to extricate the United States from 'endless' wars in the Middle East.
But his critics cast it as a betrayal of the Kurds, loyal allies who lost thousands of fighters as the principal ground force in Washington's battle against Islamic State.
A senior U.S. defence official said the U.S. military would continue to combat Islamic State militants, who experts say could take advantage of the chaos to stage a resurgence.
'The intent is to reposition (U.S. forces leaving Syria) and use what assets and personnel we have available to continue the mission,' the official said.
However, without a partnership on the ground in Syria like the with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, any such U.S. efforts would almost certainly be limited.
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So far the only effective peacekeeper has been Russia, after Putin ordered his troops to stand between the warring factions, saying he 'would not allow' further fighting 
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Russia has also brokered a defence pact between Syrian government forces (pictured) and the Kurds - America's former allies
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Turkish-backed Syrian fighters are pictured in the town of Ayn al-Arus, south of the border town of Tal Abyad, after they seized control
The Kurdish YPG militia, the key component of the forces who fought Islamic State, is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group aligned with Kurdish separatist insurgents in Turkey.
Turkey says it aims to defeat the YPG and create a 'safe zone' where millions of Syrian war refugees now in Turkey could be resettled.
The United Nations says 160,000 people have fled their homes as Turkish forces advance. The regional Kurdish administration puts the number of displaced at 270,000.
The U.N. Security Council will likely meet on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments in Syria, diplomats said, the second such session since Turkey began its offensive.
The U.N. Human Rights office said on Tuesday that Turkey could be held responsible for war crimes by fighters under its direction, potentially including the assassination of Hevrin Khalaf, a leading Kurdish politician killed on the side of a highway on Saturday by gunmen who posted the attack on the internet.
Turkish-backed fighters have denied blame for her murder.
Erdogan said Ankara was giving the world a chance to bring peace to the region.
'The international community missed its opportunity to prevent the Syrian crisis from pulling an entire region into a maelstrom of instability,' he wrote in the Wall Street Journal. 'The European Union - and the world - should support what Turkey is trying to do.'

[size=34]The struggle for Manbij: Why is the city so important?[/size]


Manbij, a city of some 100,000 located in northern Syria, has emerged as one of the key flashpoints of Turkey's invasion.
Turkish armed forces and allied rebel groups have massed on the outskirts and looked ready to attack on Monday - until Syrian government troops, which are backed by Russia, rolled up.
Putin has now positioned his troops between the two sides and insisted that Russia 'will not allow' fighting between the two.
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Syrian government troops after moving into Manbij for the first time since 2012

Manbij is a key economic hub of northern Syria, sitting at the centre of several supply routes and adjacent to the M-4 motorway, which connects Aleppo - the north's largest city - in the west, with Iraq in the east.
The last time it was occupied by the government was in 2012, before they were pushed out by rebel military groups.
The city was then captured by ISIS in 2014 and joined to its so-called Caliphate, before the Kurdish-led SDF took it in 2016. It has been under their control ever since.
For Turkey, capturing the city would mean driving a wedge between Syrian government forces in Aleppo and Kurdish forces east of the Euphrates river.
Its road links would also put other Kurdish strongholds such as Ain Issa, Al Tabqah, and Raqqa within easy striking distance.
For the government - which is now in control of Manbij - it will be vital to rebuilding the north's economy after eight years of war.
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Turkish forces massing on the edge of the city ahead of an attack which has stalled

annemarie
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Post by annemarie on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 09:39

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7582025/Newly-uncovered-tax-documents-Trump-kept-2-sets-books.html

[size=34]Newly uncovered tax documents show Trump 'kept two sets of books for his buildings in New York City - one for lenders and another for inspectors - and may have committed financial fraud'[/size]


  • Newly uncovered tax documents from President Donald Trump reveal 'inconsistencies' that could point to financial fraud

  • ProPublica reviewed documents that saw the numbers on some Trump properties appear more valuable to lenders and less valuable to tax authorities

  • One of the filings was made in 2017, after President Trump was already in office

  • Two judges have ordered the president to turn over eight years of tax returns 

  • An employee at the IRS has also blown the whistle on 'inappropriate efforts to influence' the audit of Trump's tax returns 


By JAMES GORDON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM 
PUBLISHED: 21:20 EDT, 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 01:35 EDT, 17 October 2019

     




Tax documents relating to President Donald Trump's properties in New York City have been uncovered - with experts suggesting they could point to financial fraud. 
The documents obtained by ProPublica were part of records detailing four Trump properties: The Trump International Hotel and Tower, 40 Wall Street, Trump Tower, and 1290 Avenue of the Americas.
The website claims that there are discrepancies in the tax records for 40 Wall Street and the Trump International Hotel and Tower which could raise concerns. 
The numbers appear to show he gave different figures to lenders than NYC tax officials.

It says the differences made the properties look more valuable to lenders but less valuable to officials who set the building's property tax. 
ProPublica says that on one occasion in 2017, President Trump told a lender he received twice as much rent from one building than he reported to tax authorities. 
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Newly uncovered tax documents from President Donald Trump reveal 'inconsistencies' that could point to financial fraud
'It really feels like there's two sets of books, one for lenders and one for tax investigators,' said Kevin Riordan, a financing expert who reviewed the newly revealed tax records for the outlet.  
'It's hard to argue numbers,' Riordan said. 'That's black and white.'
One professor of finance said that at a very basic level the inconsistencies looked like 'versions of fraud.' 
The website noted that there can be legitimate reasons for differences between numbers on tax and loan documents - but some of the discrepancies had no reasonable justification. 
Laura Feyer, deputy press secretary for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, told ProPublica: 'The city is looking into this property [Trump International Hotel and Tower], and if there has been any underreporting, we will take appropriate action.' 


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The documents were part of records detailing four Trump properties in New York City including Trump Tower to make the properties look more valuable to lenders but less valuable to tax authorities
[size=18]House panel chairman subpoenas Trump's taxes in May




[/size]








Trump broke a relatively recent tradition by not publishing his income tax returns as he ran for president as a major party nominee.
He claims he is unable to release his tax returns because they are under audit.
There is no specific law that prevents his tax returns from being released, even if being audited.
 But in a 2-1 ruling last week, 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.'
Last year the New York Times  reported how Trump managed to use a 'series of dubious tax schemes' to shield a $400 million inheritance from the IRS.
As recently as last month, Mother Jones conducted an investigation that found that Trump might have fabricated a loan to avoid paying $50 million in income taxes.
And in August, a federal employee told the Ways and Means Committee of possible evidence of 'improper influence' in the IRS's audit of Trump's tax returns

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Post by annemarie on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 18:55

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7583835/Donald-Trumps-EU-ambassador-testify-Congress-impeachment-inquiry.html


[size=34]'I am here to tell the truth.' Donald Trump's EU ambassador tells impeachment probe president ordered him to run Ukraine policy through Rudy Giuliani - but he did not know about demand to investigate the Bidens[/size]


  • Gordon Sondland arrived on Capitol Hill Thursday to testify 

  • 'I am here to tell the truth,' he will say in his opening statement

  • He also criticized President Trump for involving Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine

  • Claims he did not know Giuliani wanted to investigate Bidens 

  • He was revealed to have mentioned a gas company with ties to Hunter Biden in private White House meeting with Ukrainian officials

  • Sondland was part of a text chain among diplomats on Trump meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky

  • President Trump has been revealed to have been the author of Sondland's 'no quid pro quo' message to top diplomat in Ukraine

  • He is also to testify that after attending inauguration of Zelensky he met in the Oval Office with Trump, Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker, and Rick Perry

  • Trump said his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani would have to approve any meeting between him and Zelensky, NBC reported

  • Giuliani says he was paid $500,000 by two associates who were indicted this week and who assisted his Ukraine operation 

  • Sondland latest in series of witnesses as impeachment inquiry heats up 


By EMILY GOODIN, U.S. POLITCAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 08:07 EDT, 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:08 EDT, 17 October 2019


         
  • [email=?subject=Read%20this:%20%27I%20am%20here%20to%20tell%20the%20truth.%27%20Donald%20Trump%27s%20EU%20ambassador%20tells%20impeachment%20probe%20president%20ordered%20him%20to%20run%20Ukraine%20policy%20through%20Rudy%20Giuliani%20-%20but%20he%20did%20not%20know%20about%20demand%20to%20investigate%20the%20Bidens%C2%A0&body=%27I%20am%20here%20to%20tell%20the%20truth.%27%20Donald%20Trump%27s%20EU%20ambassador%20tells%20impeachment%20probe%20president%20ordered%20him%20to%20run%20Ukraine%20policy%20through%20Rudy%20Giuliani%20-%20but%20he%20did%20not%20know%20about%20demand%20to%20investigate%20the%20Bidens%C2%A0%0A%0AU.S.%20Ambassador%20to%20the%20EU%20Gordon%20Sondland%20will%20testify%20on%20Capitol%20Hill%20Thursday%20as%20it%20was%20revealed%20he%20mentioned%20a%20Ukrainian%20gas%20company%20with%20ties%20to%20Hunter%20Biden%20in%20meeting%20with%20Ukrainians.%0A%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farticle-7583835%2FDonald-Trumps-EU-ambassador-testify-Congress-impeachment-inquiry.html%3Fito%3Demail_share_article-top%0A%0A%0AMost%20Read%20Articles%3A%0A%0ATarzan%20actor%20Ron%20Ely%27s%20wife%2C%2062%2C%20was%20stabbed%20to%20death%20by%20their%20SON%20in%20their%20Santa%20Barbara%20home%20before%20he%20was%20shot%20dead%20by%20police%20responding%20to%20a%20911%20call%20HE%20made%20trying%20to%20blame%20his%20disabled%20dad%2C%2081%2C%20for%20the%20attack%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farticle-7581659%2FTarzan-actor-Ron-Elys-wife-stabbed-death-SON.html%3Fito%3Demail_share_article-top_most-read-articles%0A%0AAnn%20Curry%20threatens%20she%27ll%20DESTROY%20Matt%20Lauer%20if%20she%20ever%20speaks%20out%20as%20sources%20reveal%20his%20long-suffering%20ex-wife%20Annette%20Roque%20went%20through%20%27hell%27%20during%20the%20final%20months%20of%20their%20fraught%20marriage%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farticle-7582065%2FAnn-Curry-says-shell-DESTROY-Matt-Lauers-career-talks-Anette-Roque-calls-marriage-hell.html%3Fito%3Demail_share_article-top_most-read-articles%0A%0A%27That%20translator%20is%20all%20of%20us%27%3A%20Social%20media%20is%20VERY%20amused%20by%20Italian%20translator%27s%20bemused%20reaction%20to%20Donald%20Trump%20after%20he%20said%20US%20has%20a%20shared%20history%20with%20Italy%20dating%20back%20to%20ANCIENT%20Rome%20%28but%20is%20it%20as%20daft%20as%20it%20sounds%3F%29%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farticle-7581913%2FSocial-media-lights-Italian-translators-reaction-Donald-Trump.html%3Fito%3Demail_share_article-top_most-read-articles%0A%0A]e[/email]



U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland criticized Donald Trump for involving his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani in matters relating to the Ukraine during his closed-door testimony to Congress on Thursday.
'I am here to tell the truth,' he said in his opening statement, which runs 18 pages long. 
Sondland also said he, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and special Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker were 'disappointed by the President’s direction that we involve Mr. Giuliani. Our view was that the men and women of the State Department, not the President’s personal lawyer, should take responsibility for all aspects of U.S. foreign policy towards Ukraine.'
But he added that the team had a choice when it came to getting Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky a White House meeting: 'We could abandon the goal of a White House meeting for President Zelensky, which we all believed was crucial to strengthening U.S.-Ukrainian ties and furthering long-held U.S. foreign policy goals in the region; or we could do as President Trump directed and talk to Mr. Giuliani to address the President’s concerns.'

Sondland's statement details his version of the negotiations to get Zelensky a meeting with the president, his explanation of text messages about whether there was a quid pro quo involved and his denial that he had any knowledge of the 2020 election politics at play.
The EU ambassador, who was a hotel owner before Trump appointed him to the gig, said he did not understand at the time that Giuliani wanted the Ukraine to investigate Trump's political rival Joe Biden.
'I did not understand, until much later, that Mr. Giuliani’s agenda might have also included an effort to prompt the Ukrainians to investigate Vice President Biden or his son or to involve Ukrainians, directly or indirectly, in the President’s 2020 reelection campaign,' he said.
'I do not recall that Mr. Giuliani discussed Former Vice President Biden or his son Hunter Biden with me,' he said. 
He also claimed he didn't know Hunter Biden was on the board of the Ukrainian gas company.
'I did not know until more recent press reports that Hunter Biden was on the board of Burisma. Again, I recall no discussions with any State Department or White House official about Former Vice President Biden or his son, nor do I recall taking part in any effort to encourage an investigation into the Bidens,' he said.
[size=10][size=18]US Ambassador to EU Sondland set to testify in impeachment probe




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EU Ambassador Gordon Sundland will criticize President Trump for involving Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine policy
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Sondland testified he involved Rudy Giuliani in Ukrainian matters because President Trump asked him to
'Let me state clearly: Inviting a foreign government to undertake investigations for the purpose of influencing an upcoming U.S. election would be wrong. Withholding foreign aid in order to pressure a foreign government to take such steps would be wrong,' he said.
He also said he was not on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky. He claimed he did not know the Bidens came up until he read the transcript.
'I was not on that July 25, 2019 call and I did not see a transcript of that call until September 25, 2019, when the White House publicly released it. None of the brief and general call summaries I received contained any mention of Burisma or former Vice President Biden, nor even suggested that President Trump had made any kind of request of President Zelensky. I had heard afterwards that the July 25, 2019 call went well,' he said. 
In his testimony he also addressed a successful effort by Giuliani to oust Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who objected to his work. Yovanovitch testified before lawmakers earlier this week.
'I worked with Ambassador Yovanovitch personally during my first official visit to Ukraine in February 2019, and I found her to be an excellent diplomat with a deep command of Ukrainian internal dynamics, the U.S.-Ukraine relationship, and associated regional issues. She was a delight to work with during our visit to Odessa, Ukraine. I was never a part of any campaign to disparage or dislodge her, and I regretted her departure,' Sondland said.
Sondland arrived to testify on Capitol Hill Thursday as it was revealed he held a meeting at the White House where he specifically mentioned a Ukrainian gas company that had Hunter Biden on its board as part of negotiations in getting the Ukrainian president a meeting with Donald Trump. 
That meeting happened steps from the White House Situation Room and followed a larger meeting in the West Wing when then-National Security Adviser John Bolton was non-committal on a sit down between the two leaders, NBC News reported.
Sondland contradicted Bolton and told Ukrainian officials Trump would meet with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky on the condition he open a corruption investigation involving the Bidens.  
Bolton abruptly ended the meeting, NBC reported. 
That's when Sondland invited the Ukrainians to a private meeting where he mentioned Bursima Holdings, which had Hunter Biden on its board.  
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President Trump's Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland arrived on Capitol Hill Thursday to testify before lawmakers in a closed-door session
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19838228-7583835-image-a-20_1571318461784

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Ambassador Sondland was part of conversations about U.S. policy in the Ukraine
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It was a Sondland meeting at the White House with Ukrainian officials that prompted then-National Security Adviser John Bolton to have White House lawyers notified
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Sondland was part of discussions about arranging a meeting between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky - the two leaders are seen together in New York in September during UN week
It was Sondland's condition that prompted Bolton to direct National Security Council aide Fiona Hill to report the situation to White House lawyers, as she testified this week on Capitol Hill. 
Sondland addressed the White House meeting in his opening statement but did not mention the report he brought up Burisma to the Ukrainians.
'If Ambassador Bolton, Dr. Hill, or others harbored any misgivings about the propriety of what we were doing, they never shared those misgivings with me, then or later,' he said of their effort to arrange a meeting between Trump and Zelensky.
'We had regular communications with the NSC about Ukraine, both before and after the July meeting; and neither Ambassador Bolton, Dr. Hill, nor anyone else on the NSC staff ever expressed any concerns to me about our efforts, any complaints about coordination between State and the NSC, or, most importantly, any concerns that we were acting improperly,' he said. 
The details of the meeting would undercut a text Sondland sent diplomats discussing the sit down between the two leaders, where the EU ambassador wrote 'The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.' 
Sondland addressed several of the text messages written between diplomats as they worked to arrange the Trump-Zelensky sit down.
He argued it was appropriate for the Ukraine to release a public statement about fighting corruption as part of the condition for Zelensky meeting with President Trump. 
'I knew that a public embrace of anti-corruption reforms by Ukraine was one of the pre-conditions for securing a White House meeting with President Zelensky. My view was, and has always been, that such Western reforms are consistent with U.S. support for rule of law in Ukraine going back decades, under both Republican and Democrat administrations. Nothing about that request raised any red flags for me, Ambassador Volker, or Ambassador Taylor,' he said in his opening statement.
'Consequently, I supported the efforts of Ambassador Volker to encourage the Ukrainian government to adopt a public statement setting out its reform priorities. My recollection is that the statement was written primarily by the Ukrainians with Ambassador Volker’s guidance, and I offered my assistance when asked. This was the “deliverable” referenced in some of my messages – a deliverable/public statement that President Trump wanted to see or hear before a White House meeting could occur. The fact that we were working on this public statement was not a secret,' he said.
He also addressed a text message he sent to Bill Taylor, the highest ranking U.S. official in the Ukraine, that said 'call me' when Taylor questioned whether American aid to the Ukraine was conditional on an investigation by the Ukraines.
'Any implication that I was trying to avoid making a record of our conversation is completely false. In my view, diplomacy is best handled through back-and-forth conversation. The complexity of international relations cannot be adequately expressed in cryptic text messages. I simply prefer to talk rather than to text. I do this all the time with family, friends, and former business associates. That is how I most effectively get things done,' Sondland said. 
'I do not recall any discussions with the White House on withholding U.S. security assistance from Ukraine in return for assistance with the President’s 2020 re-election campaign. I recall that, in late July 2019, Ambassadors Volker and Taylor and I exchanged emails in which we all agreed that President Zelensky should have no involvement in 2020 U.S. Presidential election politics,' he said.
He also said he called President Trump after Taylor texted his concerns to ask if there was a quid pro quo in the works.
'I asked the President: “What do you want from Ukraine?” The President responded, “Nothing. There is no quid pro quo.” The President repeated: “no quid pro quo” multiple times. This was a very short call. And I recall the President was in a bad mood,' he said. 
Trump blocked Sondland's scheduled appearance last week and Democrats subpoenaed the ambassador, the latest in a series of witnesses to testify behind closed doors on Capitol Hill as the impeachment inquiry heats up.
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Sondland is the latest in a series of witnesses to testify on Capitol Hill; NSC aide Fiona Hill, above, testified about Sondland's White House meeting on Monday
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Sondland will be asked about allegations Trump threatened to with hold U.S. aid unless Ukraine investigated Joe and Hunter Biden
The text messages - offered by Ukrainian special envoy Kurt Volker as part of his testimony to Congress - show the diplomats discussing an arrangement in which Zelensky would be offered a White House visit in exchange for a public statement that committed the Ukraine to investigate the 2016 presidential election and Burisma Holdings. 
Bill Taylor, acting ambassador to Ukraine, told Sondland in the texts it was 'crazy' to with hold the aid in exchange for 'help with a political campaign.'
'Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?’ Taylor said in a September 1 text message.
‘Call me,’ replied Sondland – taking the discussion offline.
In more online pushback, Taylor tells Sondland days later on September 9: ‘As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.’
That prompted a formal and lengthy response from Sondland: ‘Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.’
Sondland is expected to tell lawmakers that Trump told him by phone before he sent the text that there was no quid pro quo and that he was simply repeating that to Taylor. 
He is also expected to testify that Trump  gave his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani authority to approve a presidential meeting with Zelensky.
The central role Trump provided for Giuliani is the latest disclosure about a shadow Trump administration policy on Ukraine outside of the normal chain of command.  
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Gordon Sondland, the United States Ambassador to the European Union, will testify that President Trump told him it was up to Rudy Giuliani to approve a meeting between Trump and the president of Ukraine
Ukraine Texts Between Taylor and Sondland uploaded by DailyMail.com on Scribd

Sondland, who was a key figure in communications about handling Ukraine policy, also will testify he met in the Oval Office with Trump, U.S. Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry after he attended Zelensky's inauguration, NBC News reported.   
A Trump-Zelensky meeting, which Zelensky is described as keen to have occur to shore up his own position, would need to get a green light from Giuliani to occur, Sondland will say. 
Democrats expect him to provide crucial information about pressure for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens at a time when the Trump administration was holding back $391 million in U.S. security aid to Ukraine. 
National security official Fiona Hill testified Monday that former National Security Director John Bolton called Giuliani 'hand grenade who's going to blow everyone up.'
As Trump's personal lawyer, Giuliani has spent months seeking to dig up dirt on Joe Biden's son Hunter's dealings in Ukraine. Hunter Biden took a lucrative post on a board of a Ukrainian energy company, but told ABC News Tuesday he didn't do anything wrong.


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President Trump had his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani working as a key emissary for Ukraine policy
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Two Giuliani associates were indicted last week on campaing finance charges. The former New York mayor says he got $500,000 for consulting work he did for them
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said while sitting next to Trump at a press conference that Trump didn't put any pressure on him to investigate the Bidens
[size=18]Giuliani paid $500,000 to consult for Ukrainian-American company




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Federal prosecutors indicted two Giuliani associates last week on campaign finance violations. 
Giuliani told Reuters this week he was paid $500,000 to work for Fraud Guarantee, the company co-founded by Ukraine-born Lev Parnas, who authorities accuse of steering hundreds of thousands of dollars from another source to a pro-Trump super PAC.
Lawmakers consider Sondland a key witness due to his proximity to Trump – the former real estate executive gave $1 million to Trump's inauguration – and his interaction with other officials on Ukraine at a time when a whistle-blower says the White House was pushing Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
He is the latest witness as Democrats press forward in their impeachment investigation. 
A career diplomat, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent, testified on Capitol Hill Tuesday. He previously served as deputy chief of mission in Kiev from 2015 to 2018.
Michael McKinley, a senior advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who resigned his post last week amid the reverberations of the Ukraine scandal, testified Wednesday.  
Counselor of the United States Department of State Ulrich Brechbuhl, a close advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, testifies on Thursday.
Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia and Ukraine is set to testify to three congressional committees on Friday. 
Next week lawmakers will hear from: Bill Taylor, acting ambassador to Ukraine; Philip Reeker, acting assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs; Alexander Vindman, director of European affairs at the National Security Council; Suriya Jayanti, Foreign Service officer in Kiev, and Tim Morrison, senior director for Russia at the National Security Council.  
[size=18]Ex-Ukraine ambassador arrives on Capitol Hill to testify





[/size]

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Post by annemarie on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 18:58

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7584783/McConnell-says-wants-STRONGER-House-resolution-condemning-Trumps-Syria-pullout.html

[size=34]Mitch McConnell steps up Republican rebellion over Syria saying he wants 'something STRONGER' than the House resolution condemning Donald Trump's pullout that 129 GOP representatives voted for[/size]


  • Mitch McConnell said he wants 'something even stronger' than the House resolution condemning Donald Trump's withdraw of U.S. troops from Syria 

  • The Senate Majority Leader felt the resolution was 'weak' as it didn't address some other issues he feel are important in the region

  • Trump withdrew troops as Turkey invaded northern Syria, targeting Kurdish forces there

  • In the House resolution, 129 Republicans broke rank with the president 


By KATELYN CARALLE, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 13:17 EDT, 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:27 EDT, 17 October 2019

     




Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he wants 'something even stronger' in the Senate than the House's resolution formally opposing Donald Trump's troop withdrawal from northern Syria last week.
The Senate Majority Leader said he was 'encouraged' by the House, including 129 Republican members, voting to condemn the president's highly contested decision.
'I believe it's important that we make a strong forward-looking strategic statement. For that reason my preference would be for something even stronger than the resolution that the House passed yesterday which has some serious weaknesses,' McConnell said from the Senate floor Thursday.
The vote Wednesday – where more than a hundred Republicans broke ranks with the president – showed the overwhelming bipartisan opposition to Trump's decision to remove troops from a region as Turkey took military action against Kurdish forces in Syria.
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he wants 'something even stronger' than the House resolution condemning Donald Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria as the Turkish invasion targeted Kurdish forces there last week
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In Wednesday's vote, 129 GOP House lawmakers agreed to the bipartisan resolution, including top Republicans Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (left) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (right). McConnell broke with Trump as well, claiming there needs to be more legislative action against the withdraw
The vote ended up at 354-60, with all 'no' votes coming from GOP lawmakers.

Some notable Republicans who voted for the resolution were Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney and Texas Representative Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
McCaul cosponsored the legislation with Eliot Engel, the panel's Democratic chairman.
Foreign Affairs is also one of the six House committees jointly conducting an impeachment inquiry into the president.
McConnell argues that the House's resolution on Syria is too 'backward-looking' and 'narrowly drafted,' as it doesn't address Sunni Arab or Christian communities in Syria.


'It is curiously silent on the issue of whether to actually sustain a U.S. military presence in Syria, perhaps to spare Democrats from having to go on record on this question. So my first preference is for something stronger than the House resolution,' McConnell said.
Some Senate Democrats, including those running for president, have said they oppose Trump's decision but are hesitant to say whether they would want to bring back troops to the region after their withdrawal.
Lawmakers are weighing the most appropriate way to respond, and even some of the president's most fierce allies in Congress have gone against him on this issue.
McConnell, a Repiblican from Kentucky, is against the House's impeachment inquiry into the president and said he would put a stop to it should the House vote to move the proceedings onto the next step in the Senate.
The Republican Senate leader has not given any specifics on legislation he could bring to the floor that would take the House's resolution a step further.
During a press conference on Wednesday, he called the withdrawal a 'mistake.'
'I look forward to continuing to engage with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as we chart the right course,' he added.
[size=18]McConnell calls for stronger 'forward-looking' Syria strategy




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This is one of the first times Trump is facing fierce opposition from within his own party
Republican Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham, who often publicly defends Trump, said he would become the president's 'worst nightmare' for withdrawing troops and allowing the Kurds to become more susceptible to the Turkish invasion.
'I will do anything I can to help him, but I will also become President Trump's worst nightmare,' Graham vowed on Wednesday. 'I will not sit along the sidelines and watch a good ally, the Kurds, be slaughtered by Turkey.'
Graham, along with Democratic Senator Chris Van Holland of Maryland, will introduce a sanctions bill later on Thursday that will target Turkey's military and energy sector.
Some of the Republicans who voted for the bipartisan resolution were part of that small group of lawmakers from both chambers who met with Trump at the White House about the withdrawal – a meeting that swiftly went haywire.
Democrats ended up walking out of the meeting and accused Trump of 'derogatory' comments and claimed he had a 'meltdown.'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced later on Wednesday that Trump had abruptly canceled an all-member classified briefing on the situation in Syria originally scheduled for Thursday.
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Post by ladybugcngc on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 19:37

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/pence-set-make-ceasefire-case-erdogan-after-release-tough-guy-n1067976


[size=49]U.S., Turkey agree to cease-fire to allow Kurdish forces to retreat
The diplomatic overture took place just hours after President Donald Trump described the Kurdish forces fighting Turkish troops as “no angels.”[/size]



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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 N_msnbc_pence_syria_191017_1920x1080.760;428;7;70;5





Pence announces the U.S. and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in Syria


OCT. 17, 201902:04


[url=https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Pence announces the U.S. and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in][/url]






[size=10]Oct. 17, 2019, 3:27 AM PDT


By Saphora Smith and Dartunorro Clark

LONDON — Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday that the U.S. reached a cease-fire agreement with Turkey to suspend its military operation in Syria to allow Kurdish forces to retreat from a designated safe zone.
Pence said that Turkey will suspend its military operations for 120 hours to allow Kurdish forces to leave the zone, and U.S. forces will aid in the retreat.

The agreement comes amid growing global concern about Turkey’s military incursion in Syria after President Donald Trump ordered U.S. forces to withdraw from the country, leaving the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG — a U.S. ally in the fight against the Islamic State — without support.
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Mastering the tao of Clooney

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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 21:50

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7585159/US-Turkey-agree-deal-five-day-ceasefire.html


[size=34]Donald Trump hails five-day ceasefire deal in Syria as 'a great day for civilization' and boasts of 'incredible outcome' claiming 'great leader' Erdogan and the Kurds are happy - but Turkey hits back that they have only agreed to a PAUSE[/size]


  • Vice President Mike Pence announced the United States and Turkey have reached a deal to suspend Ankara's operations in northern Syria for five days

  • 'It's really a great day for civilization,' Trump said of the agreement 

  • Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spent more than four hours meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in order to get a deal

  • Ceasefire will reportedly last for 120 hours to allow a withdrawal 

  • Turkey will also get a 20 mile buffer on its border that Kurds much avoid 

  • Kurds were not part of the negotiations but Pence said they signed on 

  • 'They couldn't get it without a little rough love,' Trump said of the agreement. 'This is an incredible outcome'

  • But Turkish officials downplayed agreement and said it's 'not a ceasefire' 


By EMILY GOODIN, U.S. POLITCAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 13:32 EDT, 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:44 EDT, 17 October 2019

     


Donald Trump on Thursday hailed an agreement between the United States and Turkey for a five-day cease fire in Syria as a 'great day for civilization' as Turkish officials down played the outcome of the deal. 
'A great day for the Kurds. It's really a great day for civilization. It's a great day for civilization,' Trump said.
Vice President Mike Pence announced the United States and Turkey reached a deal to suspend Ankara's operations in northern Syria for five days to allow Kurds time to withdraw to a 'safe zone' as part of a cease-fire agreement.
'The United States and Turkey have agreed to a cease-fire in Syria,' Pence announced at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara after protracted negotiations with the Turkish government.

Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spent more than four hours meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials in order to get a deal in a mission that had long odds with several Trump administration officials worried they wouldn't get an agreement.
The deal establishes a 20-mile buffer zone on the Turkish border that Kurds would have to avoid - a move that essentially gives Turkey a portion of Syria to control.  
Trump praised his team's work and touted his own role in the matter.
'They couldn't get it without a little rough love,' Trump said in Texas after the deal was announced. The president had threatened Erdogan about the deal, saying he would destroy the Turkish economy with sanctions if he didn't sign on. 'This is an incredible outcome.'
But Turkish officials down played the agreement, saying they agreed to suspend operations to let the Kurds withdraw and emphasized it was 'not a ceasefire.'
'We will suspend the Peace Spring operation for 120 hours for the PKK/YPG to withdraw. This is not a ceasefire,' Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said. 
[size=10][size=18]Mike Pence announces temporary Turkish ceasefire in Syria




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Vice President Mike Pence announced the United States and Turkey have reached a deal to suspend Ankara's operations in northern Syria for five day
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President Donald Trump said the deal would not have gotten done without 'tough love'
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Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters gesture as they stand at a back of a truck in the border town of Tal Abyad, Syria
[size=18]Trump praises Turkey ceasefire, says 'rough love' helped




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Trump infuriated members of both political parties - including some of his strongest Republican allies - when he announced earlier this month he was withdrawing U.S. troops from Northern Syria.
He was accused of abandoning the Kurds, who are U.S. allies in the region, and ceding control of the area to Russia. 
A week of criticism from Capitol Hill compounded on Wednesday into a White House meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers where Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Trump of having a 'serious meltdown' when talking about the issue. 
But the president gloried in the agreement on Thursday, calling Erdogan a 'hell of a leader.' 
Vice President Pence outlined the details of the agreement, saying Turkey agreed five-day cease fire in order to let Kurds get out of the 'safe zone' and Turkey will have a buffer zone around its border that the Kurds will avoid.
'Once that is completed, Turkey has agreed to a permanent ceasefire,' the vice president said. 
And he said that Kurdish fighters would honor the deal even as the Kurdish were not part of the negotiations. 
'We have repeated assurances from them that they will be going out,' he said.
The deal includes a Kurdish withdrawal from a security zone roughly 20 miles south of the Turkish border, which Pence said the Kurds will comply with. 
'Our administration has already been in contact with Syria defense forces and we've already begun to facilitate their safe withdrawal from the nearly 20-mile-wide safe zone area south of the Turkish border in Syria,' Pence noted.


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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (3rd R), National Security Adviser Robert C. O'Brien (2nd R) and the American Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey (not pictured)
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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the agreement was 'not a cease fire'
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Smoke and fire in the town of Ras al-Ain in Syria as Turkish forces gain ground there
'We recognize the importance and value of a safe zone to create a buffer between Syria proper and the Kurdish population and the Turkish border,' he said. 
Additionally, the U.S. agreed to lift the economic sanctions it imposed on Turkey after the country sent troops into northern Syria once American forces had withdrawn.  
The withdrawal of U.S. troops resulted in the Turkish military going ahead with a planned invasion into northeastern Syria, where Kurdish fighters had helped American forces in fighting what was left of ISIS.
'The United States will not impose any further sanctions on Turkey,' Pence announced.
'And once a permanent cease fire is in effect, the president has agreed to withdraw the economic sanctions that were imposed this last Monday,' he added. 
But the agreement, however, gives Turkey what it wanted with its military incursion Additionally, the country is under no obligation to withdraw its troops under the agreement.

And the sanctions relief means the country will suffer no economic penalty from its military operation.
Trump, however, argued the deal will save lives and praised Turkey for signing it.
'They're not going to have to kill millions of people, and millions of people aren't going to have to kill them,' he said.
The president acknowledged the opposition to his decision to withdraw U.S. troops , including criticism he faced in his party from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and his longtime ally Sen. Lindsey Graham.
'This outcome is something they've been trying to get for ten years, everybody, and they couldn't get it. Other administrations, and they never would have been able to get it unless you went somewhat unconventional. I guess I'm an unconventional person. I took a lot of heat from a lot of people even some of the people in my own party, but they were there, in the end they were there. They're all there. Look, this is about the nation. This isn't about Republicans or Democrats. This is about our nation,' Trump said. 
He claimed the Kurds were very happy with the outcome.
'They were incredibly happy with this solution. This is a solution that really - well it saved their lives, frankly. It saved their lives,' he said. 
But not all Republicans celebrated the president's deal.
In a scathing speech on the Senate floor, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney slammed the agreement, saying 'the cease-fire does not change the fact that America has abandoned an ally, adding insult to dishonor.'
'The administration speaks cavalierly, even flippantly, even as our ally has suffered death and casualty. Their homes have been burned and their families have been torn apart,' he added. 
'What we have done to the Kurds will stand as a bloodstain in the annals of American history,' he said. 
 
[size=18]McConnell calls for stronger 'forward-looking' Syria strategy




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Republican Senator Mitt Romney slammed Trump's deal with Turkey as a 'bloodstain' on America
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan receives Vice President Mike Pence at Presidential Complex in Ankara
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he wants 'something even stronger' than the House resolution condemning Donald Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria as Republicans have opposed the president's move
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Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch Trump ally, called for even greater sanctions on Turkey
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Turkish-backed Syrian fighters drive down a street in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad
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There were fears among some Trump administration officials that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence would not be able to get a deal with Turkey
Graham said in a statement on Thursday he had a phone call with Trump, who spoke to him from Air Force One as he was in route to Dallas, Texas, after the deal was done.
'Sounds like we may have made real progress regarding a cease-fire and hopefully sustainable solutions to prevent the reemergence of ISIS, the abandonment of our ally, the Kurds, and other strategic interests of the United States, like the containment of Iran,' Graham said. 
'I stand ready to continue working with the President to build upon this breakthrough. I also stand ready to work in a bipartisan fashion to ensure this incursion by Turkey into northeastern Syria ends, hopefully, in a win-win fashion,' he said. 'Turkey has legitimate national security concerns within Syria but they cannot be met by invasion and force of arms.' 
But there are still signs of dissension among the Republican ranks.
McConnell said Thursday he wants 'something even stronger' in the Senate than a House's resolution that condemned Trump's decision to with draw U.S. troops from Syria.
'I believe it's important that we make a strong forward-looking strategic statement. For that reason my preference would be for something even stronger than the resolution that the House passed yesterday which has some serious weaknesses,' McConnell said from the Senate floor. 
But nothing was raining on Trump's parade.  
Following the news of the deal, Trump tweeted: 'Great news out of Turkey. News Conference shortly with @VP and @SecPompeo . Thank you to @RTErdogan . Millions of lives will be saved!'
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Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Palace in Ankara Thursday for more than four hours
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President Trump tweeted the deal was 'great news'
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A Syrian woman and a girl, who were displaced by the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria, wait to receive a tent and other aid supplies at the Bardarash refugee camp, north of Mosul, Iraq
The president went on to tweet: 'This deal could NEVER have been made 3 days ago. There needed to be some 'tough' love in order to get it done. Great for everybody. Proud of all!' 
He added that millions of lives will be saved.
'This is a great day for civilization. I am proud of the United States for sticking by me in following a necessary, but somewhat unconventional, path. People have been trying to make this 'Deal' for many years. Millions of lives will be saved. Congratulations to ALL!,' the president wrote. 
The vice president touched down in Ankara earlier Thursday alongside Pompeo and National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien as they tried to stop the Syrian civil war descending into a bloody new phase. 
His mission came a day after the White House released a letter Trump sent to Erdogan, urging him to make a deal.
'You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering people,' Trump wrote, adding: 'Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool! I will call you later.'
The outlook for any deal had appeared bleak after Erdogan briefly toyed with the idea of refusing to meet with Pence at all.
He later relented, but repeatedly insisted he will not stop his assault on the Kurds - America's former allies in Syria - until he has driven them away from his border.
Trump praised Erdogan for signing on to the agreement.
'He's a hell of a leader. And he's a tough man. He's a strong man. And he did the right thing, and I really appreciate it, and I will appreciate it in the future,' he said Thursday.
He said - with the deal in place - Erdogan will likely make his visit to the White House next month.
'That would be very much open. I would say, yeah, he would come. He did a terrific thing. He's a leader. He had to make a decision. A lot of people wouldn't have made that decision because they don't know. They ultimately would have made it, but what he did was very smart and it was great for the people of Turkey, and they're lucky it was him making the decision, I will tell you that,' he said.  
Trump told reporters during a press conference Wednesday that he hadn't given Erdogan 'a green light' to invade northern Syria, and claimed releasing 'a very powerful letter' would dispel misconceptions about the impact of his troop withdrawal from Syria days.
'If anybody saw the letter, which can be released very easily if you'd like – I could certainly release it,' he said.
'But I wrote a letter right after that conversation – a very powerful letter. There was never given a green light.'
[size=18]Trump tells Erdogan 'don't be a tough guy' in letter




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Vice President Mike Pence carries details of the agreement as he prepares to announce the deal
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Syrian National Army (SNA) members hang a Syrian National Army flag as they continue operations against the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey regards as a terror group, within Turkey's Operation Peace Spring
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Correspondence: The letter reveals how Trump asked Erdogan not to invade northern Syria
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The letter appears to support the president's contention that he didn't give Erdogan his approval for the military campaign.
'Let's work out a good deal!' he wrote. 'You don't want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don't want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy—and I will.' 
The president pledged during the 2016 campaign to disentangle America's military from what he called 'forever wars' – longstanding conflicts that the Pentagon has stabilized, often with thousands, or tens of thousands, of servicemen and women. 
He used that pledge to justify his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.  
Trump's allies in his own party, including Lindsey Graham, turned on him with that decision.
Graham, who has been a Trump ally in fending off the Russia probe, blasted the president for abandoning Kurdish allies in Syria in an interview with the Christian Broadcast Network, where evangelical leaders have been voicing concern about the risk to minorities including Christians in the region.   
'I will do anything I can to help him, but I will also become President Trump's worst nightmare,' Graham vowed. 'I will not sit along the sidelines and watch a good ally, the Kurds, be slaughtered by Turkey.'
Graham cautioned: 'This is a defining moment for President Trump. He needs to up his game.' 
Trump responded by claiming the Kurds are not 'angels.' 
'Syria has a relationship with the Kurds – who by the way are not angels,' Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday.
'Who is an angel? There aren't too many around. But Syria has a relationship with the Kurds. So they'll come in for their border. And they'll fight,' Trump said.
Graham on Thursday called for stricter sanctions against Turkey and introduced legislation that would target Turkish officials, end U.S. military cooperation with the NATO ally and mandate sanctions over Turkey's purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system
'Congress is going to speak with a very firm, singular voice, that we will impose sanctions in the strongest measure possible against this Turkish outrage that will lead to the re-emergence of ISIS, the destruction of an ally, the Kurds and eventually benefit to Iran to the detriment of Israel,' he said during a press conference on Capitol Hill. 
Meanwhile, a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives voted Wednesday to condemn the president's troop-withdrawal decision, where 129 Republicans joined Democrats to condemn Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria in a 354 to 60 vote.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said hours later that they walked out of a meeting with Trump at the White House when he berated them for their views on Syria.
Pelosi said she witnessed a 'meltdown,' with Trump telling her some ISIS fighters were communists, and 'that must make you happy.'
The White House said in a statement that '[t]he President was measured, factual and decisive, while Speaker Pelosi's decision to walk out was baffling, but not surprising.'
The statement claimed Pelosi 'chose to storm out and get in front of the cameras to whine.'

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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Thu 17 Oct 2019, 21:54

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7584925/Mick-Mulvaney-admits-White-House-DID-hold-Ukraine-aide-force-server-probe.html

[size=34]Donald Trump DID hold up military aid to Ukraine to force investigation, says White House, but to force an investigation into 'DNC server' not the Bidens - and he DID order officials to work with Rudy Giuliani[/size]


  •  Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said President Trump spoke to him about 'corruption on the DNC server'

  •  He acknowledged 'that's why we held up the money' designated for Ukraine

  • Ukraine was awaiting $390 million of mostly security aid as it fends off Russia

  • Mulvaney also confirmed that the president ordered top officials to work with his private lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine 

  • 'We do that all the time with foreign policy' 

  • 'Get over it' 


By GEOFF EARLE, DEPUTY U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 14:12 EDT, 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:12 EDT, 17 October 2019

     





Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged that he held up $390 million in security aide for Ukraine in order to pressure the country into pursuing a 2016 election probe being demanded by President Trump.
Trump and top administration officials have vigorously denied any 'quid pro quo' with Ukraine following a whistleblower's report that the White House was demanding a probe of the Bidens as well as Trump's conspiracy theory that the DNC server might be in Ukraine's possession.
But Mulvaney on Thursday vigorously defended holding up the congressionally appropriated funding in order to get the Ukrainians to investigate a Demoratic server from 2016, telling critics: 'Get over it.' 
In a rare White House briefing, Mulvaney denied any knowledge of a company linked to Hunter Biden – but said the money was in fact dangled to push what he called anti- 'corruption' efforts by Ukraine.  

[size=10][size=18]Mulvaney admits withholding Ukraine aid tied to investigations




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'The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that [Trump] was worried about in corruption with that nation. And that is absolutely appropriate,' said Mulvaney, confirming that the president ordered $390 million in Ukraine held up over the probe of the U.S. elections
He said of President Trump: 'Did he also mention to me in [passing] that the corruption that related to the DNC server? Absolutely, no question about that. But that's it. And that's why we held up the money.'
Mulvaney confirmed what Trump also said in a July phone call with the president of Ukraine: that he wanted an investigation related to the hacked Democratic National Committee Server. U.S. intelligence, the Mueller probe, and bipartisan congressional committees concluded that the Russians hacked Democratic servers. But Trump wants to explore an unproven theory that the Democratic server might be in Ukraine, where information came out that implicated his now jailed 2016 campaign chair Paul Manafort.
'The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that [Trump] was worried about in corruption with that nation. And that is absolutely appropriate,' said Mulvaney.
Pressed on holding up money to aid to get an investigation sought by the president, in a 'quid pro quo' for a probe of the DNC server, Mulvaney said: 'We do that all the time with foreign policy.' 
'I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy,' Mulvaney said. 


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Mulvaney said President Trump wanted Ukraine to take pursue 2016 'corruption' and said the matter was directly linked to U.S. aide appropriated by Congress
Asked again if that was why the funding got held up, Mulvaney said: 'Yeah.' Then he noted that it 'ultimately flowed' as required by the law and Congress.  
Mulvaney also confirmed that the president ordered top officials to work with his private lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine.
[size=18]US Ambassador to EU Sondland set to testify in impeachment probe




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Mulvaney called linking the funds to the president's search for a Democratic server 'absolutely appropriate'
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Democratic emails on the DNC server, as well as those belonging to Hillary Clinton chief of staff John Podesta were hacked during the 2016 elections. The Mueller report concluded the hacking was directed by the Kremlin
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Trump raised the issue personally in a phone call with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky
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Trump told Energy Secretary Rick Perry to work with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine, Perry said
[size=18]Trump suggests hacked Dem server may show 2016 election corruption




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'There was a May meeting and I think this is widely reported. [EU ambassador Gordon] Sondland mentioned it in his testimony and I'm pretty sure Rick Perry mentioned it yesterday … that in the May meeting in the Oval Office, that I was in, I think Senator [Ron] Johnson was there as well as Mr. [Kurt] Volker was there, the president asked Rick Perry to work with Mr. Giuliani,' he said. 
Asked if he thought that was appropriate, he replied: 'I wasn't asked.'
'And the answer to your question is that the president told Rick Perry, who I think was sort of, you know -- the issue -- one of the reasons we were in there, we were talking about energy and Ukraine as an energy partner. We were trying to get Ukraine as an energy partner. And so the president said to Mr. perry, go ahead and talk to Rudy' he said.
Giuliani, a vocal TV defender of the president during the Mueller probe, has been reported to be under a counterintelligence investigation dating back months related to his overseas work.
Two Giuliani associates were arrested this month and charged with campaign finance violations stemming from their efforts to cultivate politicians. Prosecutors allege they gave a contribution of more than $300,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC when the funds were actually financed by another source.
Mulvaney's statements were the latest to shed light on the multi-pronged effort to try to get Ukraine to take actions that a whistle-blower said were to promote President Trump's 2020 reelection.
U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sonland, was testifying behind closed doors Thursday about his personal phone interactions with Trump, who instructed him to work with Giuliani. 
Mulvaney's comments came at a White House briefing where he announced that the next G7 meeting for world leaders will be held at the president's private golf club in Miami.

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Post by annemarie on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 10:14

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7586917/Trump-says-Turkey-Kurds-needed-fight-like-two-kids.html

[size=34]Donald Trump says he allowed Turkish and Kurdish forces to fight 'like two kids in a lot' before 'you pull them apart' - but the five-day ceasefire deal he hailed as a 'great day for civilization' has ALREADY been broken[/size]


  • President Trump said Turkey and Kurds were like children who needed to fight

  • At a rally in Dallas he said, 'you have got to let them fight...then pull them apart'

  • Trump triggered week-long Turkish offensive against the Kurds in northern Syria 

  • US troops were withdrawn from northeast Syria sparking fierce fighting that left more than 500 people dead and 300,000 civilians displaced within Syria

  • Despite the five-day peace deal, the ceasefire was broken within 13 hours when fighting continued this morning with shelling of the border town of Ras al-Ayn

  • Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies committed 'war crimes' including executions during their offensive in northeast Syria, Amnesty International said


By CHRIS DYER FOR MAILONLINE and AFP and ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 00:22 EDT, 18 October 2019 | UPDATED: 05:08 EDT, 18 October 2019




President Donald Trump said he allowed Turkish and Kurdish forces to clash in deadly battles because the two sides were like children who needed to fight each other.
The president was speaking at a rally in Dallas last night when he boasted about the ceasefire brokered by Vice President Mike Pence in Turkey. 
But despite the five-day peace deal agreed yesterday, the deal was already broken by this morning when fighting continued in a Syrian border town.
The military action comes as images of burned children emerged yesterday, allegedly showing weapons such as napalm and white phosphorus being used on civilians. 

Trump triggered the week-long Turkish offensive against the Kurds by withdrawing US troops from northeast Syria, allowing Ankara's offensive across the border.
[size=10][size=18]Trump says he allowed Turkey and Kurds to fight 'like kids in a lot'




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President Donald Trump speaking during a campaign rally last night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. He told the the audience of die hard fans that the Kurds and Turks were 'like two kids in a lot, you have got to let them fight'
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Sporadic clashes between Turkish forces and Kurdish groups were ongoing in a battleground Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain (pictured this morning), despite Ankara's announcement of a five-day truce yesterday 
Trump told a rally of die hard supporters in Texas last night: 'It was unconventional what I did. I said they're going to have to fight a little while.'
'Like two kids in a lot, you have got to let them fight and then you pull them apart.
'They fought for a few days and it was pretty vicious.'
More than 500 people have been killed including dozens of civilians, mostly on the Kurdish side, and 300,000 civilians have been displaced within Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) war monitor.
Trump stressed that 'not one drop of American blood' was shed as he pledged to keep US troops out of 'endless wars' in the Middle East.
After talks with Vice President Mike Pence yesterday, Turkey agreed to suspend its offensive and to end the assault if Kurdish-led forces withdraw from a safe zone along the border.
'We went there and we said we want a pause, and the Kurds have been terrific. They're going to move back a little bit,' Trump said.
'We are going to keep ISIS nice and locked up. We are going to find more of them, and Turkey is all set.'
Yesterday Trump hailed the success of the peace agreement as a 'great day for civilization' despite Turkish officials down playing the outcome of the deal.  
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (left) meeting Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (right) at the Presidential Complex in Ankara yesterday to broker a deal
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19874780-7586917-Turkey_backed_Syrian_rebel_fighters_gesture_as_they_stand_at_a_b-a-50_1571389722982

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Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters gesture as they stand at a back of a truck in the border town of Tal Abyad, Syria, yesterday 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19876270-7586917-Turkish_soldiers_are_seen_in_an_undated_image_above_in_the_borde-a-53_1571389722986

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Turkish soldiers are seen in an undated image (above) in the border town of Tal Abyad, Syria, in this photo released yesterday 
Pence announced the US and Turkey reached a deal to suspend Ankara's operations in northern Syria for five days to allow Kurds time to withdraw to a 'safe zone'.
Along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Pence spent more than four hours meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials in Ankara in order to get a deal.
The ceasefire agreement requires the Kurdish fighters to vacate a swathe of territory in Syria along the Turkish border, largely solidifying Turkey's position. 
Turkish officials down played the agreement, saying they agreed to suspend operations to let the Kurds withdraw and emphasized it was 'not a ceasefire'. 
And within 13 hours of the announcement, shelling and smoke could be seen around the town of Ras al-Ayn this morning. 
Smoke billowed over the buildings as gunfire and shelling could be heard inside the city, though it was unclear which side was firing, according to official observers. 
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported intermittent clashes in Ras al-Ayn but relative calm elsewhere since the ceasefire. 
The city, also known as Sari Kani, has been the center of the majority of the fighting since Turkish President Erdogan invaded the country more than a week ago following Trump's US troops withdraw.  
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19876258-7586917-Turkish_backed_Syrian_fighters_driving_armored_vehicles_from_nor-a-54_1571389722987

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Turkish-backed Syrian fighters driving armored vehicles from northern Syria for a military operation in Kurdish areas near the border today
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19875138-7586917-Turkish_backed_Syrian_fighters_sitting_in_the_middle_of_a_rounda-a-47_1571389722954

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Turkish-backed Syrian fighters sitting in the middle of a roundabout in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad yesterday 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19875142-7586917-Fighting_continued_in_a_northeast_Syrian_border_town_Ras_al_Ayn_-a-48_1571389722954

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Fighting continued in a northeast Syrian border town Ras al-Ayn (pictured above today) despite a US-brokered ceasefire that went into effect overnight
The fighting today came after the commander of Kurdish-led forces in Syria, Mazloum Abdi, told Kurdish TV late on Thursday: 'We will do whatever we can for the success of the ceasefire agreement.' 
But one Kurdish official, Razan Hiddo, declared that the Kurdish people would refuse to live under Turkish occupation.
Today a member of the Syrian Kurdish force said its fighters will not pull back from border towns, asserting that an agreement with Turkey to vacate those areas 'will not work'. 
While the Kurds call it a cease-fire, Turkey refers to the agreement as  a pause and the two sides disagree on the size of the cease-fire area. 
Kurdish fighters have already been driven out of much - but not all - of a swathe of territory that stretches about 60 miles along the middle of the Syrian-Turkish border, between Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad.
Still entrenched in Ras al-Ayn, Kurdish forces were fiercely battling Turkish-backed Syrian fighters trying to take the town yesterday.
Turkey's pro-government dominated media hailed the US-Turkish ceasefire deal as a victory for Turkey's president. 
Erdogan's plan for a 20-mile deep 'safe zone', instigated by his so-called 'Operation Peace Spring', were scuppered last night when President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian forces rolled into the symbolic border stronghold of Kobane. 
Kurdish commanders begged the Syrian regime in Damascus to come to their aid after their US allies during the fierce battle to push back the so-called caliphate left them to the mercy of Turkish-backed forces. 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19875572-7586917-Turkish_President_Erdogan_wanted_to_install_an_20_mile_safe_zone-a-52_1571389722986

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Turkish President Erdogan wanted to install an 20-mile 'safe zone' along the Syrian side of the border as part of his 'Operation Peace Spring'. Despite a ceasefire agreed yesterday with the US, fighting was still seen in the border town of Ras al-Ain 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19876350-7586917-A_girl_who_was_injured_in_the_ongoing_Turkish_offensive_against_-a-55_1571389722987

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A girl who was injured in the ongoing Turkish offensive against Kurdish-controlled areas of northeastern Syria lying at a hospital in Tal Tamr, near the Syrian Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain on Tuesday (the above image was released by Kurdish news channel RUDAW today) 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19875544-7586917-President_Donald_Trump_speaking_during_a_Keep_America_Great_Camp-a-51_1571389722985

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President Donald Trump speaking during a 'Keep America Great' Campaign Rally at American Airlines Center in Dallas Texas last night
Kurdish officials posted a video on social media showing children with burns, injuries that one doctor in Hasakeh province claimed were consistent with the use of banned weapons. 
But the British-based war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said it could not confirm the allegation that napalm-like weapons were being used on the Kurds.
The war monitor did say it had seen a spike in burn wounds over the last two days from casualties, including civilians. 
Amnesty International today said that Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies had committed 'war crimes', including summary executions and and 'unlawful attacks' during their offensive in northeast Syria, which began on October 9.
It also said Kurdish female politician Hevrin Khalaf and her bodyguard were summarily executed by members of the Syrian National Army, a Turkish-funded and trained group.
At least two more executions of Kurdish fighters were confirmed, while Turkey's Syrian allies had kidnapped two employees of a local medical organisation, Amnesty added.
Trump has already faced accusations even from usually loyal supporters in Washington that his withdrawal of 1,000 US troops betrayed Kurdish militants who bore the brunt of the fight against Islamic State in recent years.
Brett McGurk, former presidential special envoy for the anti-ISIS coalition, described Trump's remarks about 'two kids' fighting as 'obscene and ignorant.'
He said on Twitter: '200k innocent people displaced. Hundreds dead. Credible reports of war crimes. ISIS prisoners escaping. US evacuating and bombing its own positions or handing them to Russia. Two kids in a lot?'
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19873116-7586917-Smoke_rising_in_the_Syrian_town_of_Ras_al_Ain_during_the_Turkish-a-46_1571389722953

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Smoke rising in the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain during the Turkish offensive against Kurdish groups in northeastern Syria yesterday 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19873124-7586917-Military_vehicles_transporting_Syrian_regime_troops_and_rolled_u-a-45_1571389722952

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Military vehicles transporting Syrian regime troops and rolled up mattresses are stationed on the outskirts of the northern Syrian border town of Kobane on Wednesday 
After the peace deal was announced the White House repeatedly touted the fragile five-day ceasefire.  
Trump told the crowd at the campaign rally, the deal was the product of 'a gentleman' – Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan – seeing his own self-interest after 'a little tough love' in the form of a week of armed conflict. 
'American combat troops should not be at the center of ancient sectarian conflict all over the world,' he said. 'Bring our soldiers back home.'
He then described the American death toll from what he called 'stupid, senseless, endless wars'. 
Trump infuriated members of both political parties - including some of his strongest Republican allies - when he announced earlier this month he was withdrawing US troops from northern Syria.


He was accused of abandoning the Kurds, who are US allies in the region, and ceding control of the area to Russia, whose military vehicles were seen patrolling the war-torn region on behalf of President Assad.
A week of criticism from Capitol Hill compounded on Wednesday into a White House meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers where Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Trump of having a 'serious meltdown' when talking about the issue.
But the president gloried in the agreement on Thursday, calling Erdogan a 'hell of a leader'.
Ankara's operation, which Erdogan claims was to spread peace in the region, aims to remove the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) from areas near its border in northern Syria.
The offensive has so far killed at least 72 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.


[size=34]Syrian ceasefire broken 13 hours after it was agreed[/size]


A Syrian ceasefire brokered by Vice President Mike Pence in Turkey on Thursday had already been broken by Friday morning as gunfire and shelling was heard in the border city of Ras al-Ayn. 
The city, also known as Sari Kani, has been the centre of the majority of the fighting since Turkish President Erdogan invaded the country more than a week ago after President Trump ordered US troops to withdraw.
Amid outcry at home and abroad, Trump dispatched Pence to Ankara to end to the bloodshed - before a deal was announced that would see Turkey stop its attack while Kurdish forces withdraw from the border.
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While Kurdish leadership agreed to the deal it was far from clear that individual armed militias - who fought and died to claim the territory from ISIS - would willingly hand it over to Erdogan.
On Friday smoke rose over Ras al-Ayn as gunfire and shelling could be heard - though it was unclear who was firing at whom. 
The ceasefire had earlier been praised by U.S. President Donald Trump, who said it would save 'millions of lives,' while Turkey cast it as a complete victory.
If implemented, the deal would achieve all the main objectives Turkey announced when it launched its assault on Oct. 9: control of a strip of Syria more than 30 km (20 miles) deep, with the SDF forces - once U.S. allies in the years long fight against Islamic State - obliged to pull out.
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Republican and Democratic senators accused Trump of having betrayed the Kurdish allies who were vital in fighting Islamic State militants, of brushing aside the humanitarian costs of Turkey's invasion and of being outwitted by Ankara.
It was unclear what if any damage came from the shelling heard on Friday.
It was also unclear whether the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) would fully comply with the agreement, which would leave Turkish forces in charge of a swathe of territory that the Kurds once held with U.S. military support.

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Post by annemarie on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 10:16

Every time he opens his mouth you realize how much more stupid he truly is.

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Post by annemarie on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 16:44

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7588227/Retired-Navy-SEAL-oversaw-Osama-bin-Laden-raid-says-attack-Trump.html

[size=34]Former top Navy SEAL who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid says the US is 'under attack from the president' and that the nation was neglecting its duty to be 'the protectors of the less fortunate'[/size]


  • Retired Navy Admiral and Navy Seal William McRaven rebuked President Donald Trump after attending events honoring military top brass and soldiers

  • McRaven walked away from both events noting an 'underlying current of frustration, humiliation, anger and fear that echoed across the sidelines'

  • He added, that 'the America that they believed in was under attack, not from without, but from within' and criticized the administration for recent decisions

  • The Seal, who oversaw the raid on Osama Bin Laden in 2011, asked what was to become of 'millions of people under the boot of tyranny' 

  • He accused the president of being 'wrong' for thinking the nation's principles might be unimportant and weak

  • It wasn't the first time McRaven criticized Trump. He previously unloaded on the president for revoking the security clearance of former CIA chief John Brennan


By RALPH R. ORTEGA FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 09:59 EDT, 18 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:42 EDT, 18 October 2019

     





Retired Navy Admiral and Navy Seal William McRaven, who oversaw the raid on Al-Quaeda leader Osama bin Ladin, delivered a stinging rebuke of President Donald Trump, saying that military leadership and service members are worried over the nation's governance and decisions on the world stage.
McRaven, in the second time he has penned an opinion piece to express his disapproval of the president, recalled two recent events honoring military leaders and soldiers, where he sensed his fellow commanders and soldiers had their concerns too. 
'Beneath the outward sense of hope and duty that I witnessed at these two events, there was an underlying current of frustration, humiliation, anger and fear that echoed across the sidelines,' wrote McRaven. 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19886002-7588227-image-a-21_1571406228628

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Retired Navy Admiral and Navy Seal William McRaven (pictured above), who oversaw the raid on Al-Quaeda leader Osama bin Ladin, delivered a stinging rebuke of President Donald Trump, saying that military leadership and service members are worried over the nation's governance
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19883982-7588227-image-a-20_1571406032372

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It was the second time McRaven penned an opinion piece to express disapproval of President Donald Trump (pictured above). This time, McRaven writes about recent events honoring military leaders and soldiers, where he said commanders and soldiers had their concerns too
McRaven penned the piece in the New York Times Thursday after attending a command ceremony for a 'storied Army unit in which one general officer passed authority to another.'

'The second event,' he said, 'was an annual gala for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Society that recognizes past and present members of the intelligence and Special Operations community for their heroism and sacrifice to the nation.
'What struck me was the stark contrast between the words and deeds heralded at those events — and the words and deeds emanating from the White House,' he wrote in the Times. 
In the transition of power on the parade field at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where 'tens of thousands of soldiers have marched either preparing to go to war or returning from it, the two generals, highly decorated, impeccably dressed, cleareyed and strong of character, were humbled by the moment,' wrote McRaven.
'They understood the awesome responsibility that the nation had placed on their shoulders. They understood that they had an obligation to serve their soldiers and their soldiers' families,' explained the retired Navy admiral. 
'They believed in the American values for which they had been fighting for the past three decades. They had faith that these values were worth sacrificing everything for — including, if necessary, their lives.' 
In that same week, while attending the OSS Society dinner, he recalled films and testimonials 'to the valor of the men and women who had fought in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. 
'We also celebrated the 75th anniversary of D-Day, recognizing those brave Americans and allies who sacrificed so much to fight Nazism and fascism,' McRaven added. 
In summarizing the events, he said about those who were honored, that 'the America that they believed in was under attack, not from without, but from within'. 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19884116-7588227-image-a-24_1571406282928

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McRaven oversaw the raid that lead on Osama bin Laden's hideout inside a Pakistani villa (pictured above) in 2011
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Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden (pictured above) was found by Navy Seals under McRaven's leadership during the 2011 raid on his hideout inside a Pakistani villa
[size=10][size=18]Osama Bin Laden's guarded Abbottabad hideout villa




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'These men and women, of all political persuasions, have seen the assaults on our institutions: on the intelligence and law enforcement community, the State Department and the press', charged McRaven. 'They have seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen, preferring their government narrative to our own.'
He said those he witnessed being honored 'have seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield's 
McRaven even quoted one retired four-star general, who 'grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, 'I don't like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!''
He warned that it was easy for harm to come from those with no appreciation for an organization, and seemed to reference some of the president's fiery rhetoric.
'We are not the most powerful nation in the world because of our aircraft carriers, our economy, or our seat at the United Nations Security Council,' McRaven wrote. 'We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys.'
'We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate,' he added. 
He delivered more warnings that hinted at recent foreign policy decisions made by the Trump administration, and referenced American values, 'duty and honor, in helping 'the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice.' 


'What will happen to the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Syrians, the Rohingyas, the South Sudanese and the millions of people under the boot of tyranny or left abandoned by their failing states?' he asked.
He finishes his comments by questioning how allies could still trust the US. He even suggested why men and women would even want to join the military.
'And if they don't join, who will protect us? If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us? And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?' he asked.
McRaven accused Trump of seeing the nation's 'qualities' as unimportant, or showing weakness. 
'He is wrong,' wrote McRaven. 'These are the virtues that have sustained this nation for the past 243 years. If we hope to continue to lead the world and inspire a new generation of young men and women to our cause, then we must embrace these values now more than ever. 
'And if this president doesn't understand their importance,' he added, 'if this president doesn't demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner, the better. 
'The fate of our Republic depends upon it.'
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The criticism of Trump and his administration wasn't McRaven's first. In August 2018, McRaven (pictured above) disapproved of a decision revoking the security clearance of former CIA chief John Brennan in an open letter that ran in the Washington Post
In August 2018, he made his disapproval of a decision revoking the security clearance of former CIA chief John Brennan clear by demanding that  his be canceled as well.
McRaven, in an open letter published in The Washington Post, defended Brennan as 'one of the finest public servants I have ever known' and accused Trump of using 'McCarthy-era tactics.'
'Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John,' McRaven wrote of Brennan. 'He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don't know him.'
'Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.'
Not all military personnel shared his views, at least not to the degree McRaven suggests in his Times piece.
Robert O'Neill the Navy SEAL credited with firing three fatal bullets into bin Laden's head during the 2011 raid on his hideout inside a Pakistani villa, tweeted after the Post published the letter that he wasn't siding with McRaven.
'I have nothing but respect and love for ADM McRaven. Yes I've seen this. We simply disagree,' O'Niell wrote.

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Post by annemarie on Fri 18 Oct 2019, 23:22

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7589439/President-Trump-gets-fact-checked-space.html

[size=34]Earth to Trump! President gets fact-checked from space after saying all-female spacewalk was 'first ever female spacewalk' during his live call to the two American astronauts aboard the ISS[/size]


  • Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir conducted the first all-female spacewalk at 07:38am ET  

  • Trump congratulated the pair, but commended them for being first ever female spacewalkers

  • Meir corrected him by saying there have been numerous women before - a total of 15 to be exact


By STACY LIBERATORE FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and SAM BLANCHARD and MILLY VINCENT FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 15:10 EDT, 18 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:05 EDT, 18 October 2019


President Donald Trump was fact-checked from Space today when he contacted the International Space Station to commend Jessica Meir and Christina Koch for completing the all-female spacewalk outside of the craft, but mistakenly congratulated the two for being the 'first ever female spacewalkers'. 
There was a delay before anyone from the space station could speak, but Meir chimed in and made it clear that she and Koch are not the first female spacewalkers – the first female spacewalk took place in 1984 and 14 more have since followed. 
President Trump addressed Koch and Meir while sitting at a table between his daughter Ivanka Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, surrounded by NASA officials and a group of Girl Scouts at the White House.
'This is the first time for a woman outside of the space station,' Trump said staring into the camera.

He later added: 'You are amazing people; they're conducting the first ever female spacewalk to replace an exterior part of the space station.
'They're doing some work, and they're doing it in a very high altitude — an altitude that very few people will ever see.' 
Meir can then be heard correcting the president, explaining that today marked the first time there has been two women outside at the same time.
Scroll down for videos 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19899286-7589439-US_President_Donald_Trump_center_put_in_a_congratulatory_call_to-a-13_1571426789675

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US President Donald Trump (center) put in a congratulatory call to astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch, but mistakenly noted that this was the first time a female has ever ventured outside of the craft
[size=10][size=18]Trump congratulates astronauts before first ever all-female spacewalk




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WHAT WAS SAID? 


President Trump: 'I just want to congratulate you, what you do is incredible. You are very brave people. I don’t think I would want to do it, but I must tell you that you are amazing people.'
'They are conducting the first ever female spacewalk to replace an exterior part of the space station.'
'They’re doing some work and they are doing it in a very high altitude, an altitude that very few people will ever see.'
'Congratulations to Christina and Jessica on this historic event.'
'This is truly historic and you are right now on television all over the world, so don’t get nervous.'
'I would like to ask you a question.'
'What would you like to tell everyone listening and watching today, especially young girls and women who are interested in space.'
Jessica Meir: 'We don't want to take too much credit because there have been many other female spacewalkers before.'
'This is the first time that there's been two women outside at the same time.'




'We don't want to take too much credit because there have been many other female spacewalkers before,' she said.
'This is the first time that there's been two women outside at the same time.'
The first woman to complete a spacewalk was Russian astronaut Svetlana Yevgenyevna Savitskaya in 1984 – a total of 15 women have ever spacewalked, including Meir and Koch.
Regardless of the blunder, Koch and Meir will still go in history books for the first all-female spacewalk.
The duo left the International Space Station at 07:38am ET (12:38pm BST) today to begin the first all-female spacewalk ever.
Their job was to fix a broken part of the station's solar power network. 
The pair moved to the space station's P6 truss at the far end to begin work, where they replaced a failed power controller. 
The spacewalk was streamed live by NASA and is a landmark moment for female astronauts and scientists.
An all-woman spacewalk had been planned for March but one of the astronauts was replaced by a man because her space suit didn't fit.  
The first American female spacewalker, who carried out her own mission 35 years ago, Kathy Sullivan, said she was delighted by today's milestone.  
And a NASA spokesperson said: 'Our achievements provide inspiration to students around the world, proving that hard work can lead you to great heights, and all students should be able to see themselves in those achievements.' 
Koch and Meir replaced battery units called BCDUs after they failed to provide increased power to the ISS.
This failure has not significantly impacted the crew or its mission but needs to be repaired nonetheless. 
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Jessica Meir (left) and Christina Koch (right) have made it safely back inside of the International Space Station after fixing exterior parts of the craft
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Meir (right) chimed in to clarify that there has been 'many other female spacewalkers before' – the first woman to spacewalk took place in 1984 and 14 more have since followed. Her and Koch (left) participated in the first ever all-female spacewalk
According to NASA, BCDUs regulate the charge for batteries that draw energy from the station's solar collectors to provide power as the station orbits at night.
Koch, who is also set to complete the longest single spaceflight by a woman as she remains in orbit until February 2020, said gender milestones like the spacewalk were especially significant.
'There are a lot of people who derive motivation from inspiring stories from people who look like them, and I think that it´s an important aspect of the story to tell,' she told a NASA briefing in Houston this month.
'What we´re doing now shows all the work in the decades prior from all the women that worked to get us where we are today,' Meir added.
Koch, who was slated for the earlier spacewalk, will be making her fourth walk and will become the 14th woman ever to walk in space. Today will mark Meir's first spacewalk. The ISS has seen more than 200 spacewalks since 1998.
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An all-woman spacewalk had been planned for March but one of the astronauts was replaced by a man because her space suit didn't fit. However, Meir (left) and Koch (right) were able to complete the spacewalk and make history
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Koch can be seen during today's space walk with a red band around her space suit leg
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NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir exiting the International Space Station
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Jessica Meir's helmet cam as she moved along the ISS to the work station
[size=18]NASA makes history with first ever all-female spacewalk




[/size]


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NASA, astronauts Christina Koch, right, and, Jessica Meir pose for a photo on the International Space Station
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NASA makes history as two women astronauts embark on the first ever all-female spacewalk from the ISS
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The pair exited the International Space Station at 07:38am ET (12:38pm BST)
The planned all-woman spacewalk in March was called off because astronaut Ann McClain needed a medium spacesuit but only a large was available. 
Due to safety issues with the fit she did not participate and man took her place, making today the revised date for the landmark mission.
'We must never accept a risk that can instead be mitigated,' she said on Twitter after the event. 'Safety of the crew and execution of the mission come first.'
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Watchers took to Twitter to share their delight at the first all-female space walk in history taking place 
At the time the cancellation drew widespread criticism, including from former U.S. First Lady Hillary Clinton and global activism group March for Science.
Woman completing spacewalks date back to July, 1984 when Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first to do so. 
Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov – who died just last week – conducted history's first spacewalk in 1965, four years before the US put men on the moon for the first time.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19883470-7589439-Others_jokingly_asked_whether_the_women_would_be_paid_the_same_f-a-22_1571426789698


Others jokingly asked whether the women would be paid the same for the walk
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Christina H. Koch, left, and Meir greeted each other after Meir's arrival on the International Space Station last month
[size=18]NASA unveils new spacesuits that makes it easier to move on moon




Lo
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While today's event was a long time coming, NASA said it was not planned.
'It is something that was bound to happen eventually, and the increase in female astronauts in space for the past year is providing another window of opportunity,' a spokeswoman said.
'Fifty percent of the 2013 astronaut candidate class are women,' she noted, 'and of the 11 members of 2017 astronaut candidate class still in training, five are women.'
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NASA astronauts Christina Koch (L) and Jessica Meir (R) in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, September 2019
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This photo provided by NASA shows astronauts Andrew Morgan with Christina Koch and Jessica Meir at the International Space Station on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019

[size=34]VALENTINA TERESHKOVA: THE FIRST WOMAN IN SPACE[/size]


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[size=16]
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Valentina Tereshkova (aged 26)

Valentina Tereshkova, 82, became a national heroine at the age of 26 when she made the first female solo space flight.
The former textile worker completed her groundbreaking space mission in 1963 in the spaceship Vostok VI.
Ms Tereshkova was an amateur parachutist when she was recruited into a cosmonaut programme in Moscow.
She was trained with three other women as part of Kruschev's project for the first woman in space to be from the Soviet Union.
But she was the only woman to complete the mission. She was honored with the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
During her three-day mission, she circled the Earth 48 times and set a new record for time in space by completing the most orbits in the shortest recorded time.
Her flight was a major propaganda coup for the Soviet Union.
She was later given the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace in her role as a spokesperson for the Soviet Union. 
[/size]

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Post by annemarie on Sat 19 Oct 2019, 13:06

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7590113/Students-walk-protest-firing-school-security-guard-repeating-n-word.html

[size=34]High school students stage a walkout in support of security guard who was fired for telling a student not to call him a 'n***a' - as Cher vows to pay his legal fees if he sues school district[/size]


  • Cher shared in a tweet that she would 'incur' 48-year-old Marlon Anderson's legal fees if he chose to sue the Madison Metropolitan School District 

  • Cher's passionate tweet came just hours after students from West High School in Madison staged a protest in support of the guard

  • The protest was organized by the West Black Student Union at the school and led by Anderson's son, Noah

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County announced on Friday that they had hired as the Director of Program Operations

  • In a brief Facebook post made on Wednesday, Marlon Anderson shared that he was fired from the Madison Metropolitan School District 

  • He was assisting an incident at West High School when a student - identified as black - started using the slur against him 

  • Anderson shares he felt 'targeted' by the assistant principal at the school who held a radio near the guard as he and the student talked 


By MATTHEW WRIGHT FOR DAILYMAIL.COM 
PUBLISHED: 19:40 EDT, 18 October 2019 | UPDATED: 22:36 EDT, 18 October 2019

     


Iconic singer Cher and Wisconsin high school students have both voiced their support for a black security guard who was fired for telling a student not to call him the n-word, using the slur and ultimately going against school policy. 
The legendary songstress shared in a tweet that she would 'incur' 48-year-old Marlon Anderson's legal fees if he chose to sue the Madison Metropolitan School District. 
'How can people be this disrespectful?' Cher asked in a Friday tweet, referencing a tweet that featured an emotional quote from Anderson.
'A beloved man of color just passed and our nations mourning him. Congressman Elijah Cummings fought for justice. He was loved and feared. If you want to sue MMSD Ed. Board, I will incur your expenses.'  

Scroll down for video 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19906560-7590113-image-a-8_1571441600280

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Cher shared in a tweet that she would 'incur' 48-year-old Marlon Anderson's legal fees if he chose to sue the Madison Metropolitan School District
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19906550-7590113-image-m-10_1571441829875


Cher's passionate tweet came just hours after students from West High School in Madison staged a protest in support of the guard

Gray Television, Inc. Privacy Policy
Cher's passionate tweet came just hours after students from West High School in Madison staged a protest in support of the guard who is appealing his termination. 
The protest was organized by the West Black Student Union at the school and led by Anderson's son, Noah.
Students walked from the school to the school district offices where Noah spoke on the difference of using the word as a slur versus as a statement.  
'What my father did is take a teachable moment from an African American male to a younger African American male. Why he shouldn't use the word and not refer to himself that way?' Noah said, WMTV reports.
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The Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County announced hours later that they had hired as the Director of Program Operations
Noah added that the walkout was just the beginning in getting the community to become more inclusive.  
'There has been tension in the MMSD for a while, and my dad just had to be a sacrifice for it. We're going to get it fixed - especially with all the support that we see,' Noah explained.
'We started with what we want as students and that we want our voices to be heard. Anytime you make any type of decision and that they need to go into the communities - anytime they make a decision that affect a certain group of people.'
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County announced hours later that they had hired as the Director of Program Operations. 
'Marlon Anderson has an amazing track record working with local teens. Our CEO Michael Johnson worked with Marlon today to solidify a leadership role with Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County,' the center said in a Facebook post. 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19862040-7586247-image-a-26_1571356311674
In a brief Facebook post made on Wednesday, Marlon Anderson shared that he was fired from the Madison Metropolitan School District
'Effective Monday, he will serve as our Director of Program Operations managing volunteer engagement, special initiatives and teen recruitment. 
We are pleased to welcome Marlon to this temporary position until his appeal is finalized by Madison Metropolitan School District. 
MMSD Interim Superintendent Jane Belmore released a statement saying more conversation would be needed to get a better response for the usage of the word.   
In a brief Facebook post made on Wednesday, Anderson shared that he was fired from the Madison Metropolitan School District. 
He claimed that a student repeatedly called him a 'b***h a*s n***a.' 
'I responded 'do not call me n***a !' And I got fired,' Anderson said in the post that has been shared more than 500 times and has more than 1000 shares. 
He explained to the Wisconsin State Journal that he had been responding to a call to assist the assistant principal at West High School in escorting a disruptive student. 
The student - identified as being black - reportedly shoved the administrator's hand and started shouting obscenities at Anderson that included the n-word. 
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He was assisting an incident at West High School when a student - identified as black - started using the slur against him
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Anderson shares he felt 'targeted' by the assistant principal at the school who held a radio near the guard as he and the student talked


As Anderson told the student not to call him that, he claims the assistant principal turned on the mic on a radio and moved it so that other staff radios could hear what he was saying. 
Anderson shares he felt 'targeted' as a result. 
The security guard said that he has been called the slur by students from both East and West High School 'many times'. Those moments often end in 'restorative conversations' between him and the students. 
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Anderson is appealing the termination and has the backing of his community, who feel the policy is 'lazy'
West High Principal Karen Boran sent an email to parents on Wednesday to inform them of the 'serious incident' that involved 'a staff member using a racial slur with students'. 
'As you know, our expectation when it comes to racial slurs has been very clear,' Boran said. 'Regardless of context or circumstance, racial slurs are not acceptable in our schools.' 
Boran added that the zero-tolerance approach 'has been applied consistently and will continue to be applied consistently.'
'I also want to ask for your partnership as we work to make our school climate the very best it can be for all of our students and our staff,' she added.
Superintendent Jane Belmore reiterated the sentiment, adding that there 'has been shared several times through communication and professional development.'
In the last school year, there were at least seven cases where employees were either fired or resigned for using the slur. 
Anderson is appealing the termination and has the backing of his community, who feel the policy is 'lazy'. 
'MMSD needs to modify this lazy, harmful and whole-punched policy that allows it to avoid doing the real work that any HR department should do by looking at the context in which such a word (or any other) is used,' explained Kaleem Caire, former CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison. 
'They are an academic institution and should be educating themselves and young people about the use of words like N****r, not running from it. 
She later added: 'Marlon should get his job back plus back-pay. Sometimes leaders have to admit they made a mistake rather than hide behind the mistakes they've made. It feels like that is what MMSD is doing here 
They committed to a flawed policy that was reactionary and not well thought through.'

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Post by annemarie Yesterday at 12:51

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7592723/Trump-bemoans-G7-summit-no-longer-held-Doral-golf-resort.html

[size=34]Trump bows to pressure as he reveals that the G7 summit will no longer be held at his Doral golf resort, blaming the media and Democrat's 'irrational hostility' after he tried to claim the offer would have been for 'no profit'[/size]


  • President Trump bemoaned that 'media and Democrat crazed and irrational hostility' prompted him to no longer consider the golf resort  

  • He added: 'We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately. Thank you!'

  • The move followed huge backlash over announcement the G7 would be held at one of his own businesses 

  • Chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had attempted to claim Trump's offer was 'vastly cheaper' than other venues because president was offering it 'at cost'

  • He did not mention the benefits that the prestige of the event, and the connections it could afford his property, would have on the business 


By MATTHEW WRIGHT FOR DAILYMAIL.COM  and GEOFF EARLE, DEPUTY U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 22:39 EDT, 19 October 2019 | UPDATED: 02:44 EDT, 20 October 2019

     




President Donald Trump has announced that Trump National Doral will no longer host the G7 summit in 2020,  blaming the 'media and democrat crazed and irrational hostility.'
Trump bemoaned that the decision to 'no longer consider' his own property for the massive summit came after he was blasted by intense criticism from the two parties.  
He added: 'We will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately. Thank you!' 
The move followed a furious backlash over the announcement the G7 would be held at one of his own businesses.

Chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had previously touted Trump's offer, claiming it was 'vastly cheaper' than other venues because president was offering it 'at cost'. He did not mention the benefits that the prestige of the event, and the connections it could afford his property, would have on the business. 
Trump's U-turn came just 30 minutes after he tweeted his reasoning for wanting to host the summit on his own grounds. 
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Trump bemoaned that the decision to 'no longer consider' his own property for the massive summit came after he was blasted by intense criticism from the two parties
'I thought I was doing something very good for our Country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 Leaders,' he exclaimed. 'It is big, grand, on hundreds of acres, next to MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, has tremendous ballrooms & meeting rooms, and each delegation would have its own 50 to 70 unit building. Would set up better than other alternatives. 
'I announced that I would be willing to do it at NO PROFIT or, if legally permissible, at ZERO COST to the USA. But, as usual, the Hostile Media & their Democrat Partners went CRAZY!'
Many in the thread for those tweets pointed out that hosting the summit would violate the emoluments clause which bans the president from taking 'any present, emolument or office' from a foreign state.
And while Trump claimed that the summit would be at no profit, skeptics pointed out that the catering and amenities would more than likely also come from Doral. Others noted that the attention to Doral would serve as free advertisement for the resort. 
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The announcement came just 30 minutes after Trump tweeted his reasonings for wanting to host the summit on his own grounds.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19943736-7592723-image-a-3_1571537882299


Trump claimed that he was willing to host the event for 'no profit' but failed to mention the free advertising he would get from having the event 
Donald Trump wanted to host next year's Group of Seven economic summit of developed world leaders at one of his own properties, the Trump National Doral golf resort near Miami, the White House said on Thursday.
White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters the summit would take place there on June 10-12, 2020, calling it 'the perfect physical location to do this.'
Trump had floated the possibility during his visit to France for this year's G7 meeting in August, touting the resort's size and its proximity to the Miami airport, though he insisted he would not directly profit from the choice.
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And while Trump claimed that the summit would be at no profit, skeptics pointed out that the catering and amenities would more than likely also come from Doral
Mulvaney told reporters in the White House press briefing room that it would be 'vastly cheaper' than other places and the Trump Organization was charging 'cost.'
'There's no issue here on him profiting from this in any way, shape or form,' he said. 
He claimed that one rival venue was ruled out because it would have needed 'oxygen tanks' for participants. 
Mulvaney said that it was in fact Trump who had suggested adding his own resort to the shortlist. 
He said that a group of staff had met with the president to discuss a shortlist for the G7 venues and Trump said: 'What about Doral?'
Mulvaney said: 'You know what that's not the craziest idea we have ever heard.' 
'It makes perfect sense,' he said. 
[size=10][size=18]Mick Mulvaney announces the 46th G7 Summit will be in Miami




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Winner: The Trump resort in Doral, just outside Miami, will host the G7 in June next year
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White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters the G7 summit would take place at Trump Doral  on June 10-12, 2020.


But asked by DailyMail.com if the White House would reveal a paper trail of how it decided to select Doral, Mulvaney said: 'If you want to see how we did this, the answer is no.'
The chief of staff said that he knew in advance of the decision that critics would ask if it was a breach of the emoluments clause which bans the president from taking 'any present, emolument or office' from a foreign state.
Mulvaney said that because the president would not 'profit,' the move was perfectly legal. 
'There's no issue here on him profiting from this in any way, shape or form,' Mulvaney said. 
'We're going to have it there, and there's going to be folks who will never get over the fact that it's a Trump property. We get that, but we're still going there.
'The president knows exactly that he's going to get these questions and he's simply saying that's fine - I'm willing to take that.' 
Mulvaney said that he knew people would see it as 'a huge branding opportunity,' but claimed that the president's brand is already 'the biggest in the world.'  
'Donald Trump's brand is probably strong enough as it is,' Mulvaney said. 
'It's the most recognizable name in the English language and probably around the world right now.'
When the United States has hosted the summit before, it has been held in Puerto Rico; Williamsburg, Virginia; Houston; Denver; Sea Island, Georgia; and Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.
Mulvaney said that there had been an initial list of 12 venues, of which 10 were visited by an 'advance team.' They were in states including California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.
They were whittled down to four finalists visited by a 'senior team,' with two venues in Utah and one in Hawaii losing out to Doral. 
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Winning: Donald Trump headed to Texas and was in the air on Air Force One when his chief of staff announced the Doral resort will host the G7
Mulvaney said: 'It's almost like they built this facility to host this type of event.' 
At two points he mistakenly called Doral 'Mar-a-Lago,' offering more airtime to another Trump property. 
Trump has repeatedly attacked Joe Biden, a leading Democratic presidential candidate and former vice-president, over his son's business ties in Ukraine and China, which Trump has repeatedly called corrupt, without evidence.
Asked how the president's use of his private business properties to host official government events differed from Trump's allegations against the Bidens, Mulvaney told reporters there would be no profit and said the family had made their money before Trump became president in January 2017.
'That's very different,' he claimed. 'There's no profit here, clearly there's profit with the Bidens.'
Trump has said he is not involved with the day-to-day operations of his private company and that his sons run the business.
Within minutes of the announcement, Democrats called the decision 'a clear effort to use the power of the Presidency for self-enrichment.'
The House Appropriations Committee said it had already put forward bans on the federal government spending money at Trump resorts to prepare for a G7 summit and challenged Senate Republicans to follow suit. 
'As we prepare to negotiate final appropriations bills, Senate Republicans will have to choose whether to stand up to this blatant corruption or once again allow President Trump to violate basic norms and profit off the Presidency,' the Democrats said in a statement. 
House Judiciary Chairman Jerold Nadler fumed: 'The Administration's announcement that President Trump's Doral Miami resort will be the site of the next G7 summit is among the most brazen examples yet of the President's corruption. He is exploiting his office and making official U.S. government decisions for his personal financial gain. The Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution exist to prevent exactly this kind of corruption.'
Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland told the Washington Post Democrats could schedule a resolution of disapproval on the issue, and that it could figure in their impeachment plans. Under the constitution, 'emoluments' are only allowed with the express approval of Congress.
Although such a resolution would not carry the weight of law, the House would be on record against it, and Democrats could include the issue in a general emoluments aspect to their impeachment inquiry.
'The president's conversion of his public office into an instrument of private profit and political reelection is the cardinal sin of his presidency,' Raskin told the paper. 'The government is not the president's private property. The emoluments clauses are essential to framing the high crimes and misdemeanors of the president,' he said.
June is one of the hottest months in Miami, with average temperatures of 86 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Mulvaney repeatedly said the president would not profit on the G7 – although Doral has seen a steep slump in revenue since Trump took office, and experience high vacancy rates in June.
 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has already filed a lawsuit saying hosting the G-7 at Doral would violate the Constitution's Emoluments Clause. 
'There is now no question that the American government is being used as a public relations and marketing subsidiary of the Trump Organization,' said the group's executive director, Noah Bookbinder.

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Post by annemarie Yesterday at 12:58

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7592771/Defense-chief-US-troops-leaving-Syria-western-Iraq.html

[size=34]US troops will NOT be pulling out of Middle East, says Pentagon chief who admits soldiers will simply be redeployed to Iraq to continue fighting ISIS[/size]


  • Defense Secretary Mark Esper says US soldiers pulling out of Syria will be sent to western Iraq 

  • Esper says American troops in Iraq will conduct operations to prevent re-emergence of ISIS 

  • President Trump ordered most of the 1,000 US soldiers in Syria to withdraw after speaking with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the phone

  • Turkey has sent its troops into northern Syria to push back Kurdish forces it considers 'terrorists' 


By ASSOCIATED PRESS and ARIEL ZILBER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 22:48 EDT, 19 October 2019 | UPDATED: 04:07 EDT, 20 October 2019

     


Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that under the current plan all US troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence.
Speaking to reporters traveling with him to the Middle East, Esper did not rule out the idea that US forces would conduct counterterrorism missions from Iraq into Syria. 
But he said those details will be worked out over time.
His comments were the first to specifically lay out where American troops will go as they leave Syria and what the counter-IS fight could look like. 

Esper said he has spoken to his Iraqi counterpart about the plan to shift the more than 700 troops leaving Syria into western Iraq.
The developments made clear that one of President Donald Trump's rationales for withdrawing troops from Syria was not going to come to pass any time soon. 
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Defense Secretary Mark Esper (above) says that American troops will not be pulling out of the Middle East anytime soon
'It's time to bring our soldiers back home,' he said Wednesday. 
But they are not coming home.
As Esper left Washington on Saturday, US troops were continuing to pull out of northern Syria after Turkey's invasion into the border region. 


Reports of sporadic clashes continued between Turkish-backed fighters and the US-allied Syria Kurdish forces despite a five-day cease-fire agreement hammered out on Friday between US and Turkish leaders.
Trump ordered the bulk of the approximately 1,000 US troops in Syria to withdraw after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made it clear in a phone call that his forces were about to invade Syria to push back Kurdish forces that Turkey considers terrorists.
The pullout largely abandons the Kurdish allies who have fought the Islamic State group alongside US troops for several years. Between 200 and 300 US troops will remain at the southern Syrian outpost of Al-Tanf.
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US military vehicles are seen in Syria's northern city of Manbij in this December 2018 file photo. Esper says that American soldiers pulling out of Syria will be sent to western Iraq
Esper said the troops going into Iraq will have two missions.
'One is to help defend Iraq and two is to perform a counter-ISIS mission as we sort through the next steps,' he said. 
'Things could change between now and whenever we complete the withdrawal, but that's the game plan right now.'
The US currently has more than 5,000 American forces in Iraq, under an agreement between the two countries. 
The US pulled its troops out of Iraq in 2011 when combat operations there ended, but they went back in after the Islamic State group began to take over large swaths of the country in 2014. 
The number of American forces in Iraq has remained small due to political sensitivities in the country, after years of what some Iraqis consider US occupation during the war that began in 2003.
Esper said he will talk with other allies at a NATO meeting in the coming week to discuss the way ahead for the counter-IS mission.
Asked if US special operations forces will conduct unilateral military operations into Syria to go after IS, Esper said that is an option that will be discussed with allies over time.
He said one of his top concerns is what the next phase of the counter-IS missions looks like, 'but we have to work through those details.' 
He said that if US forces do go in, they would be protected by American aircraft.
While he acknowledged reports of intermittent fighting despite the cease-fire agreement, he said that overall it 'generally seems to be holding. We see a stability of the lines, if you will, on the ground.'
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Turkish-backed Syrian opposition fighters ride atop their armored personnel carrier to cross the border into Syria on Friday
He also said that, so far, the Syrian Democratic Forces that partnered with the US to fight IS have maintained control of the prisons in Syria where they are still present.
The Turks, he said, have indicated they have control of the IS prisons in their areas.
'I can't assess whether that's true or not without having people on the ground,' said Esper.
He added that the US withdrawal will be deliberate and safe, and will take 'weeks not days.'
According to a US official on Saturday, about a couple of hundred troops have left Syria so far. 
The US forces have been largely consolidated in one location in the west and a few locations in the east.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing operations, said the US military is not closely monitoring the effectiveness of the cease-fire, but is aware of sporadic fighting and violations of the agreement. 
The official said it will still take a couple of weeks to get forces out of Syr

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Post by annemarie Today at 01:20

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7594321/Mitt-Romney-laying-groundwork-post-Trump-Republican-era.html


[size=34]'The president will not be the president forever': Mitt Romney says America is in 'critical times' and is laying the groundwork for a post-Trump Republican era[/size]


  • Utah Senator Mitt Romney says he is looking past Trump's presidency 

  • He tells The Atlantic: 'The president will not be the president forever' 

  • 'Berating another person, or calling them names, or demeaning a class of people, not telling the truth - those are not private things,' he said of Trump

  • Romney has been one of the president's most vocal Republican critics 


By DAILYMAIL.COM REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 17:09 EDT, 20 October 2019 | UPDATED: 18:54 EDT, 20 October 2019





Mitt Romney is already planning for a post-Trump Republican era. 
'The president will not be the president forever,' the Republican Utah senator told The Atlantic
This comes as no surprise as Romney has been known to call out the president, despite being from the same party.  
'Berating another person, or calling them names, or demeaning a class of people, not telling the truth - those are not private things,' he said of Trump, adding, 'If during the campaign you pay a porn star $130,000, that now comes into the public domain.' 
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Utah Senator Mitt Romney says he is looking past Trump's presidency
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He tells The Atlantic: 'The president will not be the president forever'
Earlier this month, Romney denounced Trump's troop withdrawal in Syria as a 'bloodstain on the annals of American history.'

'The decision to abandon the Kurds violates one of our most sacred duties. It strikes at American honor. What we have done to the Kurds will stand as a blood stain in the annals of American history,' said Romney. 
And the president has reciprocated the disdain, calling Romney 'pompous', a 'fool' and tweeting '#IMPEACHMITTROMNEY'. 
Speaking to The Atlantic, Romney said that it is a 'critical time ' in America. 
'I hope that what I'm doing will open the way for people to take a different path,' he added.   
Now Romney is looking past his 2012 failed presidential run to Barack Obama, and instead working on how to shape the Republican party post-Trump. 
Though he is not planning to run for president again, he says he has a long to-do list.  
'My life is not defined in my own mind by political wins and losses,' he said. 'You know, I had my career in business, I've got my family, my faith—that's kind of my life, and this is something I do to make a difference.'
[size=10][size=18]Mitt Romney denounces Trump's abrupt withdrawal from Syria




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'Berating another person, or calling them names, or demeaning a class of people, not telling the truth - those are not private things,' he said of Trump
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 4 19965784-7594321-image-a-42_1571605464785




Romney has been one of the president's most vocal Republican critics, with the president firing back in tweets earlier this month






Romney said he doubts that the outcome of the 2020 election will mirror Trump's electoral wins from 2016.  
'We have to get young people and Hispanics and African Americans to vote Republican,' he said.
Earlier this month, Romney went as far as to defend Joe Biden against Trump's request for Ukraine and China to investigate Biden's son Hunter. 
'When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China's investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated,' Romney wrote on Twitter.
'By all appearances, the President's brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling,' he added.

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