A fourth round of so-called strategic Iraq-U.S. talks is scheduled for next week after the Iraqi government requested it, partly in response to pressure from Shiite political factions and militias loyal to Iran that have lobbied for the remaining U.S. troops to leave Iraq.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sought to establish an Islamic “caliphate” across Syria and Iraq, but he might be remembered more as the ruthlessly calculating leader of the Islamic State group who brought terror to the heart of Europe and set up a short-lived organization so extreme that it was shunned even by al-Qaida.
Once again, Syrian President Bashar Assad has snapped up a prize from world powers that have been maneuvering in his country’s multifront wars. Without firing a shot, his forces are returning to towns and villages in northeastern Syria where they haven’t set foot for years.
U.S. troops leaving Syria and heading to neighboring Iraq do not have permission to stay in the country, Iraq’s military said Tuesday as American forces continued to pull out of northern Syria after Turkey’s invasion of the border region.
President Donald Trump’s announcement that U.S. troops in Syria would step aside to make way for a Turkish military operation against U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters unleashed a torrent of near unanimous criticism and warnings of immediate and long-term negative consequences.
Turkey’s combative president is threatening to launch a military operation in northeastern Syria that is designed to push back U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish forces — an invasion that carries major risks for a highly combustible region in war-devastated Syria.
No longer burdened by territory and administration, Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi outlined the new path forward for his group: Widen your reach, connect with far-flung militant groups and exhaust your enemies with a “war of attrition.”
The shadowy leader of the Islamic State group appeared for the first time in five years in a video released by the extremist group’s propaganda arm on Monday, acknowledging defeat in the group’s last stronghold in Syria but vowing a “long battle” ahead.
Iraq’s president said Friday he does not see any “serious” opposition to the presence of American forces in Iraq, provided they continue to be there specifically to assist Iraqi forces in the fight against the Islamic State group.