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UNC Charlotte shooting hero awarded posthumous ROTC Medal of Heroism
Riley Howell, the Army ROTC cadet shot and killed while restraining an active shooter at UNC Charlotte on April 30, was posthumously awarded the ROTC Medal of Heroism earlier this month for his heroic sacrifice, the Army announced.
Howell "protected his fellow classmates by tackling the suspect and using his body as a human shield. His actions that day left him mortally wounded, but he saved an undeterminable amount of lives," his award summary reads. "Mr. Howell demonstrated the values of the United States Army by showing a high level of integrity, honor, and selfless service on that fateful day."
Howell's family received the award in a private ceremony at UNC Charlotte on May 11, less than a week after the 21-year-old was buried with full military honors just a few miles away from his hometown of Waynesville, North Carolina.
While Howell was apparently not contracted to become an Army officer after graduation, according to the service, UNC Charlotte professor Lt. Col. Chunka Smith said the fallen cadet "embodied everything we look for in future officers."
"Though our time with Riley was brief, I can tell you that he stood out. I make it a point to shake the hands of all 180 Cadets in our program," Smith said. "All of them are phenomenal men and women, but Riley stood out because of his strong, tall, athletic build and his overall calm presence."
"Each year 180 plus Army ROTC students will know the story of Riley Howell and the sacrifice he made," he added. "They will carry and spread the legacy of Riley Howell."
Retired Army Master Sgt. Mark Allen has died 10 years after he was shot in the head while searching for deserter Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan.
Allen died on Saturday at the age of 46, according to funeral information posted online.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Most of the U.S. troops in Syria are being moved out of the country as Turkish forces and their Arab allies push further into Kurdish territory than originally expected, Task & Purpose has learned.
"I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Sunday's edition of CBS News' "Face the Nation."'
More than 700 women and children affiliated with ISIS escape Kurdish prison camp after Turkish shelling
BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Women affiliated with Islamic State and their children fled en masse from a camp where they were being held in northern Syria on Sunday after shelling by Turkish forces in a five-day-old offensive, the region's Kurdish-led administration said.
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 United States 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.
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is warning that it's "absolutely a given" that ISIS will come back if the U.S. doesn't keep up pressure on the group, just one week after President Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from northern Syria.
"It's in a situation of disarray right now. Obviously the Kurds are adapting to the Turkish attacks, and we'll have to see if they're able to maintain the fight against ISIS," Mattis said in an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press," set to air on Sunday. "It's going to have an impact. The question is how much?"