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US troops in South Korea are getting another 90 days without a curfew — unless their unit screws up
Most U.S. troops in South Korea will not be under curfew for the next three months, but unit commanders retain the right to impose curfews on their individual units on a case-by-case basis, defense officials said.
U.S. Forces Korea announced this week that the curfew would be suspended through Dec. 17. That means most U.S. troops do not need to be home between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., said USFK spokesman Col. Lee Peters.
Stars and Stripes reporter Kim Gamel first brought to light that the curfew has been reimposed for the Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, which began a nine-month rotation to South Korea in June. Peters declined to say why soldiers in the brigade have to be back on installation are subject to the curfew.
"Any commander can re-establish the curfew as long as the first O-7 [general officer/flag officer] in their chain of command approves the decision," Peters said.
Roughly 28,500 U.S. troops are currently serving in South Korea. Commanders always have the option of imposing curfews on their units in response to occasional disciplinary lapses, a senior defense official told Task & Purpose.
Army Gen. Robert Abrams, commander of all U.S. troops in South Korea, announced on June 17 that the curfew would be suspended for three months as USFK studied whether service members could comply with "standards of conduct and Korean laws at all times," a command statement at the time said.
Just over month later, a soldier not old enough to drink alcohol legally assaulted a South Korean taxi driver and stole his vehicle after drinking heavily. The soldier was eventually tased and charged with assault, robbery, drunken driving, and underage drinking.
Still, Abrams announced on Sept. 17 that the curfew would be suspended for a further three months as USFK continues to study the matter, providing U.S. troops with an opportunity "to demonstrate their ability to maintain good order and discipline, at all times and under all conditions," a command news release says.
"The vast majority of our personnel have conducted themselves appropriately, but I felt it was important to implement an additional 90 days to ensure we are making the correct decision regarding the curfew," Abrams said in the news release.
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."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday he and the Pentagon will comply with House Democrats' impeachment inquiry subpoena, but it'll be on their own schedule.
"We will do everything we can to cooperate with the Congress," Esper said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "Just in the last week or two, my general counsel sent out a note — as we typically do in these situations — to ensure documents are retained."
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.
Roughly 1,000 U.S. troops are withdrawing from Syria, leaving a residual force of between 100 and 150 service members at the Al Tanf garrison, a U.S. official said.
"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.