The United States and Russia have brokered a ceasefire deal with regional powers in southwestern Syria, U.S. officials told Reutersand the Associated Press on July 7, defusing the escalating tensions between the two militaries over the fate of the war-torn country in recent weeks.
News of the ceasefire came amid President Donald Trump and Russia President Vladimir Putin's first official bilateral meeting at this year's G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, an unusually lengthy visit clouded by increasing political and legal concerns stemming from the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russian government officials during the 2016 presidential election.
The focus of the ceasefire centers on the southern part of the country, where pro-regime militias have repeatedly invaded deconfliction zones near the At Tanf garrison established by the U.S-led coalition fighting against ISIS. The Associated Press reports that Jordan and Israel, which borders the region, have joined the agreement to prevent the warfare between Syria's various domestic and international forces from spilling into their territory.
Tensions between the U.S. and Russia reached a boiling point in mid-June after a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22 that bombarded coalition-backed Syria Democratic Forces fighters outside the established deconfliction zone of Ja'Din. In retaliation, Russia threatened to target U.S. and coalition aircraft flying west of the Euphrates River.
(The Associated Press rightly points out that the pro-regime incursions into coalition deconfliction zones are a different matter than the “de-escalation zones” established in an agreement between Russia, Turkey and Iran, a deal the U.S. is not party to.)
It is unclear how this cease-fire would affect U.S. and coalition combat against ISIS as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, particularly the crucial siege currently underway against the jihadis' last major stronghold of Raqqa, in the north. Public affairs officials with U.S. Central Command and OIR referred Task & Purpose to the State Department, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
"The continued use of CW in Iraq and Syria provides a sobering reminder of the challenges that remain," wrote acting Assistant Secretary of State Anita Friedt. "We urge the international community to stand with us and speak with one voice against CW use anywhere, by anyone."
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Karl Munson pilots a 26-foot boat while Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Diaz keeps an eye on a boarding team who is inspecting a 79-foot shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of New Orleans, La., on April 27, 2005
Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.
Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.