President Donald Trump's abrupt withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and subsequent Turkish military invasion created an opening for ISIS to stage a bloody comeback, according to a new Pentagon inspector general report.

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Turkish and Russian patrol is seen near the town of Darbasiyah, Syria, Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. (Associated Press/Baderkhan Ahmad)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia landed attack helicopters and troops at a sprawling air base in northern Syria vacated by U.S. forces, the Russian Defence Ministry's Zvezda TV channel said on Friday.

On Thursday, Zvezda said Russia had set up a helicopter base at an airport in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli, a move designed to increase Moscow's control over events on the ground there.

Qamishli is the same city where Syrian citizens pelted U.S. troops and armored vehicles with potatoes after President Donald Trump vowed to pull U.S. troops from Syria.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Last month, President Donald Trump made the abrupt decision to pull the remaining US troops out of Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria.

The move sent the fragmented country into a spiral, disrupting one of its few areas of stability. By withdrawing support from Kurdish forces in the area — which had helped the U.S. combat ISIS — Trump opened them up to an oncoming offensive by Turkey.

Justifying the decision. Trump argued that US forces in the region had already "defeated" ISIS, and that therefore there was no need for them to stay in Syria.

This was, at best, only partly true.

While U.S.-allied forces this year deprived ISIS of the territory it once controlled, the group still has as many as 18,000 fighters quietly stationed across Iraq and Syria, according to The New York Times.

Additionally, Kurdish-led fighters, known as The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had maintained control of tens of thousands of former ISIS members and their families, including about 70,000 women and children in a compound in the Syrian city of al-Hol, according to The Atlantic. Of those detainees, 11,000 of them are foreign nationals, according to the BBC.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

U.S. Ambassador Bill Roebuck, the special envoy for the anti-ISIS campaign in Syria, sent a scathing memo to the Trump administration, criticizing it for not doing enough stop the Turkish-backed military assault into the Syrian border.

The 3,200 word memo, which was obtained by The New York Times, was dated October 31 and delivered to representatives in the State Department, the White House, and Defense Department. Titled "Standing By as Turks Cleanse Kurds in Northern Syria and De-Stabilize our [Defeat ISIS] Platform in the Northeast," Roebuck questioned the U.S/'s efforts to dissuade Turkey from sending militants to the border and said it was a "tough call" in determining whether it would have prevented Turkey's offensive earlier in October.

"But we won't know because we didn't try," Roebuck reportedly said in the memo.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

U.S. troops stationed in Syria have yet to receive guidance on their mission, including the basic rules of engagement, according to a military official in a CNN report published Monday.

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The convoy of U.S. armored vehicles headed east, Stars and Stripes flapping in the wind as it lumbered toward its apparent destination — the oil fields of Rumeilan, in Syria's far northeast.

There, pump jacks line both sides of the road, churning up and down. Smoke from small refineries rises into the sky and fires shoot from natural gas outlets. Electrical lines dot the landscape and tankers plod up and down the pothole-racked highway.

They're the tattered vestiges of Syria's long-crippled oil industry, which has become the latest justification for President Trump's on-again, off-again policy to keep a U.S. presence in the country's northeast.

"We want to bring our soldiers home. But we did leave soldiers because we're keeping the oil," said Trump on Friday, before adding, "I like oil. We're keeping the oil."

The problem is, there isn't much oil to keep.

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