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Trump claims US has 'secured the oil' in the Middle East
President Trump stoked confusion Friday by declaring the U.S. has "secured the Oil" in the Middle East amid continued fallout from the Turkish invasion of northern Syria that he enabled by pulling American troops out of the region.
It wasn't immediately clear what the president was talking about, as there were no publicly known developments in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East relating to oil. White House aides did not return requests for comment.
Trump included the oil news in a string of tweets saying Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had given him assurances over the phone that imprisoned ISIS fighters in Syria were being guarded by both Turkish and Kurdish forces following the temporary ceasefire announced Thursday by Vice President Pence.
"The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey," Trump tweeted.
Without naming countries, Trump also said he had been notified that "European Nations are now willing, for the first time, to take the ISIS fighters that came from their nations."
"Big progress being made!!!!" the president capped off the message.
Despite the ceasefire deal, reports Friday suggested the fighting hadn't actually ended in northern Syria, where Turkish forces have slaughtered U.S.-allied Kurds since Trump pulled back American forces after a phone call with Erdogan on Oct. 6.
Trump confirmed in one of his Friday tweets that the fighting hasn't actually stopped.
"(Erdogan) told me there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated," he posted, adding there's "good will on both sides."
The chaos unfolding in Syria because of Trump's troop withdrawal has resulted in the escape of about 100 ISIS prisoners guarded by Kurdish forces, according to officials.
The Kurds, who have been credited with helping the U.S. root ISIS out of the Syria, are being forced to withdraw their forces amid the bloody Turkish military foray.
Erdogan, who wants to establish a "safe zone" in northern Syria to house refugees, considers the U.S.-allied Kurds to be terrorists because of their association with a militant left-wing guerrilla operating inside Turkey.
The ceasefire deal reached Thursday mandates that the Kurds give up large swaths of territory along the Turkish-Syrian border, an arrangement that largely solidifies Erdogan's goals.
Leader American lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have excoriated Trump's attempts at marksmanship in Syria as a betrayal of the Kurds.
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, speaking on the floor Thursday, welcomed the ceasefire deal but said it "does not change the fact that America has abandoned an ally."
With News Wire Services
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‘Take what’s inside and get it outside’ — Air Force psychologist reminds airmen of mental health resources
Kirtland Air Force Base isn't much different from the world beyond its gates when it comes to dealing with mental illnesses, a base clinical psychologist says.
Maj. Benjamin Carter told the Journal the most frequent diagnosis on the base is an anxiety disorder.
"It's not a surprise, but I anticipate about anytime in the population in America, about 20% of the population has some form of diagnosable anxiety disorder, and it's no different in the military," he said.
Leading the way among the anxiety disorders, he said, were post-traumatic stress disorder "or something like panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder."
The DNA of a niece and nephew, who never met their uncle, has helped identify the remains of the Kansas Marine who died in WWII.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that 21-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Raymond Warren was identified using DNA and circumstantial evidence. Warren had been buried in a cemetery in the Gilbert Islands, where he was killed when U.S. forces tried to take secure one of the islands from the Japanese.
The Battle of Tarawa lasted from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, 1943, and claimed the lives of 1,021 U.S. marines and sailors, more than 3,000 Japanese soldiers and an estimated 1,000 Korean laborers before the U.S. troops seized control, the agency said.
Arizona lawmakers are vowing to fight a plan by the Air Force to start retiring some of the nation's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets — a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — as part of a plan to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs.
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot, and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s starting this year.
During a press briefing last week, Air Force officials unveiled plans to start mothballing several older platforms, including retiring some A-10s even as it refits others with new wings.
MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un was filmed riding through the snow on a white stallion last year, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on 12 purebred horses from Russia, according to Russian customs data.
Accompanied by senior North Korean figures, Kim took two well-publicized rides on the snowy slopes of the sacred Paektu Mountain in October and December.
State media heralded the jaunts as important displays of strength in the face of international pressure and the photos of Kim astride a galloping white steed were seen around the world.
North Korea has a long history of buying pricey horses from Russia and customs data first reported by Seoul-based NK News suggests that North Korea may have bolstered its herd in October.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A high-profile local Taliban figure who announced and justified the 2012 attack on teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has escaped detention, Pakistan's interior minister confirmed a few days after the militant announced his breakout on social media.
Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for scores of Taliban attacks, proclaimed his escape on Twitter and then in an audio message sent to Pakistani media earlier this month.
The Pakistani military, which had kept Ehsan in detention for three years, has declined to comment but, asked by reporters about the report, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, said: "That is correct, that is correct."
Shah, a retired brigadier general, added that "you will hear good news" in response to questions about whether there had been progress in hunting down Ehsan.