The Order To Withdraw US Troops From Syria Has Changed, Yet Again

news
President Trump Discusses Syria

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

The United States has said its decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria was conditional on Turkey ensuring the safety of Kurds in Syria, U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton has said.

Bolton also said on January 6 during a visit to Israel that the U.S. withdrawal was conditioned on defeating remaining elements of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization in Syria.

Bolton said there was no timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces.


"The timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement," he said.

He added that President Donald Trump "wants the [IS] caliphate destroyed."

Bolton added that Trump has stated he would not allow Turkey to attack the Kurds who worked with U.S. troops in Syria.

"We don't think the Turks ought to undertake military action that's not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States," Bolton said.

Turkey has charged that the Kurdish militias in Syria are allied with Kurdish fighters inside Turkey whom Ankara considers terrorists.

Bolton said the United States has asked its Kurdish allies in Syria to refrain from seeking protection against Turkey from Russia or the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"I think they know who their friends are," Bolton said.

In a video message posted on Twitter on December 20, 2018, Trump said U.S. troops are "all coming back and they're all coming back now."

"We have won against [IS]," he said. "We have beaten them, and we've beaten them badly."

His defense secretary, Jim Mattis, resigned over the decision, while NATO allies, including France and Germany, said the drastic change of course by the United States put the fight against IS at risk and endangered the Kurdish militias fighting IS.

Bolton's remarks were the first confirmation from the U.S. administration that the withdrawal plan, which was originally expected to be completed in a matter of weeks, has been delayed.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

SEE ALSO: How The US Went From 'Rapid Withdrawal' To 'No Timeline' In Syria

(U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Airman 1st Class Corey Hook)

Editor's Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Department of Veterans Affairs released an alarming report Friday showing that at least 60,000 veterans died by suicide between 2008 and 2017, with little sign that the crisis is abating despite suicide prevention being the VA's top priority.

Although the total population of veterans declined by 18% during that span of years, more than 6,000 veterans died by suicide annually, according to the VA's 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report.

Read More Show Less
President Donald Trump speaks during an event with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Pratt Industries, Sunday, Sept 22, 2019, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. (Associated Press/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he discussed Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son in a call with Ukraine's president.

Trump's statement to reporters about his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky came as the Democratic leader of a key congressional panel said the pursuit of Trump's impeachment may be the "only remedy" to the situation.

Read More Show Less
"It's kind of like the equivalent of dropping a soda can into canyon and putting on a blindfold and going and finding it, because you can't just look down and see it," diver Jeff Goodreau said of finding the wreck.

The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.

The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.

The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.

Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.

Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.

Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.

Read More Show Less
(CIA photo)

Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.

Read More Show Less

The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.

Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."

That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.

Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.

Read More Show Less