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Trump's abrupt Syria withdrawal was a gift to ISIS, DoD IG says
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.
- On Oct. 6, Trump acquiesced to Turkish demands that U.S. forces withdraw from northeast Syria ahead of a planned offensive against the Kurdish fighters who have fought alongside U.S. troops to destroy ISIS's former caliphate.
- The DoD OIG report on the Operations Inherent Resolve mission to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria, which covers a time period from July 1 to Oct. 25, found that the chaos wrought by the Turkish invasion allowed ISIS to "reconstitute capabilities and resources within Syria and strengthen its ability to plan attacks abroad."
- As a result, ISIS is now "postured to withstand" the death of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and resulting blow to its chain of command, capable of maintaining "continuity of operations, global cohesion, and at least its current trajectory," according to a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) assessment cited in the report.
- "Additionally, according to the DIA, ISIS will likely have the "time and space" to target the West and provide support to its global branches and networks, and in the longer term, ISIS will probably seek to regain control of some Syrianpopulation centers and expand its global footprint," lead inspector general Glenn A. Fine wrote in his message to lawmakers.
- On Oct. 23, Trump proclaimed the U.S. mission in Syria effectively over: "Turkey, Syria, and all forms of the Kurds have been fighting for centuries. We have done them a great service and we've done a great job for all of them — and now we're getting out."
- In the aftermath of the al-Baghdadi raid, however, a senior State Department official stated that the United States planned on bolstering the anti-ISIS coalition in northeast Syria: "There was never an idea that we would abandon the mission of going after ISIS. ... This is a major effort that is continuing."
- Regardless, U.S. mechanized forces currently remain in eastern Syia to protect oil fields around Deir ez-Zor, even though there isn't really much there to protect.
Read the full DoD OIG report below:
The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.
"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"