Ret. general: Syria pullback looks like an open door to disaster
- Just days later, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the military would launch an offensive into northeastern Syria, aimed at Kurdish forces, which were left vulnerable with US troops withdrawn.
- These troops were deployed to protect a vulnerable and largely displaced civilian population, maintain US equities in the region, block Iranian encroachment, assure the containment of ISIS and prevent a long-threatened Turkish military operation that would unravel more than four years of US strategy in the region, according to various statements over time from US sources, as reported in the media.
- In South Korea, our allies are probably asking themselves what will come of the American troop presence and security guarantees when North Korean President Kim Jong Un follows through with his threats to renew nuclear weapons testing and development.
Trump is parroting Vladimir Putin's talking points as he defends pulling US troops from Syria
- Trump defended his decision on Wednesday at a White House press conference alongside the visiting Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
- Then Trump also said that Russia and Syria both "hate" ISIS, even though both nations have focused the vast majority of their military campaigns to quell the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
- Republicans and Democrats roundly criticized the withdrawal from northern Syria as disastrous for US interests, allowing Russia and Syria to fill a vacuum and handing them a victory in the Syrian Civil War. One of Syria's main backers, Iran, also benefited from Trump's abrupt decision.
- At the same press conference, Trump said the battle between Kurdish forces and the Turkish military had "nothing to do with us," The New York Times reported.
- Trump's decision brought with it significant consequences, with reports of Turkish-led Arab fighters executing Kurdish prisoners and US forces being fired upon.
US Marines teamed up with the Philippines and Japan to practice hitting the beach
- Katungkulan Beach, Marine Barracks Gregorio Lim, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines, Japan Self-Defense Force, and US Armed Forces united to conduct an amphibious landing exercise at Katungkulan Beach, Marine Barracks Gregorio Lim during Exercise KAMANDAG 3 on October 12, 2019.
- The ship-to-shore maneuver, which was the culminating event of two weeks of combined training focused on assault amphibious vehicle interoperability, marked the first time the AFP conducted a multilateral amphibious landing with its own AAVs. The drill's success validated the multinational forces' ability to conduct complex, synchronized amphibious operations, and it reaffirmed the partnerships between the Philippines, Japan and the United States.
- Training efforts between the AFP, JSDF, and US Armed Forces ensure that the combined militaries remain ready to rapidly respond to crises across the full range of military operations, from conflict to natural disasters.
U.S. carried out secret cyber strike on Iran in wake of Saudi oil attack
- WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States carried out a secret cyber operation against Iran in the wake of the Sept.
- 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh blame on Tehran, two U.S. officials have told Reuters.
- The U.S. strike appears more limited than other such operations against Iran this year after the downing of an American drone in June and an alleged attack by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on oil tankers in the Gulf in May. The United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the Sept.
- Tensions in the Gulf have escalated sharply since May 2018, when Trump withdrew from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Tehran that put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of sanctions.
US troops and their allies feel humiliated after abandoning their bases in Syria to be taken over by gleeful Russians
- Russian troops and their Syrian allies Wednesday quickly moved to assert their new power in Syria after this week's humiliating retreat by US forces in the wake of an invasion by Turkey.
- The roughly 1,000 US soldiers — along with hundreds of French, Danish and British allies — have been forced to abandon positions along Syria's shared border with Turkey.
- A Kurdish fighter with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella group formed with US support and training to fight ISIS, said that in the brief conversations he had with the departing US soldiers, he felt they were deeply upset by the situation.
- He said that while the Kurdish military leadership remains wary of both the Syrian regime and its Russian allies, they had no choice.
Donald Trump's presidency is disintegrating as he faces his worst 30 days since taking office
- All this comes as the president is besieged on the domestic front by an escalating congressional impeachment inquiry, which is examining whether Trump used his public office for private gain.
- At the heart of the investigation is an unprecedented whistleblower complaint that a US intelligence official filed, accusing the president of using his public office for private gain.
- Beyond asking a foreign power for dirt against a political rival ahead of an election, Trump is also battling allegations that he held up a nearly $400 million military-aid package to Ukraine days before the phone call to maintain leverage over Zelensky.
- And the House Ways and Means Committee is trying to learn further information about a third whistleblower, who works in the IRS and whose complaint alleges "inappropriate efforts to influence" the agency's audit of Trump's tax returns, according to a court filing from the committee.
Erdogan says Turkey will 'never declare a ceasefire'
- On Tuesday, the Trump administration said it was dispatching Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser Robert O'Brien as part of a delegation departing to Ankara Wednesday, to broker a deal to stop the Turkish military operation in Syria.
- According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Syrian government forces have taken control of two areas in northern Syria on Tuesday -- more than 1,000 square kilometers around the town of Manbij and an area in Raqqa around the town of Tabqa.
- The State Department had repeatedly warned that "Turkey will face very real and very negative consequences if it completes the delivery of the S-400," as spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said at the end of May. Away from the halls of power in Ankara and Washington, hundreds of thousands of Syrians are facing a desperate situation, with reports of medical facilities and civilian infrastructure being targeted.
China's helicopter prototype looks like a UFO
- State-tabloid the Global Times published an image gallery of the aircraft, calling it a fusion of modern, proven helicopter designs -- such as the American AH-64 Apache and CH-53 Sea Stallion as well as the Russian Ka-52 and Mi-26 copters.
- The Super Great White Shark is 7.6 meters (25 feet) long, almost three meters (10 feet) high and has room on board for two crew.
- If it does make it to the test flight stage, it wouldn't be the first UFO-inspired helicopter to get off the ground.
- In the 1950s, the Canadian company A.V. Roe (Avro) Aircraft developed a similar looking piece of equipment, which was eventually built and tested by the US military.
- And China has put itself at the forefront of developing new military technologies in recent years.
Pete Buttigieg and Tulsi Gabbard, the only military vets on the Democratic debate stage, duke it out over US action in Syria
- South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, both veterans of the US military, had a heated exchange on foreign policy during the fourth round of 2020 Democratic debates on Tuesday night.
- This came amid a question over Trump's recent decision to abandon US-allied Kurdish forces in Syria ahead of a Turkish military operation.
- The Turkish incursion targets the Kurds, who bore the brunt of the US-led campaign against ISIS.
- This article will continue to be updated.
Here's how the Air Force trains its pilots to survive, evade, resist, and escape when behind enemy lines
- Being an aircrew member in the armed forces isn't just flying a plane, helicopter or a jet.
- It's putting your own personal safety on the line to protect people from threats known and unknown.
- The armed forces puts a great emphasis on ensuring these pilots are safe and have the knowledge and skills to make it home safe in any situation they might endure.
- This responsibility heavily lies on the shoulders of the United States Air Force's survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE) specialist, whose main job is to train aircrew and other military personnel how to survive in a variety of environments and conditions.
- O'Grady who in 1995 was shot down and stranded in enemy territory for six days during the Bosnian War, used these skills taught by SERE to return to safety.