Are We Headed For A US-Turkey “Fresh Start” After Brunson’s Release?

The FT editorial board says the time is ripe for rapprochement between the US and Turkey as Pastor Andrew Brunson, freed after two years of under Turkish captivity on charges of espionage, found himself sitting in the Oval Office across from President Trump less than a mere 24 hours after his release.

Is it time for a “fresh start” as FT suggests?

The freeing of the American pastor, who had been charged with espionage, ends a high-profile stand-off between the US and Turkey. It also provides an important opportunity to make a fresh start in the crucial relationship between Washington and Ankara. Turkey and the US matter to each other. For Washington, Turkey is an important member of Nato and a neighbour of Syria. It is a traditional ally of the US and has played a vital role in absorbing millions of Syrian refugees.

No doubt Turkey would welcome it, as its economy was left reeling this summer as its relationship with Washington hit a low point, sending the lira into a death spiral, but the fact remains that it’s also a NATO ally which did more than any other to create that very refugee crisis in the first place….

>>> continue reading: Are We Headed For A US-Turkey “Fresh Start” After Brunson’s Release?


‘Last Pocket Of ISIS’ Fighters Surrounded, DoD Official Says

U.S. troops and their local partner forces have surrounded what has been called the “last pocket of ISIS resistance,” according to military officials involved in the campaign.

The final push, known as Operation Roundup, is in its third week. It is occurring in the Middle Euphrates River Valley’s Deir ez-Zor province, close to the Iraq-Syria border.

Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the Operation Inherent Resolve coalition’s fire support, have dialed back the Islamic State precipitously over the past few years.

“As ISIS retreats, they’re employing improvised explosive devices along routes and booby-trapping houses to inflict casualties as the SDF fighters clear through the terrain,” Col. Sean Ryan, Operation Inherent Resolve’s spokesman, told reporters Tuesday….

>>> continue reading: ‘Last Pocket Of ISIS’ Fighters Surrounded, DoD Official Says

Trump Rejects Globalism In UN Speech, Slams Iran, Emphasizes “America First”

President Trump’s second address to the UN General Assembly didn’t include any bombshell revelations (like last year’s speech where Trump threatened North Korea with nuclear annihilation and referred to Kim Jong Un as ‘Little Rocket Man’), but it was just as much of a repudiation of the global order that the UN represents. In a speech that rejected internationalism and embraced the nationalist populism that Trump has long championed, Trump blasted “the ideology of globalism” and multinational organizations like the UN that he said infringe on national sovereignty. During the speech, Trump urged other nations to look out for themselves and their own interests – and allow the US to do the same.

“I honor every nation to pursue its own customs, beliefs and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship,” Mr. Trump said. “We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.

In a speech that lasted roughly 30 minutes, Trump vowed that the US would “not be taken advantage of any longer” and slammed both its friends and foes for taking advantage of the US’s defense spending and its trading largess….

>>> continue reading: Trump Rejects Globalism In UN Speech, Slams Iran, Emphasizes “America First”

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