Commentary: Netanyahu challenger fails to form coalition

JERUSALEM — Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief rival announced Wednesday that he had failed to form a new government, dashing his hopes of toppling the long-time Israeli prime minister and pushing the country closer toward an unprecedented third election in less than a year. The announcement by Benny Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White party, […]

Amnesty says at least 106 killed in Iran protests

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Days of protests in Iran over rising fuel prices and a subsequent government crackdown have killed at least 106 people across the Islamic Republic, Amnesty International said Tuesday, citing “credible reports.” Iran’s government, which has not made nationwide numbers available for the toll of the unrest that began Friday, did […]

US softening position on Israeli settlements in West Bank

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday that the U.S. is softening its position on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the latest in a series of Trump administration moves that weaken Palestinian claims to statehood. Pompeo repudiated a 1978 State Department legal opinion that held that civilian settlements in the occupied […]

Israel kills Islamic Jihad leader, setting off fierce clash

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israel launched airstrikes Tuesday against two senior Islamic Jihad commanders, killing one in Gaza but missing another in Syria in a sharp escalation of Israel’s regional conflict with Iran, which backs the Palestinian militant group. The attack led to retaliatory rocket fire from Gaza and further airstrikes, the worst bout […]

Russian forces deploy at Syrian border under new accord

AKCAKALE, Turkey — Russian military police began patrols on part of the Syrian border Wednesday, quickly moving to implement an accord with Turkey that divvies up control of northeastern Syria. The Kremlin told Kurdish fighters to pull back from the entire frontier or else face being “steamrolled” by Turkish forces. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan […]

Russia, Turkey seal power in northeast Syria with accord

ANKARA, Turkey — The leaders of Russia and Turkey announced an agreement Turkey for their two countries’ forces to jointly patrol almost the entire northeastern Syrian border after the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters. The deal would seal the two countries’ power in Syria, filling the void left by departing American troops after President Donald Trump […]

‘America is running away’: Syrian withdrawal turns chaotic

BEIRUT — The crowd hurled potatoes that thudded on the sides of the hulking U.S. armored vehicles. “What happened to Americans?” one man shouted in English up at the sole U.S. soldier visible on the back of a vehicle. The soldier stared silently straight ahead, away from the show of fury. It was yet another […]

US may now keep some troops in Syria to guard oil fields

KABUL, Afghanistan — Even as American forces make a hasty and chaotic withdrawal from northeastern Syria, the U.S. is considering leaving some troops behind to secure oil fields in the region and make sure they don’t fall into the hands of a resurgent Islamic State, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday. The Pentagon chief said […]

Pence meets with Erdogan, seeking Syria border cease-fire

ANKARA, Turkey — A senior U.S. delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence pursued an uphill mission Thursday to persuade Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to call for a cease-fire in his fight with Kurdish forces in northern Syria. Pence and Erdogan wore dour expressions as they shook hands before a nearly 90-minute one-on-one meeting, […]

US pulling out of northern Syria; full withdrawal possible

WASHINGTON — The United States appears to be heading toward a full military withdrawal from Syria amid growing chaos , cries of betrayal and signs that Turkey’s invasion could fuel a broader war. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday that President Donald Trump had directed U.S. troops in northern Syria to begin pulling out “as […]

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