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Kurds enter Syria from Turkey to fight ‘Islamic State’ jihadists

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Hundreds of Kurdish fighters have entered northern Syria to help battle jihadists besieging the Kurdish city of Ain al-Arab, a monitor said Tuesday.

“At least 800 Kurdish fighters crossed the Turkish-Syrian border to help their comrades in Ain al-Arab (Kobane in Kurdish), which is under total siege by Islamic State jihadists,” Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

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A Kurdish Syrian activist said the flow of fighters came as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), blacklisted in Turkey as a terrorist organisation, gave orders for Kurdish fighters to move to protect Kobane.

“Fighters started going into Kobane from Turkey some four or five days ago,” said Havidar, who goes by only one name.

“But the latest entry, last night, came after orders from the higher leadership of the PKK. Last night, there were celebrations in Kobane — fighters were firing into the air as they arrived in the town,” he told AFP.

The Observatory’s Abdel Rahman also said the mobilisation had come after a call by the PKK, which has branches in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.

“The Kurds are preparing for an assault by the Islamic State,” he said.

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Syrian Kurds have been fighting the IS for many months.

“But this is the first time that the jihadists appear to be advancing while the Kurds are suffering real setbacks. That is because IS has brought in a lot of weapons from Iraq,” said Havidar, referring to weapons seizures from the Iraqi army amid an IS offensive there.

“Kurds going in to fight are from everywhere — Turkey, Iran, Syria and others. Even some Kurds based in Europe are saying they want to go fight,” he added.

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Kobane, under siege by advancing IS troops, is important because it is located between Raqa — the jihadists’ main bastion — and Aleppo, where IS has made recent advances.

“The situation is certainly going to get worse before it gets any better,” said Havidar.

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The IS proclaimed an Islamic “caliphate” in late June, straddling Syria and Iraq.

Once welcomed in Syria by some rebels seeking President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster, the jihadist group’s systematic abuses and quest for domination turned the opposition against it.

Rebels launched an offensive against the IS in January this year, but Kurdish Syrians, whose towns are located along Syria’s border areas, have been fighting the jihadists for longer.

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Havidar said: “IS is fighting the Kurds not for religious or ethnic reasons — it simply wants their territory because it is strategically located along the borders, and because it is near IS bastions.”

Abdel Rahman added: “It’s a life-or-death battle for the Kurds. If IS takes Ain al-Arab, it will advance eastwards towards other Kurdish Syrian areas, such as Hasakeh in the northeast.”


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‘There is no managing Donald Trump’: White House Republicans blasted for their myth of ‘adults in the room’

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Republicans who thought they could manage Donald Trump were taken down in The New Yorker on Tuesday.

The Susan Glasser article was titled, "The spectacular failure of the Trump wranglers."

"On Tuesday, nearly seven hours into the marathon third day of public impeachment hearings, Kurt Volker tried to explain to the House Intelligence Committee what it was like to carry out the nearly impossible task of wrangling U.S. policy toward Ukraine during the Presidency of Donald Trump," Glasser wrote. "Volker, a veteran Republican diplomat who had been serving, since 2017, as Trump’s Special Representative to Ukraine, said that he realized last spring that he had a 'problem,' and that it was Trump himself.

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BUSTED: Trump’s White House sent out anti-Vindman talking points — trashing their own staffer

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President Donald Trump's war on his own employees escalated on Tuesday when the White House spread talking points designed to result in a coordinated attack on a decorated active-duty Army officer.

"The Trump White House has taken the extraordinary step of distributing talking points to allies of the president trashing one of its employees," The Daily Beast reported after obtaining a copy of the document.

"On Tuesday morning, White House aide Julia Hahn emailed Trump surrogates under the subject line, “Vindman’s Complaints Are Nothing More Than Policy Disagreements,” according to messages reviewed by The Daily Beast. Hahn, a Steve Bannon protege and one of his former allies in the White House, works on outreach and communications involving pro-Trump talking heads and other players in conservative media," The Beast reported.

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Don Lemon notes the GOP panic after their own witnesses gave testimony harming Trump: ‘Worried much?’

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CNN anchor Don Lemon explained how witnesses called by Republicans in the impeachment inquiry destoryed the defenses employed by President Donald Trump and his allies.

"Now, let's just be honest, the shakedown -- that's exactly what it is -- the shakedown is exposed, people," Lemon said.

"And the evidence comes from the Republican's own witnesses," he noted. "The former envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker -- who resigned just one day after the release of the whistleblower's report -- telling the president's defenders exactly what they did not want to hear."

"They called him apparently expecting him to say what he said in his closed-door testimony, that he saw no evidence of a quid pro quo, or let's call it for what it is again -- a shakedown," he continued. "Well, now he says he was wrong."

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