Tuesday, February 20, 2018

More Details Emerge On What Happened To President Trump's Nuclear Football When He Was In China


The Warzone/The Drive: Confusion Surrounds Confrontation With Nuclear Football During Trump's Beijing Visit

The US Secret Service says no one got "tackled," but has not denied that an incident occurred while Trump was in China in November 2017.

A new report has surfaced suggesting that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and an unnamed member of the U.S. Secret Service got into a physical altercation with Chinese security personnel over the so-called “nuclear football," a secure communications device inside an aluminum Zero Halliburton briefcase that enables the president of the United States to order a nuclear strike from virtually any location in a time of crisis. The Secret Service has denied that anyone got "tackled" during the alleged dispute, which may have occurred during President Donald Trump's visit to China in 2017, but has not said outright that the incident did not happen at all.

Read more ....

Previous Post: Chinese Security Officials Tried To Block President Trump's 'Nuclear Football' When He And His Team Visited Beijing's Great Hall Of The People In November (February 19, 2018).

WNU Editor: So no one got tackled .... but you still have to wonder if the Chinese did this on purpose.

Tweets For Today






The Work To Restore Puerto Rico's Power Grid Is Taking Its Time

A car drives under downed power lines. Ricardo Arduengo for NBC News

NBC: Why does restoring full power in Puerto Rico seem like a never-ending task?

About a third of Puerto Rico's residents — over 900,000 — are still living without electricity five months after Hurricane Maria battered the island on Sept. 20th of last year.

As power restoration efforts continue against all odds, it's still hard for officials to say when the power will be fully restored — the question on everyone's mind.

“I would hesitate to give you a date,” said Lt. Col. John Cunningham of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the deputy commander for the Task Force Power Restoration on the island. “We would like to go faster, but right now we’re going as fast as we can.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Considering the history of the utility and the financial woes on the island .... 2/3 of its residents having some power restored is quite an accomplishment.

Picture Of The Day

This Is How The U.S. Air Force Will Keep Communications Running If A Nuclear War Breaks Out

The US government already has four AEHF satellites in geostationary orbit and the USAF wants two more to be launched - representational image Boeing

IBTimes: US Air Force plans doomsday satellites to ensure communications remain if nuclear war breaks out

The AEHF will keep communications open and avoid signal jamming in case of nuclear war.

The US Air Force (USAF) plans to have satellites that will continue to provide communications for the top brass of the US government in the event of nuclear war or such incidents that can knock out communications.

Called Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites, they are designed specifically to keep military channels in working order. The satellites cannot also be easily hacked or electronically jammed, reports Popular Mechanics. "We need systems that work on the worst day in the history of the world," said Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Four of these satellites are in orbit right now .... two more are planned.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Remembering John Basilone

John Basilone's headstone in Arlington National Cemetery (Wikipedia)

From Wikipedia: John Basilone (November 4, 1916 – February 19, 1945) was a United States Marine Corps gunnery sergeant who was killed in action during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for heroism above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle for Henderson Field in the Guadalcanal Campaign, and the Navy Cross posthumously for extraordinary heroism during the Battle of Iwo Jima. He was the only enlisted Marine to receive both of these decorations in World War II.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: A new tradition at WNU. Remembering the heroes.

I'm Russian And I'm Not Laughing


Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg: President Trump, I'm Russian and I'm Not Laughing

I fear the indictment of Russian internet trolls may lead to less freedom for both Americans and Russians.

"They are laughing their asses off in Moscow," President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday as part of his damage control after 13 Russian Facebook trolls were indicted for meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Really?

Some Russians -- including the man who runs the indicted troll factory -- are indeed laughing, but I'm one Russian who isn't. The fallout from the indictment comes too close to a couple of lines, both in U.S.-Russian relations and in attitudes toward free speech, that it would be best not to cross.

The Internet Research Agency, a notorious St. Petersburg outfit specializing in propaganda, disinformation and cyberbullying, has been known to Russians -- especially those critical of President Vladimir Putin -- since 2013, when the investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta published the first report about it. The organization had a strict security policy but also high staff turnover, so its vacancy ads and reports from people who have worked there or applied for jobs have been easy to find on the internet. Links to its many websites and the staunchly pro-Putin comments of its employees are a common sight on the social networks (I've had my share too from them).

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Leonid Bershidsky is worried that the Kremlin's actions on election meddling and how the U.S. media and political class are covering it will directly impact the lives and livelihood of U.S. citizens whose nationality is Russian, as well as on Russians back home. I say that his concerns are too little and too late. I have been a Canadian citizen since the 1990s .... but I learned very quickly that my Russian nationality is a negative for what I was/am skilled at doing. No job at the Foreign Affairs ministry for me. But I accept it .... never let these obstacles stop anyone .... work with those who want to work with you, and move on. And as for Russia-Gate, Russian collusion, and meddling .... no .... I am not laughing. Blaming the defeat of Hillary Clinton on Russian collusion/involvement while using it to de-legitimize the election victory of Donald Trump has brought out the old Russian/Soviet prejudices and suspicions .... and it is already impacting the lives of many people. Bottom line .... this is going to take a long time to work itself out.

Should President Obama Be Blamed For Not Doing Enough On Russian Meddling?


CNN: Trump blames Obama for inaction over Russia meddling

President Donald Trump remained focused on the Russia matter on Monday, questioning in a tweet why his predecessor didn't act to prevent Moscow from interfering in US elections.

"Obama was President up to, and beyond, the 2016 Election. So why didn't he do something about Russian meddling?" Trump wrote just after 3 p.m. ET after returning from a round of golf at his course.

It's a line of criticism Trump has used previously when attempting to deflect attention from accusations his campaign associates colluded with Russia in the run-up to the 2016 contest. Trump has adamantly denied any cooperation between his team and Russia and has called the investigation a Democratic hoax.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I say no .... we should not blame President Obama for not doing enough to stop Russian meddling. We now know that President Obama was aware of what was happening .... but he probably had the same opinion that I had when I first heard of this story in 2016 (and an opinion that I still hold). The Russians were trying to meddle in the election, but it would not make a difference in the how and why people vote. The Hillary campaign was positioned to spend a billion dollars on her campaign. President Trump a bit less. And then there is the media coverage, the social media coverage, pundits and party workers .... we are talking billion dollar budgets, massive and non-stop TV and radio coverage, tens of billions of partisan posts and tweets (if not more) .... and that could all be negated by the Russians spending a million or two on some Facebook advertising and bots?!?!?! If the Russians were that good and that successful .... every campaign will now be copying the same methods and tactics that were used by the Russians to insure their electoral result .... which some believe was to insure a Donald Trump victory. But of course no one is doing it .... no one is copying what these Russians are alleged to have done. And the reason why is simple .... it does not work.

The Mass Exodus From Venezuela Is Now In Full Swing



Vanessa Neumann, Cipher Brief: Witnessing Venezuela's Exodus

CUCUTA, Colombia – Latin America analysts are bracing for a Syria-sized exodus in the Western Hemisphere, as beleaguered Venezuelans flee a humanitarian crisis of a country at war, but without tanks and bombs.

The weapons of mass destruction in Venezuela’s case have been hyperinflation, starvation, sickness and fear – especially fear of imprisonment and torture at the hands of the powerful SEBIN – Venezuela’s the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service. Its commander is affectionately known as ‘220’ for the voltage applied to a detainee’s genitals in between bouts of being forced to eat human excrement. It happens routinely, and it happens to my friends.

“Why?” I was asked when I said I was going to Cúcuta, Colombia, on the border of Venezuela, and ground zero of the migration crisis. Because if you’re going to opine on a humanitarian crisis, I answered, you might do well to go and meet the humans enduring it.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Brookings estimates that 4,000,000 Venezuelans have fled the country from the time when Chavez took power to the end of 2017. Here is an easy prediction .... that number is going to be doubled (if not more) in the next year or two. For the average Venezuelan .... the country is no longer livable for them.

More News On The Mass Exodus From Venezuela

The Biggest Migrant Crisis In The Americas Is Taking Place In Venezuela -- Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes
Venezuela: Wartime numbers of refugees without a war -- IRIN
Millions Flee Socialist Paradise of Venezuela -- Evan Maguire, Spectator
'Bolivarian Diaspora' can no longer be ignored -- Antonio Mora, The Hill
Venezuela’s refugee crisis will exceed Syria’s; we must help -- Dany Bahar, Brookings

Commentaries, Opinions, And Analysis -- February 19, 2018



Steven Metz, WPR: What Syria Reveals About the Future of War

Week by week, month by month, the horrific war in Syria grinds on, killing combatants from many countries and, most tragic of all, Syrian civilians—the unintended or, in many cases, intended victims of the warring parties. As Liz Sly and Loveday Morris wrote recently in The Washington Post, “A war that began with peaceful protests against President Bashar al-Assad is rapidly descending into a global scramble for control over what remains of the broken country of Syria, risking a wider conflict. Under skies crowded by the warplanes of half a dozen countries, an assortment of factions backed by rival powers are battling one another in a dizzying array of combinations.”

Read more ....

Commentaries, Opinions, And Analysis -- February 19, 2018

Israel Is Tight-Rope Walking Around Another Devastating Conflict -- A. Ahronheim, Jerusalem Post

Afrin puts Turkish-Iranian-Russian mistrust on full display -- Al-Monitor

Lebanon: Russia's New Outpost in the Middle East? -- Michael Peck, National Interest

With eye on elections, Turkey’s Erdogan stokes fears of Kurds to amplify anti-American message -- Guy Taylor, The Washington Times

After the Protests, Iranian Anger Still Simmers -- Barbara Slavin, American Conservative

Expanding the ISIS Brand -- Colin P. Clarke, National Interest

China’s step into the maelstrom of the Middle East -- James M Dorsey, East Asian Forum

New Questions for Brunei and its ties to China -- Eugen Iladi, RCW

Suddenly Putin’s Worried About Online Attacks in the Run-Up to His Own Presidential Election -- Amy Knight, Daily Beast

Latvia's banking sector rocked by U.S. probe, central bank chief's detention -- Gederts Gelzis, Reuters

The Guardian view on Holocaust responsibility: Poland cannot wholly escape blame -- Guardian Editorial

Venezuela's new bitcoin: an ingenious plan or worthless cryptocurrency? -- John Otis, The Guardian

Witnessing Venezuela's Exodus -- Vanessa Neumann, The Cipher Brief

America's diplomatic absence is worrying the security community -- Nic Robertson, CNN

Donald Trump's Guantanamo Bay -- Stephanie March, ABC News Online

How the oil boom is changing U.S. energy policy -- Kevin Book, Axios

World News Briefs -- February 19, 2018 (Evening Edition)


AFP: 77 dead as Syria enclave pounded ahead of expected ground assault

Heavy Syrian bombardment killed at least 77 civilians in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta on Monday, a war monitor said, as regime forces appeared to prepare for an imminent ground assault.

The escalation came as pro-government forces were also expected to enter the northern Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin, to take a stand against a month-old Turkish assault there.

Held by rebels since 2012, Eastern Ghouta is the last opposition pocket around Damascus and President Bashar al-Assad has dispatched reinforcements there in an apparent concerted effort to retake it.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

UN draft calls for 'measures' over Iran missiles to Yemen.

Dozens of people were killed in Syrian airstrikes, a human rights group says.

Turkey warns as Syrian government poised to enter Afrin.

Syrian army to help Kurdish forces repel Turkish offensive in Afrin: reports.

No one can stop Turkish forces if Syrian Army enters Afrin to protect Kurds - FM.

Moscow calls on US not to play with fire in Syria. US must immediately leave area it controls in southern Syria — Lavrov.

Militants in army uniforms ambush Iraqi troops near Baghdad, 27 dead.

Israeli warplanes pound Gaza after new rocket attack.

Netanyahu in deeper peril as more Israeli officials are arrested on corruption charges.

Israel ready to act against ‘dangerous’ Iran, Netanyahu warns.

Iran denies 'hegemon' plans, denounces Saudi and Israel.

Swastikas drawn on Polish embassy in Israel.

Iran plane crash: Search continues for missing Aseman Airlines jet.

ASIA

Tillerson pledged to keep up the 'maximum pressure' campaign on North Korea — but offered them a way out.

DPRK media denounces US plans to resume war games with South Korea.

Inter-Korean ties still precarious ahead of military talks, N. Korea blames U.S..

Pentagon watchdog reports little progress in Afghanistan despite Trump administration's new approach.

Afghan political crisis deepens as second governor refuses to resign.

Russian military build-up threatens Japan islands deal.

Maldives court suspends rebel MPs ahead of key vote.

NZ Labour Party support rises to 15-year high after four months at helm: poll.

China launches anti-poverty drive in restive Xinjiang.

Indonesia's Mt. Sinabung spews massive smoke-and-ash column.

AFRICA

UN warns of rising food insecurity across Africa.

Somalia appoints new police, intelligence chiefs.

Israeli gas company announces $15B export deal with Egypt.

Two aid workers killed in eastern DR Congo.

Nigeria orders military to capture Boko Haram leader "dead or alive".

Three Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai campaign.

Sudan releases activists arrested over 'bread protests'.

Togo talks offer 'last chance' to resolve crisis.

At least 17 killed in Mozambique capital as pile of garbage collapses.

Somali refugees enslaved in Libya return home.

Drought and conflict shutting down schools in East Africa.

EUROPE

Extent of UK cooperation with Gaddafi revealed.

Kremlin says there's no significant evidence of Russian meddling in US election.

Lavrov dismisses as speculations reports of hundreds of killed Russians in Syria. Kremlin says charges over U.S. election tampering prove nothing.

Ukraine: Thousands demand return of Saakashvili.

France says committed to Iran deal, will keep talking to European, U.S allies.

Italy's Northern League pledges mass migrant deportations.

Merkel taps possible successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as next CDU secretary general.

Latvia in turmoil amid U.S. probe, central bank chief's detention.

Russian team in shock over Games doping scandal.

AMERICAS

Trump revives push for limits on immigrants bringing family.

Russia-Trump inquiry: Ex-aide Rick Gates 'to plead guilty'.

Trump says FBI missed signs on Florida shooting due to Russia probe, draws criticism.

Russia looms large as U.S. election officials prep for 2018.

Mexican opposition candidates slam Trump wall ahead of campaign.

Mexico special agents found dead after cartel kidnapping.

Canada deports North Korean asylum seekers.

Chile seeks extradition of ex-guerrilla arrested in France.

Oxfam Haiti scandal: Suspects 'physically threatened' witnesses.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

Al Qaeda urges Egyptians to topple government as Egypt preps for vote.

ISIS claim responsibility for attack on Orthodox church that left five women dead as video emerges showing one person fleeing for her life.

Kremlin: Intensive struggle against extremism in Dagestan goes on.

12 ISIL widows sentenced to death, life by Iraqi court.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

World stocks break recovery streak with U.S. and China closed.

US Congress sets sights on federal cryptocurrency rules.

Gates says billionaires should pay 'significantly' more taxes.

Australia, US, India, Japan mulling 'infrastructure scheme to rival China'.

South Korean president: Seoul may file complaint against U.S. trade protectionism.

Bitcoin surging higher after mystery trader buys $344mn in cryptocurrency.

Venezuela's Opposition Still Split On Participating In April's Presidential Election

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with ministers in Caracas, Venezuela February 16, 2018. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

Reuters: Venezuela's opposition coalition likely to boycott presidential vote

CARACAS (Reuters) - Leaders of Venezuela’s opposition coalition appeared likely on Monday to decide on a boycott of the April presidential election, believing authorities have rigged it for President Nicolas Maduro and his ruling socialists.

Maduro, the 55-year-old successor of Hugo Chavez, is seeking re-election in the April 22 vote despite his unpopularity and a crushing economic crisis. But critics say the election is a farce, with Maduro’s main rivals barred from standing and a compliant election body bound to favor the socialists.

Leaders of the main parties in the Democratic Unity coalition have for days been considering whether to participate or not in the vote. Some believe a boycott is a self-destructive free pass for Maduro, while others say participation would be doomed to failure and merely legitimate his “dictatorship.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: With all of the opposition leaders in jail, barred from running, or in exile .... what is the point of participating .... Factbox: Venezuela's jailed, exiled or barred opposition politicians (Reuters).

Islamic State Claims Attack That Killed 27 Iraqi Militiamen Near Kirkuk



Al Jazeera: ISIL claims attack on pro-government militia in Iraq

ISIL claims responsibility for an attack that killed more than two dozen fighters in Iraq's Kirkuk province.

More than two dozen members of a pro-government militia in Iraq have been killed after being ambushed by disguised Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters.

Twenty-seven members of Hashd al-Shaabi, or the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), were killed after clashes broke out late Sunday in Hawija, a town in Iraq's oil-rich Kirkuk province, the militia said in a statement on Monday.

ISIL - also known as ISIS - claimed responsibility for the attack and said 30 people had been killed in the ambush, local media reported.

It was the deadliest attack against PMF fighters since October when pro-government forces retook Hawija from ISIL.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This is what will probably become the new normal in Iraq. Low intensity fights. IEDs. Terror attacks.

More News On The Islamic State Claiming Sunday's Attack That Killed 27 Iraqi Militiamen Near Kirkuk

Islamic State kills 27 Iraqi militiamen near Kirkuk -- Reuters
Daesh ambushes Iraqi Shiite-led force, killing 27 fighters -- Arab News/AP
27 killed after Islamic State ambushes Iraqi paramilitary force -- Press Association
Militants in army uniforms ambush Iraqi troops near Baghdad, 27 dead -- FOX News
Updated: 27 Hashd killed after clashes with ISIS in Hawija pocket -- RUDAW

Canada Is Deporting North Korean Asylum Seekers



Al Jazeera: Canada deports North Korean asylum seekers

Nearly 2,000 have been sent away since 2013 because the government says they lied on asylum application forms.

Despite its reputation as a haven for refugees, Canada has been deporting North Korean asylum seekers who came to the country through South Korea.

Nearly 2,000 have been kicked out of the country since 2013 because the government says they lied on their asylum application forms. Another 150 Koreans are under imminent threat of deportation.

Eleven years ago, Taegun Kim came to Canada with his wife, daughter and son. Now they have two more children, both Canadian citizens. A deportation would be catastrophic for the family.

"That notice means death to me," Kim told Al Jazeera. "I came all the way here for a better life and my family is well adjusted to life in Canada. To think we're going to be separated, it breaks my heart."

Read more ....

Update #1: North Korean defectors in Toronto worried they may be deported: ‘They treat us like garbage’ (Global News)
Update #2: North Koreans face deportation in Trudeau's Canada, report says (FOX News)

WNU Editor: If the North Koreans were honest in their asylum request (that they were from North Korea) .... they would probably have gotten status to live here a long time ago. But they lied .... and there are repercussions in Canada for doing that. The treatment of these North Koreans stands in sharp contrast to Prime Minister Trudeau arguing that returning Jihadists to Canada can be a powerful voice (see link here). Of the two groups .... if I had the power .... I would revoke the Canadian citizenship of these returning Jihadists, and give them to these North Koreans.

Is Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau Being Snubbed?



Daily Mail: Justin Trudeau and his family pass the time by visiting Gandhi’s home while wearing traditional Indian dress as Modi ‘snubs’ him on official visit

* Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau enjoyed third day touring subcontinent
* He was photographed in traditional dress with his family in Ahmedabad, Gujarat
* But once again Indian PM Narendra Modi did not meet him, fuelling talk of a snub

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and his family donned traditional Indian dress for a visit to Ghandi's home during the third day of his week-long visit to the country.

Trudeau posed at the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat - Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's home state - while wearing a long red shirt.

But once again Modi was not there to greet the leader of the world's second-biggest country, fuelling speculation he is being snubbed.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: According to India's diplomats, they have never seen anything like it .... Justin Trudeau’s ‘unusual’ India visit raises eyebrows, criticised by Canada watchdog (Hindustan Times). At least someone is going to meet him .... Punjab CM Amarinder Singh confirms he will meet Candian PM Justin Trudeau on Wednesday (India Today). Indian Premier Narendra Modi will be meeting PM Trudeau on the sixth day of his seven-day tour. On a side note .... it is amusing for me living in Canada to see the contrast on how the media in India are playing this story (nothing positive about the visit), and the Canadian press which is avoiding the controversial elements of the Prime Minister's visit. But the best comment on this trip comes from my mom. She believes it was a good excuse to take the kids during spring break for a trip overseas paid for by the Canadian taxpayer.

More News On Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau's Trip To India

Justin Trudeau 'snubbed' by Indian PM as he lands in New Delhi -- The Telegraph
Justin Trudeau welcomed to India with 'polite displeasure' after row over Sikh nationalist sympathies -- The Independent
Trudeau government moves to mend fences with India over Sikh tensions -- CBC
Khalistan becomes an issue between India and Canada again -- The Hindu
Justin Trudeau in India: Is the Canadian PM being cold-shouldered? -- Ayeshea Perera, BBC News

Russian Foreign Minister Warns U.S. That They Are 'Playing With Fire' In Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Sergei Savostyanov\TASS

TASS: Moscow calls on US not to play with fire in Syria

The Russian top diplomat noted that the US made provocative steps in Syria

MOSCOW, February 19. /TASS/. Russia calls on the US not to play with fire in Syria and measure its steps proceeding from the interests of the Syrian people and the region as a whole, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday at the opening of the Valdai Discussion Club’s conference dubbed "Russia in the Middle East: Playing on All Fields."

When the issue concerns the need to preserve Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, "we cannot but observe with concern attempts to disintegrate Syria," he said. "Such concerns arise after studying the plans which the US is starting to implement on soil, chiefly east of the Euphrates, on the vast territories between this river and Syria’s borders with Iraq and Turkey.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The U.S. is not the only country "playing with fire" in Syria .... Growing Anger In Russia On The Kremlin's Response To Reports That Hundreds Of Russian Contractors Were Killed In A Clash With U.S. Forces In Syria (February 17, 2018).

More News On Russian Foreign Minister Warning The U.S. That They Are 'Playing With Fire' In Syria

'Don't Play With Fire': Lavrov Slams US Attempts to Break Up Syria -- Sputnik
Russia Warns U.S. Not to ‘Play With Fire’ in Syrian Conflict -- Bloomberg
US must immediately leave area it controls in southern Syria — Lavrov -- RT
Russia to U.S.: Don’t ‘play with fire’ in Syria -- The Hill
Lavrov warns U.S. against 'playing with fire' in Syria -- UPI

Turkey Warns Syria That It Is Ready To Battle It's Troops In Northern Syria After Damascus Agreed To Support Kurdish Fighters



Daily Mail: Turkey risks WAR in Syria: Turkish minister declares 'no-one can stop us' and vows to fight Syrian troops in Afrin after Assad agreed to support Kurds under attack from Erdogan

* Damascus has agreed to 'bolster' forces in Afrin to confront Turkish 'aggression'
* Militias have been trying to repel a Turkish offensive in the Kurdish enclave
* Turkey's foreign Minister has warned his country is ready to battle Assad's troops
* Mevlut Cavusoglu said 'no one can stop us, stop Turkey or the Turkish soldiers'

Turkey's foreign minister has warned the country is ready to battle Bashar al-Assad's troops in northern Syria after Damascus agreed to support Kurdish fighters.

Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that 'no-one can stop us' as it was announced that pro-Syrian government forces will begin entering the Kurdish enclave of Afrin 'within hours'.

Syrian state media said Assad's forces will 'bolster' local forces in confronting Turkish 'aggression'. This suggested the Syrian government and Kurdish fighters - a militia known as YPG militia - have struck a deal aimed at repelling an ongoing Turkish offensive on the area.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If Turkeys' military starts battling Syrian-backed government forces .... this is going to change the battlefield in Syria completely.

More News On Turkey Warning Syria That It Is Ready To Battle It's Troops In Northern Syria After Damascus Agreed To Support Kurdish Fighters

Turkey warns it may hit Syrian troops in Kurdish enclave -- AP
Turkey warns against Syria regime support to Kurd militia -- AFP
Turkey Says Will Confront Syrian Forces if They Enter Afrin to Help YPG -- Reuters
Cavusoglu: Nobody can stop Turkish forces in Afrin -- Al Jazeera
No One Can Stop Turkish Forces if Syrian Army Enters Afrin to Protect Kurds - FM -- Sputnik
Turkey warns Assad regime against supporting YPG/PKK -- Anadolu Agency

Syria Confirms It Will Send Pro-Regime Forces To The Afrin Region To Assist The Kurds In Stopping A Turkish Offensive



Reuters: Pro-Assad militias to enter Syria's Afrin: state media

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Militias allied to the Syrian government will enter the Afrin region, Syrian media reported on Monday, after a Kurdish official said a deal had been struck with the Syrian army to help Kurdish forces end a Turkish offensive.

Turkey said it would welcome any move by Damascus into Afrin to get rid of the YPG Kurdish militia, but if Syrian troops were entering to protect the Kurdish fighters, then the Turkish assault would go on.

A second Syrian Kurdish official said no pro-government military forces were arriving in Afrin on Monday. While the deal was supposed to have been announced formally on Monday, the source said, external pressure might prevent it going ahead.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: I suspect that the Syrian government is now under a lot of pressure from the Turks to not deploy any forces. My prediction is that Syria will deploy their forces .... and the next question will then be .... will Turkey attack these pro-Syrian government militias?

More News On Reports That Syria Will Be Sending Pro-Regime Forces To The Afrin Region To Assist The Kurds In Stopping A Turkish Offensive

Pro-regime forces to enter Syria's Afrin 'within hours': state media -- AFP
Afrin: Syria 'sending fighters to help Kurds against Turkey' -- BBC
Syrian army to help Kurdish forces repel Turkish offensive in Afrin: reports -- DW
Syria pro-govt forces to enter Afrin ‘within hours’ amid Turkish military op – state media -- RT
'Syrian forces to back YPG' in fight against Turkey -- Al Jazeera
Syrian Forces to Back Kurds Against Turkey -- Bloomberg