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Russian troops take over abandoned US airbase in northern Syria: report

Westlake Legal Group fee43649-russiaflag Russian troops take over abandoned US airbase in northern Syria: report fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc Dom Calicchio article 396ad8d0-ae93-5e82-bfb1-8e5b48ea6a4e

Russian troops took over the Kobani airfield in northern Syria last week, one day after U.S. troops moved out, according to a report.

Russian state media showed the Russian flag flying over what had been the center for U.S. operations against ISIS in the region, CBS News reported Saturday.

CAR BOMB ROCKS SYRIAN TOWN HELD BY TURKEY, MORE THAN A DOZEN KILLED

Other images showed Russian military helicopters landing on a runway and Russian troops deploying around the base, the report said.

The airbase is located along Syria’s northern border with Turkey.

The border region has been hit by several explosions that have killed and wounded scores of people over the past month, since Turkey began a military operation against Kurdish fighters in the wake of President Trump‘s decision to withdraw American troops from the area.

On Saturday, a car bomb exploded in al-Bab, a town in Aleppo province that is controlled by Turkey-backed opposition fighters. The blast killed at least 18 people and wounding several others, Syrian opposition activists and Turkey’s Defense Ministry said.

Last Wednesday, Russian officials said they had opened a helicopter base in Qamishli, about 200 miles east of Kobani, also along the border with Turkey, CBS reported.

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Two days earlier, Qamishli was the site of three bomb explosions that killed five people and wounded 26, according to Reuters.

Security forces in the largely Kurdish-controlled city described the bombings as a “terrorist operation,” the report said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Westlake Legal Group fee43649-russiaflag Russian troops take over abandoned US airbase in northern Syria: report fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc Dom Calicchio article 396ad8d0-ae93-5e82-bfb1-8e5b48ea6a4e   Westlake Legal Group fee43649-russiaflag Russian troops take over abandoned US airbase in northern Syria: report fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc Dom Calicchio article 396ad8d0-ae93-5e82-bfb1-8e5b48ea6a4e

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Car bomb rocks Syrian town held by Turkey, more than a dozen killed

A car bomb exploded Saturday in a northern Syrian town controlled by Turkey-backed opposition fighters, killing at least 18 people and wounding several others, Syrian opposition activists and Turkey’s Defense Ministry said.

Northern Syria has been hit by several explosions that have killed and wounded scores of people over the past month. That’s since Turkey began a military operation against Kurdish fighters in the wake of President Donald Trump‘s decision to pull the bulk of American troops out of northern Syria.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 19 people, including 13 civilians, were killed Saturday in the town of al-Bab in Aleppo province. The Aleppo Media Center, an activist collective, said 15 people were killed in the blast in a busy part of town near a bus station.

Westlake Legal Group AP19320487987440 Car bomb rocks Syrian town held by Turkey, more than a dozen killed fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/crime fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 506f1920-2382-5d32-9b22-465503a351ed

This photo provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Albab City, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, people check the aftermath of a car bomb exploded in the city of al-Bab, northern Syria, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (Albab City via AP)

SYRIA’S ASSAD CLAIMS JEFFREY EPSTEIN DIDN’T COMMIT SUICIDE: ‘HE WAS KILLED BECAUSE HE KNEW A LOT OF VITAL SECRETS’

Turkey’s Defense Ministry said the blast killed 18 people and blamed the main Kurdish militia, known as the People’s Protection Units.

It is not uncommon for reports to give differing casualty figures in the immediate aftermath of this kind of attack.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack.

A video posted online by Albab City, an activist collective, showed several vehicles on fire with black smoke billowing from a wide street with shops on both sides. Inside the bus station, several white minibusses appear damaged.

Westlake Legal Group AP19320487671486 Car bomb rocks Syrian town held by Turkey, more than a dozen killed fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/crime fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 506f1920-2382-5d32-9b22-465503a351ed

This photo provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Albab City, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, people check the aftermath of a car bomb exploded in the city of al-Bab, northern Syria, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. A car bomb exploded Saturday in a northern Syrian town controlled by Turkey-backed opposition fighters, killing at least 18 people and wounding several others, Syrian opposition activists and Turkey’s Defense Ministry said. (Albab City via AP)

“It looks like doomsday. May God help us,” a man could be heard saying as five young men carried a wounded person away. At least two bloodied and wounded men could be seen rushed away on motorcycles.

MISSOURI MAN FROM BOSNIA WHO AIDED ISIS GETS 8-YEAR PRISON TERM, FACES DEPORTATION

Turkey-backed opposition fighters took control of parts of Aleppo province, including the towns of al-Bab and Afrin, in previous military offensives in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

The past month’s attacks have come amid an expanding Turkish invasion of into northeast Syria against Kurdish-held towns and villages along a stretch of the border.

Three car bombs went off Monday in the northeastern Syrian town of Qamishli near the border with Turkey, killing at least six people, according to activists and Syria’s state news agency SANA.

On Nov. 2, a car bomb killed 13 people in the northern Syrian town of Tal Abyad, which is also held by Turkey-backed opposition fighters.

BAGHDADI’S COMPOUND IN SYRIA HAD INTERNET UNTIL DAY OF DEADLY US RAID, REPORT SAYS

The Turkish offensive has aimed at pushing Kurdish fighters away from the border. Those Kurdish fighters had been key U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group. Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish fighters terrorists linked to a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey.

Turkish forces have consolidated control over a stretch of the border running 120 kilometers (70 miles) wide and 30 kilometers (20 miles) deep into Syria. They have also kept up pressure outside that area, fighting with Kurdish forces on the edges.

Syrian government forces and their Russian allies have moved into other parts of the border under a Russian-Turkish deal.

Westlake Legal Group AP19320487987440 Car bomb rocks Syrian town held by Turkey, more than a dozen killed fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/crime fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 506f1920-2382-5d32-9b22-465503a351ed   Westlake Legal Group AP19320487987440 Car bomb rocks Syrian town held by Turkey, more than a dozen killed fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/crime fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 506f1920-2382-5d32-9b22-465503a351ed

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Missouri man from Bosnia who aided ISIS gets 8-year prison term, faces deportation

A Missouri man who came to the U.S. from Bosnia was sentenced Thursday to eight years in prison for supporting terrorists, including an ISIS leader in Syria.

Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 45, of St. Louis County, pleaded guilty last spring to backing Bosnian-American Abdullah Ramo Pazara, who left Missouri for Syria in 2013 and died fighting for ISIS, authorities said.

ISIS TARGET BELIEVED TO BE ABU BAKR AL-BAGHDADI IS KILLED IN SYRIA: SOURCES

Westlake Legal Group isis-supporter Missouri man from Bosnia who aided ISIS gets 8-year prison term, faces deportation fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article ac7d1836-1773-548f-bd00-76d289939ac3

Ramiz Zijad Hodzic provided material support to ISIS terrorists, authorities say.

Hodzic sent cash and military equipment to several Middle Eastern countries and Pazara between 2013 and 2015 that furthered ISIS’s efforts, prosecutors said.

His attorney asked for a lighter sentence, saying Hodzic mostly sent Pazara supplies like socks and that he loved the United States, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

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Three of Hodzic’s co-defendants have already been sentenced. His wife and another defendant who pleaded not guilty await sentencing.

Hodzic will be deported after his prison term, authorities said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

Westlake Legal Group isis-supporter Missouri man from Bosnia who aided ISIS gets 8-year prison term, faces deportation fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article ac7d1836-1773-548f-bd00-76d289939ac3   Westlake Legal Group isis-supporter Missouri man from Bosnia who aided ISIS gets 8-year prison term, faces deportation fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/crime fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article ac7d1836-1773-548f-bd00-76d289939ac3

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Beto O’Rourke suggests al-Baghdadi death happened ‘despite’ Trump, ‘not because of him’

Westlake Legal Group trump-beto Beto O'Rourke suggests al-Baghdadi death happened 'despite' Trump, 'not because of him' Sam Dorman fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc e3e84789-34ac-57eb-8329-629e8cd934e0 article

Beto O’Rourke, former Texas congressman and current Democratic presidential candidate, is advancing the notion that President Trump might have hindered, not helped, the U.S.’s ability to take down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“Someone made the case, and it’s very compelling to me, that this raid was successful in spite of or despite the president, not because of him,” O’Rourke said on “The Daily Show” on Monday.

O’Rourke suggested that it was a “miracle” the U.S. was able to kill Al-Baghdadi after the president recently pulled U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria. Critics say that decision left Kurdish occupants, who’ve assisted the U.S. in containing ISIS in the region, vulnerable to an invasion from Turkey.

“To turn his back on those Kurdish fighters whose intelligence and help located al-Baghdadi in the first place and made sure that we were successful,” O’Rourke said.

ISIS SPOKESMAN ABU HASSAN AL-MUHAJIR, POTENTIAL AL-BAGHDADI SUCCESSOR, ALSO KILLED IN SYRIA, OFFICIAL SAYS

“His precipitous withdrawal that created a void that Turkey and Russia, Iran and I.S.I.S. and Assad have all come in to — it is really a miracle that we were able to do this but it is really owing to our allies, our friends, our partners on the ground and those great service members who put their lives on the line to ensure that there is justice for this country.”

O’Rourke was echoing criticism of Trump’s decision — namely, that he abandoned Kurdish allies and allowed Turkey’s subsequent incursion into Syria.

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In a statement from the White House, Trump thanked Kurdish allies but also indicated his administration shared credit for the attack.

“Baghdadi has been on the run for many years, long before I took office. At my direction, as commander-in-chief, the United States obliterated his ‘caliphate’ in March of this year. Today’s events are another reminder that we will continue to pursue the remaining ISIS terrorists to their brutal end,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group trump-beto Beto O'Rourke suggests al-Baghdadi death happened 'despite' Trump, 'not because of him' Sam Dorman fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc e3e84789-34ac-57eb-8329-629e8cd934e0 article   Westlake Legal Group trump-beto Beto O'Rourke suggests al-Baghdadi death happened 'despite' Trump, 'not because of him' Sam Dorman fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc e3e84789-34ac-57eb-8329-629e8cd934e0 article

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Parents of ISIS victim Kayla Mueller explain what Trump mentioning their daughter after al-Baghdadi raid meant to them

Westlake Legal Group MacCallum-Mueller-family Parents of ISIS victim Kayla Mueller explain what Trump mentioning their daughter after al-Baghdadi raid meant to them fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/us/terror fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 7a00be3a-58a9-5e34-9897-65301447f1bf

The parents of murdered ISIS captive Kayla Mueller spoke to Fox News after President Trump mentioning their daughter during his official announcement that the terrorist group’s leader was dead.

Carl and Marsha Mueller told “The Story” they cried when the president announced Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blew himself up in Idlib, Syria, as U.S. forces closed in.

“The reaction to the president speaking Kayla’s name was tears from both of us,” Carl Mueller said.

“It was very touching to know that he had been briefed and he knows Kayla’s story, and just by him mentioning her name and saying ‘for what [al-Baghdadi] did to Kayla,’ we knew he knows the story.”

HOW ISIS LEADER AL-BAGHDADI’S HEADLESS BODY WAS ID’D MINUTES AFTER DEATH

Mueller, 26, was a humanitarian worker from Prescott, Ariz., who was captured while leaving a hospital in Aleppo, Syria, during that nation’s bloody civil war in 2013. She is believed to have been tortured and raped by al-Baghdadi himself until her death 18 months later.

On “The Story,” MacCallum asked Marsha Mueller how it has been for her family since the news of al-Baghdadi’s death broke.

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“This has been going on so long I’m not sure about the last 48 hours for me — I’m just searching for Kayla — I was glad he blew himself up, that no one killed him on our side,” she said.

She explained while Kayla was held by ISIS, her captors would treat her worse than other prisoners because she was an American. Kayla was screamed at by British-born ISIS members known as “The Beatles” for all of what they believed the U.S. had done wrong, Marsha Mueller said.

TRUMP RELEASES PHOTO OF HERO DOG INJURED IN AL-BAGHDADI RAID

“I think of other hostages and it seemed like she was treated much worse than the people she was with… because she was an American. So I’m just glad he did it to himself.”

The mission that killed al-Baghdadi in his hideout this weekend was named after Mueller, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said Sunday morning on “Meet The Press.”

“One of the things that Gen. [Mark] Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did was named the operation that took down al-Baghdadi after Kayla Mueller, after what she had suffered,” he said.

Marsha Mueller praised Trump and the Special Operations forces who raided the compound, telling The Arizona Republic she believes if “Obama had been as decisive as Trump,” her daughter might still be alive.

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Kayla Mueller’s parents said on Sunday that they hope the ISIS leader’s death will reveal more answers about what happened to their daughter. Even though they confirmed her death through pictures sent by militants, their daughter’s body was never recovered.

Carl Mueller reiterated that hope in his Monday interview.

“Our hope is to seize this moment,” he said.

“This moment is the fact that Al-Baghdadi has been killed, some of his lieutenants have been captured and we are hoping they have the information we’ve been seeking — that is who killed Kayla, where was she killed and where was she buried.”

Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group MacCallum-Mueller-family Parents of ISIS victim Kayla Mueller explain what Trump mentioning their daughter after al-Baghdadi raid meant to them fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/us/terror fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 7a00be3a-58a9-5e34-9897-65301447f1bf   Westlake Legal Group MacCallum-Mueller-family Parents of ISIS victim Kayla Mueller explain what Trump mentioning their daughter after al-Baghdadi raid meant to them fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/us/terror fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 7a00be3a-58a9-5e34-9897-65301447f1bf

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Israel’s UN ambassador condemns Erdogan’s support of terrorism

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon on Monday accused Turkey of being a hub for regional terrorism while saying its recent incursion into Syria has resulted in the strengthening of the Islamic State terror network.

Speaking during a United Nations Security Council debate on the Middle East, Danon said the council spent too much time on Israel and called on its members to do more to thwart the ambitions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Erdogan has turned Turkey into a safe haven for Hamas (terrorists) and a financial center for funneling money to subsidize terror attacks. Erdogan’s Turkey shows no moral or human restraint towards the Kurdish people. Erdogan has turned Turkey into a regional hub for terror,” Danon said.

The quarterly open debate often has been criticized over perceived one-sided attacks against the Jewish state.

Westlake Legal Group Danon-Erdogan_Getty-AP Israel's UN ambassador condemns Erdogan's support of terrorism fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations/security-council fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox news fnc/world fnc Ben Evansky article 7a8b0985-614d-57f0-9e32-7bdc6d5f770f

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon lashed out at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in pointed remarks. (AP, File)

Danon complained, “As Erdogan expands his terror campaign into Syria, the U.N. Security Council focuses on Israel. It is a disgrace to this body’s mandate that this Council continues to target Israel instead of the atrocities performed by Erdogan. Recycling old arguments over and over against Israel instead of focusing on the devastation caused by Erdogan, as we sit here today, will not save the lives of the Kurdish people.”

He continued, “Israel warns against the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds, and calls upon the international community to take action and provide aid to the Kurdish people.”

Danon added, “His violence in Syria also resulted in the strengthening of ISIS. While he was busy murdering those who have helped keep the world safe from the threat of ISIS, he allowed ISIS members to break out of prison and subject the world to future attacks.”

Before the meeting, Danon would not say if Israel played an intelligence role in the mission to kill ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi this past Saturday, but he congratulated the Trump administration during his speech on the operation that saw the death of the terror leader.

United States U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft told the council, “the world is a much safer place,” following the death of al-Baghdadi. She thanked “America’s fearless women and men in uniform, our intelligence community and our partners that executed this mission flawlessly, for their efforts in bringing the leader of ISIS to justice.” 

Craft focused the rest of her message on calling for more action against Hamas. She said the extremist group received less criticism than Israel and pointed out that its behavior had never been “seriously scrutinized by this council or the General Assembly.”

She continued, “If this institution is genuinely concerned with peace, we should be eager to examine Hamas’ behavior more closely.”

Last December, then-Ambassador Nikki Haley tried to persuade the General Assembly to condemn Hamas. Her efforts came close to success but were thwarted by a procedural move from the Kuwaitis and Bolivians which meant the U.S. resolution needed a two-thirds majority of votes.

U.N. FAILS TO ADOPT U.S. RESOLUTION CONDEMNING HAMAS TERROR

Turkey’s United Nations Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu responded to Danon’s earlier remarks aimed against his country and accused the Israeli government of having a “terrorist ideology.”

He told the council, “Today, once again, we have listened to our daily dosage of lies. When these lies come from the representative of terror, they are just a waste of time.”

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Iran’s deputy ambassador, Eshagh Al Habib, followed his Turkish counterpart in condemning Israel, accusing it of waging wars in the region. He also called on the Security Council to implement its resolutions against Israel and blamed the U.S. for shielding her closest Mideast ally.

Earlier in the day, Palestinian Ambassador to the U.N. Riyad Mansour shared a similar message. He called on the council and international community to take action against Israel if it continued to violate resolutions, saying Israel “must bear the consequences of its violations.” Mansour said they should include “sanctions and prosecution in courts.”

Westlake Legal Group Danon-Erdogan_Getty-AP Israel's UN ambassador condemns Erdogan's support of terrorism fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations/security-council fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox news fnc/world fnc Ben Evansky article 7a8b0985-614d-57f0-9e32-7bdc6d5f770f   Westlake Legal Group Danon-Erdogan_Getty-AP Israel's UN ambassador condemns Erdogan's support of terrorism fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/united-nations/security-council fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox news fnc/world fnc Ben Evansky article 7a8b0985-614d-57f0-9e32-7bdc6d5f770f

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Al-Baghdadi informant was inside compound at time of raid, Kurdish general tells Fox News

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098504885001_6098505058001-vs Al-Baghdadi informant was inside compound at time of raid, Kurdish general tells Fox News fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox news fnc/world fnc benjamin hall article 6edefc78-8fba-5d79-b79c-98d1b95dd1fd

The U.S. raid that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was months in the making and involved significant intelligence from Kurdish allies in Syria – including a rare informant at the heart of ISIS who was in the compound at the time of the raid, Fox News has learned.

Gen. Mazloum Abdi, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commander, told Fox News how they tracked al-Baghdadi after the caliphate fell.

The general said the informant “told us that he moved west to Idlib, and to a specific house. We told American intelligence on May 15, and together set up a secret cell, which had three Americans in it.”

The SDF informant told them about the tunnels under the compound, how many people were with al-Baghdadi, and that he was planning to move, having been at that location for months. That’s when the U.S. carried out the attack at the compound Saturday, and brought out the informant safely.

Informants within ISIS are extremely rare. To have one so close to the leader is unheard of, and a remarkable achievement for Kurdish forces.

Mazloum said the raid could not have been possible without Kurdish intelligence.

PICTURED: MILITARY DOG THAT HELPED U.S. FORCES TAKE DOWN AL-BAGHDADI

He also talked about the aftermath of President Trump’s recent decision to pull troops from northeastern Syria — a move critics say left Kurds who’d faithfully helped the U.S. contain ISIS vulnerable to a Turkish invasion.

“After the Americans pulled out, the Turks invaded, and we had no choice but to do a deal with the Syrian government and Russians. They were able to protect us. So, the Syrians moved to the border in place of the Americans.”

Fox News saw this, along with numerous cease-fire violations at the northern Syria front on Sunday. Syrian government forces took up their positions right opposite Turkish forces, which were just over half a mile away.

The Kurds said in the long run, they just couldn’t push back the Turkish Army themselves.

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Gun battles raged, and Turkish drone strikes and gunfire were regularly observed.

Mazloum also opened up about the future in Syria, saying it wasn’t too late for the U.S. to come back and protect the Kurds. “Our relationship with President Trump depends on him fulfilling his promise of protecting us.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098504885001_6098505058001-vs Al-Baghdadi informant was inside compound at time of raid, Kurdish general tells Fox News fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox news fnc/world fnc benjamin hall article 6edefc78-8fba-5d79-b79c-98d1b95dd1fd   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098504885001_6098505058001-vs Al-Baghdadi informant was inside compound at time of raid, Kurdish general tells Fox News fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox news fnc/world fnc benjamin hall article 6edefc78-8fba-5d79-b79c-98d1b95dd1fd

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President Trump releases photo of hero dog injured in Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid

Who’s a good boy?

President Trump answered that question Monday afternoon when he tweeted a photo of the U.S. military dog injured in the raid that claimed the life of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The hero dog — name still a mystery — was unveiled in a tweet, reading: “We have declassified a picture of the wonderful dog (name not declassified) that did such a GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the Leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi!”

The photo was released hours after Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters during a briefing Monday that the dog “performed a tremendous service” and was “slightly wounded” but is now “fully recovering.”

PENTAGON SAYS MILITARY DOG INJURED IN AL-BAGHDADI RAID ‘FULLY RECOVERING’

Westlake Legal Group attack-dog-2 President Trump releases photo of hero dog injured in Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid Liam Quinn fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 8221339b-9f1e-56dd-8f51-470168082cff

President Trump released a photo Monday of the military dog injured in the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid over the weekend.

HOW ISIS LEADER AL-BAGHDADI’S HEADLESS BODY WAS ID’D MINUTES AFTER DEATH

The dog has “returned to duty” and is back “with its handler,” he said.

Trump first revealed Sunday that military dogs chased al-Baghdadi down a dark underground tunnel before the terrorist leader detonated a suicide vest.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper, along with Milley, held the briefing Monday to discuss details of the raid, saying no U.S. troops were killed in the operation. The officials also confirmed that videos and photos of the raid exist.

“We do have videos, photos,” Milley said. “We’re not prepared at this time to release those. They’re going through a declassification process.” Both Trump and the officials indicated Monday that footage could be released at some stage.

AL-BAGHDADI KILL: HOW THE DARING MILITARY OPERATION WENT DOWN

Milley also said service members obtained certain “material” during the raid, but said, “I don’t want to say exactly what or how much.” Further, he confirmed that two adult men were captured alive from the compound and have been taken to a “secure facility.”

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed that the disposal of al-Baghdadi’s remains “is complete and was handled appropriately.”

A source told Fox News on Monday the remains were buried at sea – the same approach used with Al Qaeda mastermind Usama bin Laden to prevent a grave from becoming a rallying point or shrine for followers.

The death of al-Baghdadi was a milestone in the fight against ISIS, which brutalized swaths of Syria and Iraq and sought to direct a global campaign from a self-declared “caliphate.” A yearslong campaign by American and allied forces led to the recapture of the group’s territorial holding, but its violent ideology has continued to inspire attacks.

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“Baghdadi and the thugs who followed him were responsible for some of the most brutal atrocities of our time,” Esper said. “His death marks a devastating blow for the remnants of ISIS who are now deprived of their inspirational leader following the destruction of their physical caliphate earlier this year.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas, Jennifer Griffin and Catherine Herridge and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group attack-dog-1 President Trump releases photo of hero dog injured in Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid Liam Quinn fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 8221339b-9f1e-56dd-8f51-470168082cff   Westlake Legal Group attack-dog-1 President Trump releases photo of hero dog injured in Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid Liam Quinn fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 8221339b-9f1e-56dd-8f51-470168082cff

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James Carafano: Al-Baghdadi is dead –Trump was proven right on this one. So now what?

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098504885001_6098505058001-vs James Carafano: Al-Baghdadi is dead –Trump was proven right on this one. So now what? James Jay Carafano fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 352024ec-a0b5-57c3-b65a-4b384e2a5c8c

The self-proclaimed Caliph of ISIS is dead. That’s going to make it really tough for him to follow through on the terrorist group’s promise that “history is over”—a promise they made when starting their rampage of slaughter and misery.

While history isn’t over, the question remains: What does the future hold? Here is what we know for sure.

ISIS has now suffered two devastating psychological blows. The first was the obliteration of their territorial “caliphate.” Baghdadi’s obliteration is the second. In the Middle East, where honor is power, the humiliating death of their dear leader triggers a loss of respect and prestige. This is another big setback to the Islamist terrorist “cause.”

HOW ISIS LEADER AL-BAGHDADI’S HEADLESS BODY WAS ID’D MINUTES AFTER DEATH

And more bad news is likely headed the terrorists’ way. The raid on Baghdadi’s hideout was as much an intelligence collection operation as a military assault. No doubt the U.S. special forces teams scarfed up stuff that will tell them even more about ISIS, information that can and will be used to further degrade the terrorist organization.

The successful operation also suggests that, on this score at least, Trump was right and his critics wrong. The U.S. can continue to conduct effective counterterrorism operations in Syria—and it doesn’t need a massive military presence there to do it.

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The U.S. maintains a substantial counterterrorism footprint in the region. From Somalia and Yemen to Iraq, the U.S. has shown it can find and take out America’s enemies. No ISIS operative can rest easy in their bed at night, thinking that he is out of harm’s way.

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Finally, we know this is not over.  In 2001, we found ourselves in this global war against Islamist terrorists because we took our eye off the ball in the 1990s. We thought Afghanistan was too far away and Al Qaeda too insignificant to really bring the war to us.

The successful operation also suggests that, on this score at least, Trump was right and his critics wrong. The U.S. can continue to conduct effective counterterrorism operations in Syria—and it doesn’t need a massive military presence there to do it.

The threat roared back in 2011, when President Obama decided to take the foot off the gas pedal on operations to hunt the Islamists into oblivion. Now that the Caliphate is gone and the enemy is once again down on its luck, this is no time to declare “mission accomplished” and call it a day.

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While the U.S. does not need to occupy Syria, there is more work to be done in the region. The U.S. has to safeguard against foreign fighters and thwart terrorist travel. We have to keep a footprint in Afghanistan so we can also conduct effective counterterrorism operations in South Asia. We have to work with allies. And we have to remain vigilant here at home.

It would also be great if we could put aside the endless political squabbling. The truth is we have had the three most successful years in the fight against global terrorism. We should be building on that record of achievement—not fighting each other.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098504885001_6098505058001-vs James Carafano: Al-Baghdadi is dead –Trump was proven right on this one. So now what? James Jay Carafano fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 352024ec-a0b5-57c3-b65a-4b384e2a5c8c   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098504885001_6098505058001-vs James Carafano: Al-Baghdadi is dead –Trump was proven right on this one. So now what? James Jay Carafano fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 352024ec-a0b5-57c3-b65a-4b384e2a5c8c

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Jim Hanson: The caliph is dead — now, here’s how the US can exit from Syria

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098272568001_6098271250001-vs Jim Hanson: The caliph is dead — now, here's how the US can exit from Syria Jim Hanson fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 19e1f4bd-cd3d-5586-bc7d-68e9c449cd00

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, former leader of ISIS, was killed in a raid by U.S. Army Delta Force and Rangers in Syria. This is a momentous occasion with at least as much significance strategically as the death of Al Qaeda head Usama bin Laden. We can now identify a clear end point for the Islamic State caliphate in Iraq and Syria because the self-proclaimed caliph himself is dead.

Baghdadi and bin Laden led rival views of jihadist conquest. Al Qaeda preferred to remain dispersed and occasionally pop up to conduct terror attacks. They grew affiliated groups in many places, but never tried to hold ground as if they were a nation. ISIS, however, quite obviously ran up their black flag of jihad in Iraq and Syria and ruled a large quasi-state with oil revenue and even rudimentary government for several years.

The success Baghdadi achieved is worth noting. For a while there was a physical caliphate the global jihad could point to and claim they had accomplished a major goal of the Islamist movement worldwide. But even if they thought it would last and grow, their atrocities meant the civilized world could never countenance that.

JOHNNY ‘JOEY’ JONES: CELEBRATE BAGHDADI’S DEATH — AND AMERICA’S RESOLVE TO FIGHT TERROR

And as Al Qaeda noted, this planted a target on them. The U.S. built a coalition to cut down their black flag and now we have also cut the head off the snake.

Now, what is the U.S. exit strategy for Syria?

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President Trump has instituted a good part of the plan we were asked to write by the National Security Council almost two years ago for an End Game in Syria. We based it on these identified threats:

“The danger that Iran will otherwise end up with de facto control of the Sunni areas and safe transit across Syria is extremely high. A third major Sunni insurgency is also likely if Iran or its proxies control these areas. Turkey is negotiating a separate peace with Iran and Russia for control of the North.”

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Our plan called for three main objectives (though the U.S. could not get the Kurds and Turkey to agree after two years of negotiations):

  • A buffer zone for Turkey to contain the PKK Kurds, a U.S.-designated terror group.
  • Protection for the Syrian Kurds, who helped so much in the victory over ISIS.
  • Security of oil resources so Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran cannot use them.

The United States was never interested in a permanent presence in the region and certainly not in Syria.

Now we must solidify the gains we have made and make a few last pushes to ensure that Assad and Iran do not have a path to undo these successes and create the land bridge to the Mediterranean the mullahs in Tehran so desperately crave. There are gains in leverage for Turkey and Russia in the arrangements we have made, but those who are crowing that this was a giveaway to Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan should consider what, if anything, has been given.

Turkey is trying to build a buffer zone to stop PKK terror attacks but maintaining that is going to be an ongoing fight against terror groups that have a new set of atrocities to rally around. Putin’s major gains have mostly been media-based as he is credited for a win that really wins him nothing but trouble. Russia’s only strategic interest in Syria is the airbase and naval port, both of which are far removed from all of this.

The United States was never interested in a permanent presence in the region and certainly not in Syria. We were there to kill the ISIS caliphate and we have done that convincingly. Russia and Turkey may be left with a mess of simmering insurgency and civil war that could remind them to be careful what you wish for.

So, what should the US wish for?

1. Deny a land bridge or Shia Crescent across Iraq and Syria that allows Iran to control and supply the region.

2. Empower the Kurds and Sunni in Syria by working with regional allies to rebuild and create trade.

3. Push Erdogan and Turkey to decide whether they are a U.S. ally per NATO or not.

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The America First foreign policy President Trump has enacted is a pragmatic approach grounded in the idea that we cannot be involved in open-ended foreign deployments with no clear objectives or path to victory.

We can and will act decisively when an urgent U.S. strategic interest is threatened and no tyrant around the world should feel emboldened or safe.  But we will not be the neighborhood watch sticking around to make sure things can’t go bad again. That is a job for the people whose neighborhood it is.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098272568001_6098271250001-vs Jim Hanson: The caliph is dead — now, here's how the US can exit from Syria Jim Hanson fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 19e1f4bd-cd3d-5586-bc7d-68e9c449cd00   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098272568001_6098271250001-vs Jim Hanson: The caliph is dead — now, here's how the US can exit from Syria Jim Hanson fox-news/world/world-regions/turkey fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 19e1f4bd-cd3d-5586-bc7d-68e9c449cd00

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