World News Briefs — February 18, 2019

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CNN: Commander of US-backed forces fighting ISIS asks US to keep troops in Syria

The commander of the US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces is asking the US and its coalition partners to provide air support and keep up to 1,500 troops in Syria as part of an effort to stabilize the country.

“I feel that American forces must remain inside of Syria,” General Mazloum told reporters, speaking through an interpreter, “we don’t want them to leave Syria … but in the end, it is an American decision.”

“The withdrawal of American forces in the middle of the fight is something unfortunate,” he added.

The SDF commander made his comments during a visit to Northern Syria by Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of US Central Command, which oversees all US military operations in the region.

Read more ….

MIDDLE EAST

US-backed Syria force says IS territorial defeat is near.

Commander of US-backed Syrian forces calls for 1,500 troops to stay.

Syria: SDF calls for help with ‘time bomb’ ISIL fighters.

Twin bombings kill at least 15 people in Syria’s Idlib city.

Erdogan: NATO gives arms to ‘terrorists’ but not to Turkey.

Yemen’s warring sides agree to pullback from Hodeidah: UN.

Thousands in Iran attend funeral for slain Guard members.

Iran presses Europe to defy US and stay in nuke pact.

Netanyahu secretly met Morocco’s foreign minister: Report.

Saudi crown prince orders release of 2,100 Pakistani prisoners.

Nine killed in Kashmir gun battle days after deadly attack.

Pakistan recalls India envoy amid tensions over Kashmir attack.

Retired Indian general urges caution against Pakistan strike.

India deploys additional army units along Myanmar border as threat escalates.

Maldives court orders arrest of ex-President Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

US, North Korea mull exchange of liaison officers: report.

Kim Jong Un could travel to Vietnam by train.

China accuses US of trying to block its tech development after accusations Huawei is a security threat.

China’s Communist Party requires millions of people to tune into ‘Xi Jinping thought’ every day.

Russia’s Far East gas to start China deliveries by December.

Nigeria’s candidates blame each other in surprise vote delay.

MSF says UN failed civilians in Central African Republic attack.

Libya marks 8th anniversary of revolution.

In Libya’s former jihadist hotbed, residents hope for a better future.

Massive deforestation by refugees in Uganda sparks clashes with local people.

Zimbabwe opposition figure fined for claiming poll win.

Kenya recalls ambassador to Somalia over water rights clash.

Britain’s Labour splits over Brexit and anti-Semitism.

Israeli-European summit canceled after Holocaust remarks about Poland.

EU parliament’s centrist coalition set to lose majority, poll finds.

EU foreign ministers discuss taking back ‘IS’ fighters, Venezuela and Yemen.

Merkel defends Iran deal, multilateralism but Pence resists.

Britain’s finance minister Philip Hammond scraps China trip amid plans to deploy new UK aircraft carrier to Pacific.

Bulgarian nationalists march in honor of pro-Nazi general.

Britain’s cybersecurity chiefs say Huawei risks can be ‘managed’.

Trump: ‘Disgraced’ McCabe, Rosenstein look like they were planning ‘very illegal act’. Trump lashes out at ‘treasonous’ officials after McCabe interview.

Trump urges Venezuelan military to desert ‘Cuban puppet’ Maduro .

US willing to meet Maduro as military helps deliver aid to Venezuela. US military planes land near Venezuela border with aid.

Venezuela’s Juan Guaido calls for nationwide protests to allow US aid to enter.

Venezuela government plans own concert to oppose Guaido’s aid event.

Venezuela crisis: More migrants cross into Brazil amid standoff.

Haitians seek water, food as businesses reopen after protests.

5 Americans arrested in Haiti as violent protests continue.

Canada PM Justin Trudeau’s top adviser Gerald Butts quits, accused of meddling in bribery investigation.

Canadian missionaries, nurses, tourists evacuated from Haiti.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

‘Not responding to Trump’s demands’: France snubs US call to repatriate Jihadis.

Germany mulls US demand to take back ‘IS’ fighters captured in Syria.

English-speaking narrator behind Daesh propaganda videos captured – Report.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Oil gains as investors grow optimistic over OPEC output deal.

EU threatens ‘swift and adequate’ action if Trump imposes tariffs on imported cars.

It’s China’s Huawei against the world as spying concerns mount.

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