Kurdish fighters withdraw from Ras al-Ain
BBC News, the Telegraph, Times, Financial Times, Sky News and Reuters report that the Pentagon has confirmed that US troops withdrawing from northern Syria will be relocated to western Iraq to contain IS militants and “help defend Iraq”. President Donald Trump has previously pledged to bring US troops home. Meanwhile, Kurdish-backed fighters for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have withdrawn from the besieged Syrian town of Ras al-Ain. Correspondents said it appeared to be the start of a wider withdrawal under the US-brokered temporary ceasefire agreement.
Reuters reports that US troops have entered Iraq from Syria through the Sahela border crossing in the northern province of Dohuk. Video images showed armoured vehicles carrying troops into Iraq and a Reuters cameraman saw more than 100 vehicles crossing.
The Guardian, Independent and Reuters report that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has visited Jordan along with a delegation of US politicians to discuss the “deepening crisis” in Syria. Pelosi said in a statement that her visit came at “a critical time for the security and stability of the region”.
Reuters reports that Senator Lindsey Graham appears to have reversed his stance regarding President Trumps’ decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria. In an interview with Fox News, Graham said a conversation he had with Trump had fuelled his optimism that a solution could be reached guaranteeing the security of Turkey and the Kurdish people.
The Times has interviewed SDF-aligned fighters claiming to be victims of Turkish white phosphorus attacks: A doctor treating the wounded said: “I know what burn and blast wounds are usually caused by airstrikes. These are different. The deep burn spotting, the burn shapes and smell are entirely consistent with wounds caused by a chemical incendiary”.
In the Independent, Borzou Daragahi maintains that “don’t tell Syrians to go home. We need to deal with Bashar al-Assad’s regime first”.
In the Independent, Ahmed Aboudouh examines how “Trump’s sellout of the Kurds threw Iran a lifeline in Syria”.
In the Financial Times, the Director of the Carnegie Moscow Centre, Dmitri Trenin, argues that “the Syrian crisis is now Russia’s to resolve”.
BBC News, the Guardian, Telegraph, Times, Financial Times and Reuters report that the Lebanese government has agreed a package of economic reforms to quell the biggest protests in 14 years. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets on Sunday for a fourth day of anti-government protests.
In the Financial Times, Carlos Abadi argues that “time is running out for Lebanon’s unsustainable debt”.
The Guardian reports that UK officials have taken the first steps to repatriate British children stranded in north-east Syria by liaising with “various agencies” – believed to include the International Committee of the Red Cross – to identify unaccompanied minors for “safe passage” back to the UK.
The Times reports that the coordinator of France’s 12 anti-terrorism examining magistrates, David De Pas, wants French jihadist fighters in Syria to be repatriated to prevent them from escaping to foment new attacks on their home country.
Reuters reports that US Defence Secretary Mark Esper has arrived in Afghanistan in a bid to revive peace talks with the Taliban after President Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month. “I hope we can move forward and come up with a political agreement that meets our ends and meets the goals we want to achieve”.
BBC News, Sky News and Reuters report that a National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) investigation has found that an Iranian hacking group was itself hacked by a Russian group to spy on multiple countries. The Iranian group – codenamed OilRig – had its operations compromised by a Russian-based group known as Turla. The Russians piggybacked on the Iranian group to target other victims.
In the Guardian, Nesrine Malik writes that the “spectre of Syria silenced Arab protest. But now it’s finding its voice”.
The Daily Mail reports that Israeli forces on Friday shot dead a Palestinian who ran towards them with a knife near a military checkpoint in Tulkarem.
Reuters reports that Egypt will push Ethiopia this week to agree to an external mediator to help resolve a deepening dispute over a giant hydropower dam being built on Ethiopia’s Blue Nile.
The Guardian reports that an 8,000-year-old pearl is to be displayed in Abu Dhabi, according to authorities, who said it was proof that the objects have been traded since neolithic times.
The Independent reports that a 2,000-year-old “lost” street built in Jerusalem by Pontius Pilate has been uncovered for the first time since the Roman army captured the city and destroyed the Second Temple during the Siege of Jerusalem (70 AD).