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Israel Strikes Iran in Syria, Losing Jet, as Conflict Moves Into Perilous Phase

NYT

Read the original here: Israel Strikes Iran in Syria, Losing Jet, as Conflict Moves Into Perilous Phase

Senate Leaders Speak After Government Shuts Down

Recent Episodes in U.S. & Politics U.S. & Politics 2:05 Senate Leaders Speak After Government Shuts Down U.S. & Politics 0:53 Trump Talks About the Wall During the Campaign U.S. & Politics 2:00 Aziz Ansari and the #MeToo Debate Donald Trump 2:15 Kirstjen Nielsen Grilled on Trump’s Words Donald Trump 0:17 President Trump: ‘I’m Not a Racist’ Donald Trump 1:45 Racist or Not? How TV News Reacted to Trump’s Comment U.S. […]

Rouhani Urges Calm in Iran as Protests Continue

In 2009, protesters were supporting reformers, but now their discontent appears to be with their leaders in general.In an unusually bold act of defiance, some protesters in Tehran and elsewhere called for the resignation of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and witnesses described crowds chanting, “Death to the dictator” and “Clerics should get lost.”Video shared on social media showed the police in Tehran firing water cannons to try to disperse demonstrators in Ferdowsi Square, Reuters reported, although the footage could not be independently confirmed.Two protesters were reported killed in recent days in the city of Dorud, and there were reports of dozens arrested across Iran.With the Iranian news media tightly controlled, it remained difficult to assess the extent of the protests. But they were clearly severe enough that Mr. Rouhani felt the need to respond.State television also said the authorities would temporarily restrict access to Instagram and the messaging app Telegram, to “maintain peace.” Reports about the demonstrations were being spread on such platforms.PhotoWhat began as an economic protest turned violent on Saturday in Tehran. State news agencies showed footage of protesters attacking banks and municipal buildings across the nation.Credit Social Media, via ReutersThe protests flared against the backdrop of a deep economic malaise in Iran, punctuated by rising prices and high unemployment, especially among young people.Continue reading the main storyMr. Rouhani decisively won re-election in May, partly on Iranian hopes that his successful negotiation of a landmark nuclear agreement in 2015 with big foreign powers, including the United States, would lead to an economic renaissance and greater prosperity in the nation of 80 million.Those hopes, however, have so far turned into disappointment. Despite the relaxation of nuclear-related economic sanctions and increased sales of oil — Iran’s most important export — core American restrictions including a ban on Iranian use of the United States banking system remain in place, severely limiting Iran’s efforts to become less isolated economically.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyThank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. Please try again later.You are already subscribed to this email.View all New York Times newsletters.While a few big name multinational corporations like France’s Total and Renault have engaged with Iran since the nuclear deal took effect, many foreign companies are reluctant to make big commitments in the country. […]

Retro Report: Special Ops Forces: How Elite Forces Became Military Muscle

But in a stunning operation that began late on July 3, 1976, Israeli commandos swooped in. They killed the hijackers and dozens of Ugandan soldiers, gathered the hostages and flew them to safety. The raid was carried out with near perfection, though it cost the lives of four hostages and of the commando leader, Lt. Col […]

Fears Grow That U.S. Is Inching Toward Bigger Role in Syria War

Russia has retaliated by threatening to treat American planes as targets; in a dramatic “Top Gun”-style maneuver on Monday, one of Moscow’s jets buzzed within five feet of an American spy plane.Continue reading the main storyNone of these encounters involved the Islamic State. The contradiction opens a larger question, national security experts say, of what kind of broader strategy the Trump administration plans once the Islamic State — now on the defensive — is defeated in Syria.With each episode, “we own more of the conflict in Syria without articulating a strategy,” said Vali Nasr, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. “We are sleepwalking into a much broader military mandate, without saying what we plan to do afterward.”American military gains in Syria have far outpaced any diplomacy toward a political settlement of the Syrian civil war.When President Barack Obama first began airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria three years ago, the instructions to the Pentagon seemed clear: Defeat the Islamic State through alliances with Syrians who oppose the brutal extremist group, but do not help them fight President Bashar al-Assad.The Islamic State is now reeling in Syria. It has been battered by strikes from a host of enemies, from the United States and its regional allies to the Syrian government that is backed by Russia and Iran. It no longer holds one-third of the country, according to American officials who say that the group has lost around half of the territory it once controlled.In past years, the Pentagon and its allies could stay out of the Syrian government’s way — and that of Mr. Assad’s backers in Russia and Iran — as all fought the Islamic State. Now, all sides are converging on a smaller piece of territory, resulting in competing forces increasingly turning on one another, in addition to the common enemy.Captain Davis, at the Pentagon, noted that when American-backed ground troops are confronted by “armed drones, that leaves us with no choice but to defend ourselves and our partners.”He said that the downing of an Iranian-made drone this week was done in self-defense […]

U.S. Fighter Jet Shoots Down Syrian Warplane

NYT

View original here: U.S. Fighter Jet Shoots Down Syrian Warplane

Long Before It Lost Turf, ISIS Was Already Targeting Britain

NYT

Read the original here: Long Before It Lost Turf, ISIS Was Already Targeting Britain