• Syria’s Assad Sends Troops North As Turkish Offensive Escalates

    (Bloomberg) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sent troops to the northeast of the country to confront a Turkish offensive, raising risks of an escalation after Kurdish fighters turned to Damascus in the absence of U.S. support.The state-run SANA news agency said soldiers from the Syrian Arab Army had begun to move northwards. The Kurdish command for the northeast said it had reached a deal with Assad. The deployment comes after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered remaining U.S. forces in northern Syria to withdraw in the face of a rapid Turkish advance that has drawn international condemnation and the threat of sanctions.President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his offensive aims to push back Syrian Kurdish fighters linked to the separatist PKK group that has battled the Turkish government for decades; Turkey seeks to carve out a buffer zone inside Syrian territory to protect its own border and resettle Syrian refugees. The Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces say they are fighting for their rights inside Syria alone and have accused Turkish-backed Syrian fighters of committing war crimes.Who Are the Syrian Kurds the U.S. Is Abandoning?: QuickTakeErdogan launched the offensive on Wednesday, after receiving assurances from Trump that U.S. troops, who supported the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in the grueling war to defeat Islamic State, would stand aside.Kurdish-led forces control roughly a third of Syria and have tens of thousands of Islamic State fighters, their families, sympathizers and others in their custody in prisons and camps in northeastern Syria. They’ve warned that they will not be able to secure those areas whilst fending off an offensive by Turkey, a major NATO army. Even Trump allies have warned that chaos in the area could lead to an IS resurgence.U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on CBS that Trump had directed the deliberate withdrawal of American troops from northern Syria due to an expected increase in military action. Esper said the U.S. had learned in the past 24 hours that Turkey was likely to attack further south and west and that Kurdish forces were looking to cut a deal with Assad and Russia to counterattack.Trump Has Ordered Troop Withdrawal From N. Syria, Esper Says (2)“We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies, and it’s a very untenable situation,” Esper said. “We want to make sure we don’t put our soldiers in a situation where they could be killed or injured.”The Kurdish leadership said that while the SDF had fought hard, Turkey was pressing ahead with its campaign. “To prevent and confront this assault, we agreed with the Syrian government, who’s duty it is to defend the borders of the country and protect the sovereignty of Syria, to enter and spread out across Syria’s border with Turkey,” to help liberate the areas under Turkish control, it said in a statement.For the Kurds, inviting in Assad could come at a heavy price. The move may succeed in pushing Turkey back across the border but will likely mean allowing Damascus to take back control over the northeast after eight years of bruising civil war that has claimed some 500,000 lives and displaced millions.Facing a backlash at home and abroad, Trump has defended his move by saying he did not support the Turkish offensive. On Sunday, he said the U.S. Treasury had further sanctions ready to impose on Turkey. He gave no timeline.European Union leaders may also settle on an arms embargo on Turkey over its advance into Syria as soon as this week, four officials familiar with the discussions said. Germany and France said Saturday they stopped shipments of military equipment to their NATO ally.EU Leaders May Impose Weapons Embargo on Turkey Over Syria (1)EU government envoys in Brussels discussed on Sunday the draft of a decision adopting punitive measures against Turkey over Syria, as well as its drilling activities off the coast of Cyprus.According to a copy of the draft communique, due to be adopted by EU foreign ministers on Monday and seen by Bloomberg, the bloc’s nations will vow to coordinate on imposing an arms embargo against Turkey and take one more step in the process of adopting sanctions against Turkish individuals and companies involved in Mediterranean drilling operations.But two officials familiar with Sunday’s debate said the wording in the statement will change, as many member states want tougher language: Cyprus, supported by Greece, wants a decision on drilling sanctions now, including asset freezes, travel bans, and a ban on exports of equipment which can be used for hydrocarbon exploration.France, supported by several member states, is pushing for stronger language on the arms exports ban. Sweden, supported by the Netherlands and Denmark wants the EU to condemn the Syrian operation in stronger terms. The final decision may be left to ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, on Monday.Why What Happens in Syria Matters Beyond Its Borders: QuickTake\--With assistance from Nikos Chrysoloras and Samer Khalil Al-Atrush.To contact the reporters on this story: Zaid Sabah in Washington at zalhamid@bloomberg.net;Dana Khraiche in Beirut at dkhraiche@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Rosalind MathiesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Texas cop never ID'd himself as police before fatally shooting Atatiana Jefferson in her own home: Official

    A white police officer responding to a call early Saturday for a welfare check at a home in Fort Worth, Texas, fired a shot into a bedroom window, striking and killing a 28-year-old black woman who a neighbor said was not a threat. Relatives of the woman who was fatally shot identified her as Atatiana Jefferson, and said she worked as a human resources officer for a Fort Worth company and that she lived in the home with an 8-year-old nephew, Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA reported. During a news conference on Sunday afternoon, Fort Worth Police Lt. Brandon O'Neil said the officer who opened fire on Jefferson never identified himself as a police officer.

  • Russia's New Nuclear Weapon Is A Real Doomsday Device (And Aimed At America)

    If you can't beat them, destroy them.

  • Up to 35 dead as Typhoon Hagibis slams Japan

    Tens of thousands of rescuers worked through the pre-dawn hours Monday to reach people trapped by landslides and floods in Japan caused by a powerful typhoon that has killed up to 35, officials and local media said. Typhoon Hagibis moved away from land on Sunday morning, but while it largely spared the capital, it left a trail of destruction in surrounding regions. More than 100,000 rescuers -- including 31,000 troops -- clawed through debris overnight Sunday to Monday to reach people trapped after torrential rain caused landslides and filled rivers until they burst their banks.

  • Family ends search for missing CEO after a body is found

    The family of a missing Utah tech executive has called off a search for her after police reported that a body was found inside a parked car in the San Francisco Bay Area. Police in San Jose said the body was discovered Saturday in an area where Erin Valenti's family had been searching. "While we were praying for a different outcome, we are so appreciative for the help and support you have given," according to a Facebook post by the group Help Find Erin Valenti.