Should they stay or should they go? Europe divided over Trump’s call to withdraw troops from Syria

With the very last pocket of ISIL fighters in Syria facing imminent defeat, the US president has called on Europe to repatriate over 800 of the group’s militants, so they can be put on trial.

Otherwise, Donald Trump says, the extremists will be released from detention in Syria. The comments come as he looks to dramatically scale back his country’s involvement in the conflict.

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ISIS remnants still waging their terrorist campaign against innocent Iraqis

In Iraq, ISIL terrorists have launched a spate of kidnappings and attacks against security forces and civilians. Despite losing territory, the militants are still active in many parts of the country, switching to guerrilla warfare. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9dwp

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‘Terrorists slaughtered locals like sheep’: More than 200 Syrians dead in ISIL suicide bombings

Officials in the Syrian province of Sweida say that more than 200 people have been killed in ISIL suicide blasts. It’s said to be the worst violence to hit the area since the country’s war began

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Canada’s plan on ISIS fighters who have returned remains unclear

Canada’s Conservative House Leader, Candice Bergen, wants to know what authorities are doing about at least 60 former ISIL fighters who have returned to Canada. It comes on the heels of a New York Times podcast in which a former jihadi gave a detailed account of his killings in Syria. The former ISIL figther, known as Abu Huzaifa, confessed to taking part in execution-style murders of Sunni Muslim men.

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Syria combat footage: Syria Army continues offensive against ISIS in southern Damascus – reports

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) continued its offensive against militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIS, ISIL) in southern Damascus, Friday, according to media reports.

Footage shows government forces launching shell and rocket fire against militant targets in and around Yarmouk.

The fighting has taken place around the Yarmouk Camp and al-Hajar al-Aswad, an area two miles (3.21 km) from central Damascus, as part of efforts to clear the remaining pockets of IS militants south of the capital.

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Freed, but now forgotten – Mosul residents struggle among the ruins

It’s more than five months since Iraq’s second-largest city was liberated from ISIL.
But there’s precious little for the people of Mosul to return to.

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Russian military: Syria completely liberated from ISIS terrorists

The Russian military has announced that Syria has been completely liberated from Islamic State terrorists.
With Russia saying ISIL has been essentially driven out of Syria, there’s still the question of what to do with the group’s remaining fighters in neighbouring countries – Including Iraq.
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Trump’s u-turn: US and Turkey agree to jointly fight against ISIS & Kurdish PKK

Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Erdogan have agreed on a joint fight against ISIL and Kurdish separatist fighters in Turkey.
Earlier in a telephone conversation with the Turkish president, Trump also promised to cease arming US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria. Read more: https://on.rt.com/8t1v

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Syria’s liberation: Army recaptures last major ISIL stronghold

The Syrian army and its allies, including the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, say they’ve liberated the last major ISIL stronghold in Syria – the town of Al Bukamal.
The town is on the border with Iraq, and was the terrorists’ last major bastion after they were driven from the city of Deir ez-Zor.
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City of Corpses: RT visits Mosul to witness shocking aftermath of liberation

Months under a barrage of bombs the Iraqi city of Mosul has been almost leveled. The U.S.-led operation to liberate the city from ISIL has been declared a success, but the human cost is inconceivable. It was once home to around two million people.
Murad Gazdiev is in Mosul to witness the aftermath.
You might find the content of the following report upsetting.

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Barcelona attack aftermath: 13 people dead, 100+ injured as van plowed into the crowd

Bodies lay motionless on the ground as police and passersby helped those wounded in a deadly van attack on Las Ramblas, Barcelona, on Thursday. Police have reported that the incident has already claimed the lives of 13 people. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) have claimed responsibility.
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Liberation or obliteration? A look at the price paid to recapture Mosul

The Iraqi prime minister has declared victory over Islamic State, saying the army has recaptured the al-Nuri mosque in Mosul – which is where ISIL declared a caliphate three years ago.

In what’s undoubtedly a victory in ridding Iraq of the scourge of ISIL, it’s important to remember the effect on the people of Mosul. Murad Gazdiev spent over a month there during the battle.

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‘Both PKK & YPG are terrorist organisations’ – Turkey angered by Pentagon’s decision to arm Kurds

Turkey has reacted with anger to the Pentagon’s latest decision to supply new weapons to Kurdish forces – who Ankara view as terrorists.

The Turkish President has vowed to take up the issue with Donald Trump when they meet next week.
Washington’s latest moves seems to have further strained an already fragile relationship with Ankara.

Coming just two weeks after the U.S. condemned Turkish airstrikes that killed Kurdish fighters in Syria and Iraq.

But U.S. Defence Secretary, James Mattis, says America still wants co-operation on all fronts.

And just today, a Kurdish militia – known as the YPG – released a response to the U.S. deployment.

They called it a demonstration of confidence, saying it’s – quote – a historic decision that will yield important results.

We heard from a Middle-East expert who says the U.S. has more interests in the region than just fighting ISIL.

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Gitmo Alive: Trump has no plans to close notorious prison

The Trump administration is reportedly drawing up an executive order, which could see Islamic State terrorists being housed in Guantanamo Bay prison. According to a draft document obtained by the New York Times, America remains committed to its battle against terror groups. And Guantanamo should be used for newly captured detainees – including ISIL fighters. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/82r2

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Trump migrant policy is propaganda opportunity for ISIS – UK Home Secretary

Donald Trump is helping terror group ISIL with his immigration order – that’s the view of the UK Home Secretary, Amber Rudd. She joins a chorus of EU politicians expressing criticism of the new president. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/821t

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Fiercest ISIS offensive: Islamists cut off Syrian Deir ez-Zor airbase

Islamic State has launched a large-scale offensive against a key government air base in the Syrian province of Dier Ez-Zor. It’s believed the terrorists entered Syria from the Iraqi city of Mosul – where they had been fighting against a U.S.-led operation. Despite the Syrian army’s efforts, ISIL fighters have been making steady gains in that province, and have now effectively cut-off the strategically important government base there. RT’s Lizzie Phelan filed this report from Syria. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/80l7

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US fighting ISIS alone, Russia doing ‘virtually zero’ in Syria – Pentagon

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‘They haven’t done anything,’ Ash Carter stated in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press. ‘They came in, they said they were going to fight ISIL, and they said they were going to help in the civil war in Syria.’

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US State Dept claims comparing Mosul with Aleppo is ‘insulting’

Meanwhile across the border, as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces enter the outskirts of the ISIL stronghold of Mosul – a humanitarian crisis is unfolding there too.

Many have been drawing parallels between the campaigns in Aleppo and Mosul – both are aimed at defeating terrorists who are using civilians as human shields.

But the U.S. State Department believes that such comparisons are inappropriate.

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Israeli hackers breach ISIS messenger app, reveal ‘attack plans’

Islamic state is becoming more effective at carrying out its attacks. That’s according to the latest Homeland security report, which calls the terrorist’s success rate “alarmingly high” and “growing”. Statistics claim 44% of the group’s plots have been completed so far this year. President Obama has warned of the high terror risks connected to new strategies adopted by ISIL.

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Aftermath Footage: ISIS suicide attack on Shia shrine kills 35 in Iraq

At least 35 people were killed and more than 60 injured when alleged suicide bombers and gunmen of the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS; ISIL) stormed into a Shia shrine in the town of Balad, near Baghdad. Footage emerging from the site shows the devastation from the blasts, with a large amount of debris and remnants scattered on the inside of the shrine, as well as in its immediate exterior vicinity.

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CrossTalk: Turkey’s Reset

Turkey’s decision to offer Russia a reset in relations could have serious repercussions. Both countries now speak about the need to fight ISIL and share military intelligence. The conflict in Syria just got more complicated.
CrossTalking with Onur Isci, Mustafa Gurbuz, and Joe Lauria.
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Under Siege From The Islamic State In Ramadi

In early March, while the world was watching Iraqi government forces advance on the Islamic State (IS) in Tikrit, IS was launching a series of assaults on what little remains of the Government-held parts of the provincial capital, Ramadi, which has been under siege for over a year.

On the morning of 11 March alone — the first day VICE News spent in Ramadi — nearly two dozen IS car bombs were detonated, killing 10 and injuring 60.

In a series of interviews, Iraqi officials told VICE News that they fear Islamic State fighters will overrun what remains of Government-held Ramadi if the US did not intervene with air support. According to police in Ramadi, more than 2,000 officers have been killed since January 2014, when the Islamic State — then known mainly as ISIS or ISIL — first announced its presence in the city.

VICE News spent three days in Ramadi documenting civilian life and interviewing Iraqi officials, as the town remains under siege from the Islamic State.

Watch “Leading the Fight Against the Islamic State: The Battle for Iraq (Dispatch 10)” – http://bit.ly/1EEnJH7

Watch “The Battle for Iraq: Shia Militias vs. the Islamic State” – http://bit.ly/1EgHqG8

Read “With the Islamic State Closing In on Ramadi, Iraqi Officials Demand Help from the US” – http://bit.ly/1bqrn0j

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