The chief of the Russian General Staff on Wednesday accused the U.S. of training former Islamic State fighters in Syria to destabilise the country.
Valery Gerasimov’s allegations, made in a newspaper interview, centre on a U.S. military base at Tanf, a strategic Syrian highway border crossing with Iraq in the south of the country.
Russia says the U.S. base is illegal and that it and the area around it have become “a black hole” where militants operate unhindered.
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U.S. President Donald Trump has asked for another $30 billion for the Defense Department to rebuild the armed forces and accelerate the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Mr. Trump made the request in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, according to a statement by the Department of Defense. The request was for 2017 fiscal year, which ends on September 30.
“The fiscal 2017 budget amendment provides 24.9 billion dollars in base
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Presidents Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Donald Trump of U.S. agreed in a phone call overnight to act jointly against Islamic State in the Syrian towns of al-Bab and Raqqa, both controlled by the militants, Turkish presidency sources said on Wednesday.
The two leaders discussed issues including a safe zone in Syria, the refugee crisis and the fight against terror, the sources said.
They also said Mr. Erdogan had urged the U. S. not to support the Syrian
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