Turkey has offered to work directly with the US and the USA -led anti-IS coalition to remove IS from Raqqa in Syria, but only if the USA stops working with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is mainly comprised of YPG fighters. But Washington sees the YPG as distinct from the PKK and a valuable partner in the fight against ISIL. A diplomat talking to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity claimed, however, that this approach could prove to be counterproductive for Ankara.
Tension has remained high on the Korean Peninsula over the past months between the United States and the DPRK over the USA threat to stage military attacks against Pyongyang in response to its nuclear and missile programs. Testifying beside Coats, the head of the military's Defense Intelligence Agency, Vincent Stewart, said the state of the 15-year conflict will deteriorate from a stalemate in favor of the belligerents if left unchecked.
Another missile launch or nuclear test "can't be ruled out", he said, but the Syria strike and Washington's implied threats "may give Pyongyang some pause". The North also past year launched a long-range rocket that put a satellite into orbit, which Washington, Seoul and others saw as a banned test of missile technology.
Critics assert that Trump's move was an attempt to stymie the FBI's probe and insist that the only way to ensure a full, impartial investigation is to hand the matter to a special prosecutor with no ties, or obligations, to Trump or his administration.
He held signs and chanted in protest to the bill. Republicans have a strong majority in the Legislature and shoved aside Democratic objections to push the bill, even as President Donald Trump's efforts to withhold federal funding for sanctuary cities have hit roadblocks in federal courts.
According to the "Steele Dossier", the intelligence file compiled privately by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, it was Kislyak who oversaw the Russian hacking operation, at least during the initial period of the cyber attack.