WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It’s not a particularly strategic location, the United States and its allies never pledged to defend it, and few people outside the region had even heard of it before this month.
But the symbolism of U.S.-led airstrikes failing to stop Islamic State militants from overrunning the Syrian city of Kobani could provide an early setback to U.S. President Barack Obama’s three-week old Syria air campaign – far beyond its battlefield importance.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is frustrated by Turkey’s failure to stop the Islamic State onslaught on the Syrian town of Kobani but hopes to win its support against the group over time, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.
Turkish troops have sat on the sidelines as Islamic State militants have fought to gain control of Kobani, a Syrian town on the border with Turkey that is largely populated by Kurds, who also constitute large minorities in Turkey and Iraq.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military on Wednesday said air power alone may not save the Syrian town of Kobani from Islamic State militants as U.S. officials appeared to brace for the town’s fall.
Although the U.S. military carried out six air strikes to try to keep the town from IS hands, it also acknowledged that Kobani and other towns may be overrun by the group, which has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria this year.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi responded on Wednesday to comments by the United States and others on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, saying foreign countries should not meddle in China’s domestic affairs.
Wang, the most senior Chinese official to speak publicly about the protests, said Beijing had “very formally and clearly stated its position: Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs. All countries should respect China’s sovereignty.”
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Iraq has “credible” intelligence that Islamic State militants plan to attack subway systems in Paris and the United States, the prime minister said on Thursday, but U.S. and French officials said they had no evidence to back up his claims.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s comments were met with surprise by security, intelligence and transit officials in both countries. New York’s leaders scrambled to ride the subway to reassure the public that the nation’s largest city was safe.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States is ready to expand sanctions against South Sudan political and military officials to ensure progress in peace talks and a quick halt to fighting in the country, the U.S. envoy to South Sudan said on Thursday.
Ambassador Donald Booth said recent measures, including sanctions last week against two military officers on opposite sides of the violence, were intended to signal that the United States will not hesitate to act against those standing in the way of peace.
NEW YORK/BEIRUT (Reuters) – French fighter jets struck Islamic State targets in Iraq on Thursday and the United States hit them in Syria, as a U.S.-led coalition to fight the militants gained momentum with an announcement that Britain would join.
The French strikes were a prompt answer to the beheading of a French tourist in Algeria by militants, who said the killing was punishment for Paris’s decision last week to become the first European country to join the U.S.-led bombing campaign.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Iraq has received “credible” intelligence that Islamic State militants plan to attack subway systems in Paris and the United States, Iraq’s prime minister said on Thursday, but senior U.S. officials said they had no evidence to back up the claim.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said he had received the information Thursday morning from militants captured in Iraq and concluded it was credible after asking for further details.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Iraq has received “credible” intelligence that Islamic State militants plan to launch attacks on subway systems in Paris and the United States, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Thursday.
Abadi said the information, which he received on Thursday morning, came from militants captured in Iraq. He said he had asked for further details and concluded it appeared credible.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Turkey appears to be inching towards a greater role in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State after the group freed 46 Turkish hostages, but it remains unclear how far it will go to combat the militants.
As the United States builds a military coalition including Gulf Arab states to fight the radical Sunni militant group, Turkey has been conspicuous by its absence, playing no public role in U.S.-led air strikes on Syria this week.