Southeast Asia Bureau Chief
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Sep 11, 2014

Kerry in Iraq backs government, says Baghdad a partner against Islamic State

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday endorsed Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s plans to mend Baghdad’s relations with Sunnis and Kurds, and said Iraq was a partner in the fight against Islamic State militants.

Kerry, on a tour of the Middle East to build military, political and financial support to defeat the militants controlling parts of Iraq and Syria, said: “We all have an interest in supporting the new government of Iraq.”

Sep 10, 2014

Kerry in Iraq to back government, build support against Islamic State

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Baghdad on Wednesday as he began a tour of the Middle East to build military, political and financial support to defeat Islamic State militants controlling parts of Iraq and Syria.

    Kerry on Monday had hailed the formation of a new, more inclusive, Iraqi government under Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi as a “major milestone”, and Washington had said it was vital before there could be further U.S. action to help push back the militants, who took over large parts of northern Iraq this year.

Sep 8, 2014

U.S. courts skeptical Arab allies in Islamic State fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After threatening to destroy and degrade Islamic State militants, the United States will court skeptical Gulf Arab allies this week and consider expanding training and arming of moderate Syrian rebels to lead the fight against the jihadists.

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry heads to the region on Tuesday, a meeting between the White House and top lawmakers in Congress is expected to discuss a slow-moving $500 million initiative, announced in June, to strengthen a loosely organized group of rebels who have struggled in their fight against the Syrian government and Islamic State.

Aug 23, 2014

U.S. hostage rescuers dropped from night sky: Syria activist

BEIRUT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It was just after midnight on July 4 when at least two dozen U.S. Delta Force commandos arrived on heavily armed Black Hawk helicopters in Akrishi, a small town near the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa on the bank of the Euphrates River.

Before they landed to search for American hostages including journalist James Foley, they destroyed a crucial target: anti-aircraft weapons at a jihadist base about 3 miles (5 km) southeast of the city, a stronghold of Islamic State militants seeking to build a monolithic Islamic state.

Aug 22, 2014

U.S. hostage rescuers dropped from night sky, Syria activist says

BEIRUT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It was just after midnight on July 4 when at least two dozen U.S. Delta Force commandos arrived on heavily armed Black Hawk helicopters in Akrishi, a small town near the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa on the bank of the Euphrates River.

Before they landed to search for American hostages including journalist James Foley, they destroyed a crucial target: anti-aircraft weapons at a jihadist base about 3 miles (5 km) southeast of the city, a stronghold of Islamic State militants seeking to build a monolithic Islamic state.

Jan 31, 2014

How Thaksin’s meddling sparked a new Thai crisis for PM sister

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Yingluck Shinawatra’s journey from political nobody to prime minister was breathtakingly swift. Her premiership’s descent into crisis has been just as rapid.

A political neophyte when she took office in 2011, the 46-year-old former business executive surprised many observers by steadying Thailand after years of often bloody political unrest.

Jan 31, 2014

Insight: How Thaksin’s meddling sparked a new Thai crisis for PM sister

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Yingluck Shinawatra’s journey from political nobody to prime minister was breathtakingly swift. Her premiership’s descent into crisis has been just as rapid.

A political neophyte when she took office in 2011, the 46-year-old former business executive surprised many observers by steadying Thailand after years of often bloody political unrest.

Dec 13, 2013

Powerful forces revealed behind Thai protest movement

BANGKOK (Reuters) – His whistle-tooting crowds of supporters are dwindling. His threats against Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra veer from the bold to the bizarre.

But behind Thailand’s fiery anti-government protest leader, Suthep Thaugsuban, are two powerful retired generals with palace connections, a deep rivalry with the Shinawatra family and an ability to influence Thailand’s coup-prone armed forces.

Dec 6, 2013

U.N. calls for urgent investigation after Reuters Rohingya report

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The United Nations called on Friday for an urgent investigation into allegations in a Reuters report that Thai immigration officials moved Myanmar refugees into human trafficking rings.

The report, published on Thursday and based on a two-month investigation in three countries, revealed a clandestine policy to remove Rohingya refugees from Thailand’s immigration detention centers and deliver them to human traffickers waiting at sea.

Dec 5, 2013
via FaithWorld

Special Report – Thailand dumps Myanmar’s Muslim refugees into trafficking rings

Photo

(Bozor Mohammed from the Rakhine state in Myanmar is pictured after an interview at his house in Kuala Lumpur November 8, 2013. Picture taken November 8. To match Special Report THAILAND-ROHINGYA/ REUTERS/Samsul Said)

One afternoon in October, in the watery no-man’s land between Thailand and Myanmar, Muhammad Ismail vanished.

    • About Jason

      "As Southeast Asia Bureau Chief, Jason Szep manages text, pictures and television news operations across 10 countries for Reuters. He has been a Reuters correspondent, bureau chief and editor since 1990 and won the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi award in 2007. He is a Boston native and has had postings with Reuters in Toronto, Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Boston and Bangkok. His assignments have ranged from Kabul and Islamabad to the U.S. presidential campaign trail during the 2008 election."
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