US Rejects Russian Offer, Will Pull Out of Nuclear Forces Treaty

US Rejects Russian Offer, Will Pull Out of Nuclear Forces Treaty By Jason Ditz Initially ratified in 1987, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which famously kept all nuclear missiles out of Europe for decades, is set to collapse, with US officials saying they will withdraw from the treaty next month. The US has been accusing Russia of violating the INF for years related to a single missile design, called the 9m729, and its maximum range. The INF forbids all nuclear missiles with ranges between 500 km and 5,500 km. The…

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At Least 206 Civilians Killed in November by US Airstrikes in Syria

At Least 206 Civilians Killed in November by US Airstrikes in Syria By Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) — The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has issued a new report over the weekend summarizing the massive civilian death toll of US-led airstrikes against a handful of eastern towns in Syria. At least 206 civilians were killed in November in those strikes. The strikes center on three towns and some adjoining villages under ISIS control along the Iraq border. Kurdish YPG forces are attacking the towns, and the US is trying to provide air support, which…

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Pentagon Fails Its First-Ever Official Audit

Pentagon Fails Its First-Ever Official Audit By Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) — After generations of being a black hole down which money goes, never to return, a team of 1,200 auditors tried to give the Pentagon its first ever comprehensive audit, just to see where all that money went. Unsurprisingly, it went poorly, and was declared a failure. How bad the failure was is something of a mystery at this point, with officials refusing to disclose the exact results, or even ballpark how much money is unaccounted for. The only clue to the sheer…

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US Ends Refueling of Saudi Coalition Aircraft in Yemen Conflict

US Ends Refueling of Saudi Coalition Aircraft in Yemen Conflict By Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) — One of the most visible aspects of direct US involvement in the Saudi invasion of Yemen, mid-air refueling of Saudi warplanes bombing the country, has come to an end over the weekend. US and Saudi officials both confirmed this program has halted. US officials offered few specifics on the decision, but Saudi state media claimed that they made the decision to halt the US support, because they can carry out their own in-air refueling missions now and don’t need…

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US Military Issues Chilling “Live-Fire” Warning to Russian Troops in Syria

US Military Issues Chilling “Live-Fire” Warning to Russian Troops in Syria By Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) — Following Thursday’s report that Russia had recently informed the US of planned military operations against terrorist groups on the Syria-Jordan border, a company of US Marines conducted a live-fire exercise in the same area. Officials say it was intended to be a “warning” to Russia. The exercise took place near the US base at al-Tanf, at the corner of Syria’s border with Iraq and Jordan. Though the US no longer really has any rebel allies in the…

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US Officially Commits to “Indefinite” Military Presence in Syria

US Officially Commits to “Indefinite” Military Presence in Syria By Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) — According to State Department officials, President Trump has recently abandoned his desire to “get out” of Syria and bring US troops home. He has signed a new strategy, which includes new military goals, and eliminates all timelines for removing troops from Syria. US troops are in several parts of Syria, mostly in the Kurdish-held northeast. An estimated 2,200 US troops are in Syria, though official numbers are being withheld from the public. Special Envoy James Jeffrey said the old…

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Trump Will Chair UN Security Council Meeting on Iran

Trump Will Chair UN Security Council Meeting on Iran By Jason Ditz On September 26, the UN Security Council will hold a meeting on Iran. President Trump has been confirmed to personally chair the meeting, as the US holds the council presidency for the current month. US officials say Trump will focus on allegations of Iran violating international law and fueling “general instability” in the Middle East. It is not clear if there will be any resolutions proposed during this meeting. [do_widget id=text-48] This will be a high-profile public event for President…

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US Strategy in Syria: “Create Quagmires Until We Get What We Want”

US Strategy in Syria: “Create Quagmires Until We Get What We Want” By Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) — In 2013, top Obama Administration officials described their policy in the Syrian War as one of keeping the war going. The administration wanted a big seat at the table for a political settlement, which officials clarified meant ensuring that the war kept going so that there was never a clear victor. The Trump Administration seems to be slipping into that same destructive set of priorities in Syria. The Washington Post this week quoted an unnamed Administration…

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Furious Saudi Arabia Condemns UN Report on Yemen War Crimes

Furious Saudi Arabia Condemns UN Report on Yemen War Crimes By Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) — A Tuesday report released by the UN confirmed in considerable detail misdeeds by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, killing thousands of civilians in Yemen, raping and torturing detainees, and using child soldiers. The report warned these may amount to war crimes. While they didn’t specifically dispute any of this, Saudi Arabia was predictably furious about the report, angrily condemning it as having “misconstrued the facts of the conflict… ignoring the true reasons for the conflict,” while saying that it…

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Russia Deploys Fleet of Warships to Syrian Coast Amid Concern of US Attack

Russia Deploys Fleet of Warships to Syrian Coast Amid Concern of US Attack By Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) — Russian media are confirming reports that they are in the process of a naval buildup off the coast of Syria, sending additional frigates through the Bosphorus into the area. This is being called the largest naval presence Russia has had in the Mediterranean since 2015. This comes as the US adds warships to the coastal area as well. Russia noted in particular that the USS Ross, armed with Tomahawk missiles, was deployed to the area…

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