Globe Trot A summary of international news compiled by senior editor Mindy Belz

ISIS attacks in Syria

International | Terror group gains ground, undermining President Donald Trump’s declaration of victory
by Mindy Belz
Posted 12/21/18, 04:00 pm

SYRIA: Undermining President Donald Trump’s claim of having “defeated” Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and his announcement to withdraw U.S. troops there, militants today launched an attack on the U.S.-allied SDF forces in Hajin, taking most of the town, which had only been liberated a week ago with a U.S.-led air campaign and substantial loss of life on both sides. “In a nanosecond everything this country and its military did to fight ISIS, not to mention countless diplomatic hours, is turning to dust,” writes Lauren Homer of the Law and Liberty Trust. “We will face instant, not speculative consequences.”

Secretary of Defense James Mattis was a two-star general with extensive combat experience in 2003 when he led the 1st Marine Division on its march to take Baghdad. He later headed U.S. Central Command, as well as holding top posts at NATO before his 2013 retirement. On Thursday the four-star general became the ninth cabinet member under Trump to resign, following the president’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan. In a resignation letter, Mattis cited his 40 years of military experience and his own views “on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors.”

MOROCCO: Police arrested three suspects with ties to ISIS or related groups following the discovery of two tourists killed in a likely terrorist attack. At least one of the Scandinavian hikers was beheaded, and the attacks followed similar killings of American travelers in Tajikistan and Georgia this year.

FRANCE: Yazidi women and children once held by ISIS began arriving in France last night. President Emmanuel Macron agreed in October to take in 100 formerly enslaved Yazidis—living in refugee camps after their rescue—after meeting with Nadia Murad, a survivor herself and Nobel Peace Prize winner. The United States in 2018 accepted 5 Yazidis for refugee resettlement after taking in 434 in 2017.

ENGLAND: The United Kingdom’s second-largest airport resumed flights, then suspended them again today as a drone in Gatwick Airport’s airspace outside London forced the cancellation of all flights Thursday and stranded holiday travelers. Police say “persons of interest” have been identified in connection with the illegal drone flights.

IRELAND: President Michael D. Higgins has signed the bill legalizing abortion.

UNITED STATES: In 2018, the Trump administration moved not only to cut illegal immigration but to make inroads against legal immigration, as well.

NEWS OF THE YEAR: Review the highlights of 2018 in the news here, including 2018 deaths. We at WORLD are saddened at the death of Ed Plowman, 87, a faithful churchman, journalist, and longtime WORLD Magazine religion editor. Until this year, Ed compiled our extensive end-of-year obituaries. He also wrote this year’s reflection on the life of Billy Graham.

I’M READING and revisiting some of my favorite books read in 2018: No Turning Back by Rania Abouzeid, Strength In What Remains by Tracy Kidder, Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen, and Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren.

NOTE: Globe Trot will be taking a Christmastime break, returning to your inbox on Jan. 7, 2019. Send your thoughts to me on what you like or would like more of in Globe Trot in the new year.

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Mindy Belz

Mindy is senior editor of WORLD Magazine and the author of They Say We Are Infidels. Follow Mindy on Twitter @mcbelz.

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  • John Kloosterman
    Posted: Sat, 12/22/2018 02:50 pm

    Welp.  So much for ISIS being defeated.  Wonder how long it'll take them to regain their lost caliphate, or if Russia and Iran will snap it up for them.