Mosul liberated and Syria’s cease-fire underway
International | Thousands remain trapped in Iraq’s second largest city, while Syria’s ‘de-escalation zone’ is bad news for Israel
by Mindy Belz
Posted 7/10/17, 01:14 pm
IRAQ: On Sunday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Mosul to declare military victory over ISIS and the liberation of the country’s second largest city.
Scenes of the devastation are horrific, and an estimated 20,000 residents remain trapped as sporadic fighting continues.
SYRIA: Three provinces are mostly quiet 24 hours into a cease-fire agreement brokered last week in a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
While the United States is focused on battling ISIS in Raqqa, Russia and Turkey are moving forward with a “de-escalation zone” plan for the rest of the country, in alliance with Iran, putting ground forces in those areas. Bad news for Israel, plus everyone else.
RUSSIA: Going by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s readout, the Trump-Putin meeting last week was “a diplomatic depantsing that will have repercussions far beyond Russia.” Tillerson appeared to take at face value Putin’s denial of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, undermining U.S. intelligence reports—“a provocation largely ignored by the Obama administration and now tolerated by Trump,” writes Stephen Hayes. In all the media ruckus, it’s important to point out it’s not proven Russia did influence the election, or the Trump administration colluded with Moscow to do so, but The New York Times gives it another go today. It’s worth noting leading Republicans called the Trump-Putin meeting “disastrous.”
POLAND: Meantime, Trump gave an excellent speech in Poland, writes presidential biographer Paul Kengor.
SUDAN: Fifty-three members of the U.S. Congress signed a letter to President Trump urging him to delay lifting sanctions against the Islamic regime in Khartoum, and a leading expert argues the permanent lifting of sanctions will hasten genocide.
K Street law and lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs is to be paid $40,000 a month by the Sudan government to lobby for lifting sanctions, even though it’s on the U.S. state sponsors of terror list, and its head of state, Omar al-Bashir, is wanted for genocide by the International Criminal Court.
Cholera is spreading rapidly in areas of Sudan cut off from health services.
YEMEN: Deadly cholera in Yemen affects nearly 270,000 people and has spread to 21 of 22 provinces, outstripping deadly outbreaks in the Horn of Africa and Sudan.
IRAN: Four Christians, one pastor and three converts, last week were handed hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences for violating national security and “insulting the sacred” with evangelistic activities.
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Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.