The last battle in Syria?
International | The capture of Baghuz would represent a major victory over ISIS
by Mindy Belz
Posted 2/13/19, 11:59 am
SYRIA: On Tuesday, more than 1,300 presumed ISIS family members fled Baghuz, where many say ISIS is fighting its last battle in Syria. The U.S.-led aid group Free Burma Rangers is at the front line, treating children it said were shot by ISIS fighters, as the mostly foreign fighters are losing ground against the Syrian Democratic Forces. SDF holds a quarter of the country, and until President Donald Trump’s announcement in December was buoyed by U.S. backing. Col. Sean Ryan, a spokesperson for the coalition, cautioned that the fight is far from over—but the capture of Baghuz would mark a military and symbolic victory for the coalition of more than 70 countries fighting ISIS.
INDIA: Religious liberty is at a “tipping point” in the world’s largest democracy, as a new report shows a dramatic increase on the number of attacks against Christians and Muslims in the Hindu-led nation. The number of reported incidents in the first three months of 2018 was greater than the total number of attacks in all of 2014—the year Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party came to power.
UNITED STATES: A New York jury found Mexican drug lord El Chapo (Joaquín Guzmán) guilty on all 10 counts against him, ending a three-month trial that offered rare insights into the inner workings of Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel. For Mexico—where the number of disappeared in cartel-related violence topped 40,000 in January—such revelations come with a price.
VENEZUELA: Armed forces are making a clear show of force at the Tienditas Bridge bordering Colombia, as a showdown looms over needed humanitarian aid between Nicolás Maduro, the president ousted by the National Assembly, and Juan Guaidó, the National Assembly leader designated interim president.
FRANCE: Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told Parliament anti-Semitic acts would not be tolerated, as violence and threats against Jews have skyrocketed over the past year. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said anti-Semitic acts had risen 74 percent in 2018 to 541 from 311 the previous year, including 81 violent ones.
MEXICO: A walk—or drive—across the border has lasting revelations.
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