U.S. policy threatens new and old believers in northern Syria
International | Coalition letter to Trump asks for support, not abandonment
by Mindy Belz
Posted 2/04/19, 01:10 pm
SYRIA: A joint letter to U.S. President Donald Trump from the coalition of Christians, Arabs, and Kurds controlling part of northern Syria says the unexpected plans for U.S. withdrawal have “severely undercut” efforts to install non-sectarian democracy in a region where 21,000 new Muslim converts to Christianity—together with 100,000 ethnic Christians—reside. Over the past week I’ve been chronicling the ISIS destruction in this region, along with current security and looming threats, as part of an upcoming WORLD Magazine feature.
IRAQ: The central government appears under increasing pressure to kick out U.S. troops—a boost to Iranian-backed officials and a result of decreasing trust of U.S. policy. Longtime U.S. ally, President Barham Salih, said he “finds it strange” Trump would talk of keeping a U.S. base in Iraq to watch Iran, as that “wasn’t part of the agreement reached to support Iraqi forces.”
A reality-show approach to global affairs is threatening Americans’ security—an important read from Ali Soufan of the Soufan Center.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES welcomed Pope Francis, the first papal visit ever to the Arabian Peninsula.
VENEZUELA: Six European countries recognized Juan Guaidó as interim president, as the young lawmaker kept European heads of state waiting on the phone—instead meeting with victims of state security-led violence in Caracas as he kindles local support.
EL SALVADOR: Third-party candidate Nayib Bukele, the former mayor of San Salvador, has won enough votes to win the presidency without a runoff.
HONG KONG: Just ahead of Tuesday’s arrival of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Pig, Hong Kong faces a new menace from a proliferation of wild boars.
NOTE: Due to travel, there will be no Globe Trot on Wednesday.