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US Prepares to Set Up No–Fly Zone in Northern Syria

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The Russian MoD stated earlier that the US-led coalition was “building up a group of cruise missile carriers in the Middle East region,” in preparation for a possible strike, while French President Emmanuel Macron declared that France was also ready to launch novel strikes against Syria in case of a chemical weapons attack there.

The US military is laying the groundwork to close the airspace over northern Syria, according to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet. US military freighters are reported to hold transported radar systems to the city of Kobanî, controlled by the Kurdish militia, and the US military base in Al-Shaddadah in southern al-Hasakah.

The outlet claims that the US plans to utilize these complexes to establish a no-soar zone over the territory between Manbij in Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor.
Washington hasn’t commented on the report yet.

Earlier, the Russian MoD announced that militants in the Syrian province of Idlib were preparing to stage a fake flag chemical weapon attack against civilians in order to blame Damascus and give the US and its allies a pretext for a punitive strike against Syria.

The ministry has noted that the US and its allies retain expanding a group of cruise missile carriers in the Middle East region, preparing for a possible strike.

French President Emmanuel Macron also declared during his speech to French ambassadors on Monday that France was ready to launch novel strikes against Syria in case of a chemical weapons attack there.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton also reportedly warned Russian Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev that Washington was prepared to pick forceful military action against Syria if Damascus uses chemical weapons, stressing that America was prepared to respond with greater force than before. Kremlin, however, couldn’t confirm this information.

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At Least 3 NATO Soldiers Injured in Blast in East Afghanistan

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Trump Appoints Austin Miller to Command US Forces-Afghanistan

At least three NATO servicemen were injured in an explosion in Afghanistan’s eastern Parwan province, local media reported Wednesday, citing the Resolute Support Mission.

The blast was caused by an improvised explosive device that went off in the Bagram district, injuring the NATO patrol, according to the Pajhwok news agency.

In addition, Parwan police chief Brig. Gen. Mohammad Mehfooz Walizada told Pajhwok that a suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy near the US military base in Bagram. He added that a NATO tank was destroyed, the attacker was killed, while NATO soldiers remained unharmed.

The Taliban reportedly claimed that the attacker caused casualties among NATO troops.

The NATO’s mission in Afghanistan was launched in 2015. It includes over 13,000 servicemen who are providing training and advice to the Afghan security personnel in their fight against terrorism, particularly against the Taliban radical group.

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‘US Agrees to Discuss Troop Pullout’: Claim Afghan Taliban Officials

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'US Agrees to Discuss Troop Pullout': Claim Afghan Taliban Officials

Reports coming after a Friday meeting in Doha, Qatar, between US diplomats and top Afghan Taliban officials suggest that Washington has agreed to discuss bringing its troops home and finish America’s 17-year war in Afghanistan.

During Friday’s preliminary talks, US special envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad discussed with the Taliban conditions to bring about the finish of the US’s 17-year war in Afghanistan, according to two ranking Taliban officials speaking on condition of anonymity, as reported by Al Jazeera.

“Six US delegates arrived in Doha to bear a meeting with our [Taliban] leaders [and] agreed to discuss all issues, including the pullout of foreign troops,” an unnamed Afghan Taliban official stated.

“But it was a preliminary meeting and all issues were discussed in general, not in detail,” the anonymous Taliban official asserted, adding that additional talks are expected in upcoming months, cited by Al Jazeera.

Taliban demands for a peaceful resolution of nearly two decades of clash in Afghanistan at the hands of the US include the total pullout of all American military personnel, including contract mercenaries, as well as the lifting of sanctions against its leaders, freedom for imprisoned Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, and the creation and recognition of its official political party.

Following Friday’s exploratory talks, Khalilzad and other US officials refused to comment on progress between the two belligerents, according to Al Jazeera.

US officials, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells, previously met with Taliban officials in Qatar in July.

Appointed in September as US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Khalilzad has in recent months met with representatives from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Afghanistan in a bid to forge a path to peace.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as a reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with the mission lasting until December 28, 2014. In 2015, NATO initiated a original mission, Resolute Support, aimed at training Afghan security forces. Nevertheless, seemingly endless US operations bear shown limited effectiveness at establishing an enduring peace in Afghanistan.

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