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Kurds' Ambitions Caught in Power Games

They always anticipated U.S. support would run out, but President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to rapidly pull U.S. forces out of northeast Syria has nevertheless stunned the Kurds there, who for the past three years have been America's partner in fighting the Islamic State group.

A withdrawal will leave Syrian Kurds exposed to Turkish threats of an invasion from one side and Syrian government troops on the other.

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Syria Army Enters Manbij in New Alliance with Kurds

The Syrian army entered the key northern city of Manbij for the first time in six years on Friday, a spokesman said in a televised statement.

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Russia to Host Putin-Erdogan-Rouhani Summit Early 2019

Moscow will early next year host the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey to discuss the Syrian conflict, Russia's deputy foreign minister said Friday, after the United States announced it was withdrawing troops from the country.

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Civilian Exodus from IS's Last Syria Bastion

Thousands of civilians, mostly relatives of jihadist fighters, are fleeing the Islamic State group's last stronghold in eastern Syria, a war monitor said on Thursday.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 11,500 people have fled the area since Kurdish-led forces broke IS defences and took the jihadists' main hub of Hajin two weeks ago.

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Christmas Joy Missing in Rubble of Syria Town

With Christmas approaching, Nabil al-Aash dusts off religious books as he attempts to tidy up the war-scarred Saint George Church in the town of Arbin, northeast of the Syrian capital Damascus.

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Iran Says US Troop Presence in Syria 'Wrong' from Start

Iran said Saturday the US presence in Syria had been "wrong and illogical" from the start, in its first official reaction to President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw troops.

"The presence of American forces was from the very start, in principle, a wrong and illogical move and a primary cause of instability and insecurity in the region," said foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi on his Telegram channel.

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Trump Pulling Out of Syria. Might Afghanistan Be Next?

Against the advice of many in his own administration, President Donald Trump is pulling U.S. troops out of Syria. Could a withdrawal from Afghanistan be far behind?

Trump has said his instinct is to quit Afghanistan as a lost cause, but more recently he's suggested a willingness to stay in search of peace with the Taliban. However, the abruptness with which he turned the page on Syria raises questions about whether combat partners like Iraq and Afghanistan should feel confident that he will not pull the plug on them, too.

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US Accepts Assad Staying in Syria -- But Won't Give Aid

The United States said Monday it was no longer seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but renewed warnings it would not fund reconstruction unless the regime is "fundamentally different."

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Rubble and Charred Cars in Former Syria Jihadist Hub

Burnt-out cars, craters and collapsed buildings dot the side of a road in the Syrian village of Hajin, after US-backed forces expelled the Islamic State group.

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Syrian Kurdish-Led Fighters Take Hajin, Last Town Held by IS

U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led fighters captured the last town held by the Islamic State group on Friday, after days of intense battles in the militants' single remaining enclave in eastern Syria, activists said.

The fall of Hajin is a blow to the extremists. The town was their main stronghold in the last pocket of land they control in eastern Syria, near the Iraqi border. IS still holds some villages nearby.

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