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US-led coalition says Syria withdrawal has begun

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syria

Hasakeh: The US-led coalition in Syria has begun withdrawing its troops, a spokesman said today, less than a month after US President Donald Trump made his shock announcement.
The force which has battled the Islamic State group since 2014 started scaling down but it remained unclear how long the drawdown process would last.
“CJTF-OIR has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria,” spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan told AFP in a statement, referring to the US-led anti-militant force.
“Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troops movements,” he said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the coalition had started scaling down its presence at Rmeilan airfield in the Hasakeh province in northeastern Syria.
“On Thursday, some American forces withdrew from the Rmeilan military base,” Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based monitoring organization, said.
He put the number of US forces who left at 150 and added that around 10 armored vehicles and some heavy equipment were also removed from Rmeilan.
“This is the first such pullout of American forces since the US president’s announcement” of military withdrawal from Syria last month, he said.
The US-led coalition has several other bases across northeastern Syria, as well as in neighboring Iraq, where Trump has said his forces would remain.
A US defense official in Washington had earlier confirmed to AFP that equipment was being removed from Syria.
The US-led coalition, which also includes countries such as France and Britain, was formed in mid-2014 to counter the expansion of the Islamic State group after it proclaimed its self-styled “caliphate”.
Trump claimed last month that the jihadists had been defeated and that US troops could, therefore, come home.
Fighter jets and special forces have played a key role in efforts to claw back the territory lost to IS.
A Kurdish-led group, the Syrian Democratic Forces, is currently flushing out the very last pockets of land controlled by the militants in the Euphrates River Valley.
The beginning of the drawdown coincided with a visit to the Middle East by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who insisted in Cairo Thursday that the withdrawal would go ahead despite widespread criticism.
On the same day, however, Pompeo stated in a speech that “when America retreats, chaos often follows.”
Earlier this week, US National Security Adviser John Bolton laid out conditions for the pullout, including the defeat of the IS in Syria and guarantees for the safety of Washington’s Kurdish allies in the campaign, who have been threatened with an imminent offensive by Turkey.
Bolton’s comments were widely seen as backtracking on Trump’s announcement, including by Turkey which described them as “unacceptable”.
The battle against die-hard jihadists in remote areas along the Iraqi-Syrian border and the hunt for IS supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the world’s most wanted man, could last indefinitely, however.

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Pakistan

Sami Ibrahim incident: PFUJ appreciates the rejoinder posted by Fed. Min. Fawad Ch. 

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GM JAMALI

KARACHI: PFUJ in a statement appreciated the rejoinder posted by Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry regarding the slapping incident:

According to minister, the background of the incident of slapping Sami Ibrahim was that for advertisements government had formed categories  A, B, C and D according to the ratings of channels.

“Due to that, 70% of the channels were dropped from A and B categories. Hence they were endeavoring (despite low rankings) to get themselves in the A and B categories.

“Sami Ibrahim claiming since BOL had done a lot for us they should be put in A category. Problem was that if I had given BOL Rs. 20million category, other channels would have also asked for it. That would have simply nullified the basic idea of forming categories itself.

“On my refusal, Sami Ibrahim had started a perpetual campaign against me. Meanwhile, I received an application from a senior reported that BOL was not paying his dues. Does a channel that could not pay Rs. 40,000 to its employee deserve to remain in business?

“After that, the drive against me was accelerated and  I was declared RAW’s agent. Today when I came across this man he started insulting me. There is a limit to tolerating abuse. I slapped him and that is the only answer to blackmailing.”

 

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Pakistan

PFUJ condemns maltreatment of Sr. Anchor Sami Ibrahim by Fed. Min. Fawad Ch.

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Gamali Fawad

KARACHI: President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) GM Jamali and Sec. General Rana M. Azeem have strongly condemned the maltreatment of Senior Anchor Sami Ibrahim by Fed. Minister Fawad Chaudhry, terming the culture of abuse thus introduced as extremely deplorable.  

In a joint statement, GM Jamali and Rana M. Azeem held that the abusive culture introduced by PTI has now transformed into physical mistreatment and torture of Journalists. They said that the attack was not an assault only on Sami Ibrahim but against the Journalists fraternity and that could not be tolerated at any cost: “PFUJ strongly condemn the incident and demand Prime Minister Imran Khan to take severe action against such a minister and apologize for the macabre act.”

GM Jamali and Rana M. Azeem stated that the state of affairs have reached its limits. During this government’s first few months while Media Workers were sacked the same minister was augmenting bonds with the Channel owners. Thus was equally responsible of the economic assassination of journalists. They observed that now the minister seems to have resorted to the physical assignation of the journalists that could not be accepted.

PFUJ appreciates the rejoinder posted by Fed. Minister Fawad Chaudhry in WhatsApp Group: 

According to minister background of the incident of slapping Sami Ibrahim was that for advertisements government had formed categories  A, B, C and D according to the ratings of channels.

“Due to that, 70% of the channels were dropped from A and B categories. Hence they were endeavoring (despite low rankings) to get themselves in the A and B categories.

“Sami Ibrahim claiming since BOL had done a lot for us they should be put in A category. Problem was that if I had given BOL Rs. 20million category, other channels would have also asked for it. That would have simply nullified the basic idea of forming categories itself.

“On my refusal, Sami Ibrahim had started a perpetual campaign against me. Meanwhile, I received an application from a senior reported that BOL was not paying his dues. Does a channel that could not pay Rs. 40,000 to its employee deserve to remain in business?

“After that, the drive against me was accelerated and  I was declared RAW’s agent. Today when I came across this man he started insulting me. There is a limit to tolerating abuse. I slapped him and that is the only answer to blackmailing”   

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Politics

No chance of Zardari, Nawaz to return to power: Sh. Rasheed

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Sheikh Rasheed

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad has claimed that there was no chance of corrupt leaders like Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari to return to power.

Rasheed, while addressing a press conference here today, said “I had already told that a crackdown would be launched before the month of June.

He further held that he had asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to get rid of ‘rotten eggs’.

Talking about cases against former president Asif Ali Zardari, the minister stated that witnesses were also present against him [Asif Ali Zardari]. He also said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz were involved in ‘serious crimes.’

Regarding the current status of railways in the country, he said he would quit politics if the circular debt of the Railways is not reduced.

“I would keep raising my voice for the poor until my last breath,” he said, adding that there are no chances of a presidential system [in the country].

 

 

 

 

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