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‘A US special operations commander has admitted that an extended US stay in Syria runs contrary to international law and that Russia would be entirely justified in questioning its presence there.

At the Aspen Security Forum on Friday, Special Operations Command chief Army General, Raymond Thomas was asked whether American forces will remain in Syria, after Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) is defeated, possibly, to support the Kurdish forces in the north of the country.

Thomas acknowledged that American forces are fighting in a sovereign Syria, where they will likely “have no ability to stay” if that presence is questioned “in terms of international law,” Thomas said, replying to the Washington Post journalist’s question.

“Here’s the conundrum,” Thomas continued. “We are operating in the sovereign country of Syria. The Russians, their stalwarts, their back-stoppers, have already uninvited the Turks from Syria. We’re a bad day away from the Russians saying, ‘Why are you still in Syria, US?’’

Read more: ‘We’re bad day away from Russians asking, ‘Why are you still in Syria?’ – top US commander

‘Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the US-led coalition operating in Syria and Iraq has been refusing to hit the al-Nusra Front terrorist group.

“From the very beginning, the United States coalition, while fighting Daesh more or less actively (sometimes more, sometimes less), has been sparing Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front). Obviously, all facts indicate in this direction,” Lavrov said in an interview with the NBC News broadcaster on Friday.

Jabhat al-Nusra, long acting as an affiliate of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, has recently renamed itself and claimed to have broken ranks with it.

In his interview, Lavrov expressed hope that the creation of de-escalation zones in Syria would contribute to an effective fight against al-Nusra.’

Read more: US-led coalition refusing to hit al-Nusra terrorists in Syria: Russia

‘President Donald Trump on Saturday attacked The New York Times and its ‘sick agenda,’ alleging that one of the paper’s reports thwarted a US bid to take out Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

‘The Failing New York Times foiled US attempt to kill the single most wanted terrorist, Al-Baghdadi. Their sick agenda over National Security,’ Trump wrote in one of a barrage of early morning tweets.

Trump did not expand on his charge against The Times, or explain what revelation by the daily is supposed to have hampered Baghdadi’s capture.

The New York Times told the Politico news site in a statement: ‘We have asked the White House to clarify the tweet.”

Read more: Trump claims The New York Times ‘foiled’ a bid to take out ISIS chief al-Baghdadi and slams their ‘sick agenda’

‘US President Donald Trump boasts about the rebirth of his nation’s military power while commissioning the country’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, referring to it as “a 100,000-ton message to the world” of American military might.

“Wherever this vessel cuts through the horizon our allies will rest easy and our enemies will shake with fear because everyone will know that America is coming and America is coming strong,” Trump said on Saturday in an address during the official commissioning of the state-of-the art warship named after the 38th US president, AP reported.

Trump spoke aboard the $12.9 billion warship at the huge naval base in Norfolk, Virginia, criticizing what he described as a lack of investment in new military technology and “a shortfall in military readiness” under the previous administration of Barack Obama.

He further called on the nation’s Congress to approve higher military spending to facilitate the manufacture of “the best equipment. He also urged the legislative body “to do its job and pass the budget,” which increases funding for the military.’

Read more: Trump boasts about US military might in commissioning new aircraft carrier

‘Three Palestinians were killed and hundreds more wounded on Friday as thousands protested across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip over new Israeli measures infringing on Palestinian worship at al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem.

Three settlers were fatally stabbed in a West Bank settlement later that night.

The bloodshed followed a week of civil disobedience in Jerusalem with worshippers performing prayers outside the gates to the al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Israel had ordered al-Aqsa closed following an armed operation outside the mosque compound last Friday that left the three alleged Palestinian attackers and two police officers dead.

The mosque compound was reopened on Sunday but only after Israel had unilaterally installed security cameras and metal detectors at the gates, sparking protest and international warnings against changing the delicate status quo at the site.’

Read more: Six killed as Netanyahu throws match onto Jerusalem powder keg

‘British tourists have been forced to sleep on sun loungers after two aftershocks struck the Greek island of Kos.

Thousands of holidaymakers fled into the streets as two aftershocks rocked the holiday destination.

A 4.4 magnitude tremor struck Saturday night at 8.09pm local time (6.09pm GMT), followed by a 4.6 magnitude shock 16 minutes later, according to the Athens Geodynamics Institute.

The first one was closest to the island, 13 miles to the northeast at a depth of 6 miles.

The tremors come as visitors still recover from the shock of a 6.7 magnitude quake that struck in the early hours of Friday morning. The tremor at just after 20.09 local time lasted for less than 10 seconds causing hotel rooms to shake and followed a series of smaller tremors.’

Read more: British tourists are forced to sleep on sun loungers hours after fleeing into the streets of Kos after TWO big aftershocks hit following killer earthquake 

‘The Government has been criticised for using “shady” tactics to avoid scrutiny by dumping important announcements and documents onto official websites the last day before MPs leave for their summer recesses.

Opposition parties described the strategy as a “democratic abomination” and said that the Conservatives had in 2017 “taken it to another level” after the Government tried to bury stories ranging from it wasting money on legal fees to there being a shortage of soldiers.

Written statements trawled through on Thursday revealed that the number of police officers had reached a 30-year low, that a major rail electrification programme had been scrapped, and that the number of former ministers working in the private sector had surged by 60 per cent.’

Read more: Government accused of ‘democratic abomination’ for hiding bad news on last day of Parliament

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