Numerous children killed in attack on mosque

BTwelve children were killed in an air strike on a mosque in northern Afghanistan, according to local authorities. Many other residents were injured in the attack in Baharak district of Tachar province, provincial politicians said on Thursday. More than 40 security guards were killed in a Taliban attack on Wednesday in Tachar; the Taliban had also suffered losses.

Provincial Councilor Muhammad Asam Afsali told the German Press Agency: “Someone reported to the government that Taliban fighters who attacked Baharak were returning to Archi and recovering in a mosque in the village of Hasara Gharluk.” A spokesman for the province confirmed the devastating air strike on Wednesday afternoon. In security circles in the province, it was said that Taliban fighters were in the mosque. However, these have moved on.

Representatives of the Taliban and the government in Kabul started peace talks in Qatar in September. So far, the Islamists have rejected a ceasefire. Experts expect long and tough negotiations before a ceasefire can be agreed. Meanwhile, the conflict in the country continues.

For more than a week there has also been heavy fighting in southern Afghanistan. In the meantime, more than 100 civilians have died and tens of thousands of people have been driven from their villages. Experts say the Taliban stepped up their offensives to motivate their fighters before the cold season.

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Afghanistan, the turning point of the Taliban: now they have also achieved financial autonomy

They sat down to talk about peace, but they never broke off relations with Al Qaeda. They welcome the mediation of Qatar and Pakistan, but aim for total autonomy, financial and military. And, above all, they have a new and growing leader, who enjoys great charisma and shows uncommon warlike skills. The Taliban’s dream is always that of the Islamic emirate, and that of the West, to bring them back to an almost acceptable conception of democracy, risks being just a mirage. To wipe out the illusions is a confidential NATO document, which Republic he was able to see, in which the sources of financing are analyzed but also the internal power relationships of the organization.

The first fundamental observation is the rapid rise to leadership, formally still in the hands of the mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, del mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, military leader of the fundamentalist group but above all the thirty year old son of Mullah Omar, founder of the organization and Emir of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. Yaqoob, writes the analyst of the Atlantic Alliance, has carried out a substantial renewal project, pending to take the lead directly, taking advantage of the Covid-19 epidemic, which would have weakened the group’s senior leaders. Akhundzada may actually be dead already, and his number two, Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of the homonymous network, would also be ill. According to the NATO document, Yaqoob could become the supreme leader by 2020, reaping the rewards of a long climb that began when his father’s death was made public in 2015.

Able to militarily control 28 provinces, Omar’s son launched a strategy based on centralizing and expanding sources of funding. These are mainly two: the opium trade and the smuggling of precious minerals. The report, which is based on interviews obtained with senior Taliban officials, even offers the figures of the global turnover: Yaqoob can count on more than 1.6 billion dollars a year. Of these, 416 million come from drug trafficking, 464 million from mining and the rest from extortion and various contributions. In his ascent, Yaqoob is also supported by his father’s loyalists such as Mullah Baradar, co-founder with Omar of the “Koranic students” and today the chief negotiator in the Doha negotiations.

On the prospects for pacification in Afghanistan, and on the real possibility that the country ruled by the Taliban can maintain its commitment not to return a base for attacks abroad, the NATO analyst has no illusions: the “students” have no never cut ties with Al Qaeda, with the Haqqani network, with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and with other jihadist formations. In a new “emirate” led by Yaqoob, the fundamentalist guerrillas know they can count on support and hospitality, also to plan attacks in other countries.

The analyst’s conclusions are not reassuring: the Doha agreement between the Taliban and the United States has in fact granted legitimacy to the organization, and the withdrawal of the troops announced by the White House makes the position of the fundamentalists in negotiations with the government much stronger. of Kabul. The only way out to make the organization weaker and better willing to seek an agreement with the Kabul authorities, the document suggests, is to drain the group’s revenues by preventing large pharmaceutical companies from procuring opium from the Taliban and stopping trade in minerals, following the example of what happened in the past with the boycott of “blood diamonds”.

The report also proposes measures such as the tracing of all Afghan products, with a ban on trade for those illegally exported, and the continuation of any sanctions on Taliban leaders in the financial field. And of course the complete withdrawal of the Western presence should be conditioned by the parallel fulfillment of the requests to the Taliban, first of all the closure of all relations with jihadist groups and with Al Qaeda.

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Afghanistan, the test of strength of the Taliban who feel victory is near

Technical tests of the near future? After nearly twenty years of war, the Taliban feel they are close to victory and come out into the open. This is demonstrated by the incredible parade that accompanied the shadow governor of the province of Logar, in the east of the country. In broad daylight and in the heart of a city, dozens of brand new vehicles and motorcyclists with flags in the wind escort the dignitary of the fundamentalist resistance who now wants to return to power. What is likely to happen in many areas of Afghanistan after the American withdrawal, according to a tweet by Donald Trump it will be completed by Christmas.

This is the effect of the agreement signed in Doha last February between the US plenipotentiary and the Taliban. The second phase was supposed to bring the fundamentalists and the government of Kabul to the same table, but it stalled for months around the junction of the exchange of prisoners. And in the meantime, the White House has first decided to reduce its military, then to bring them all back home. A choice that risks leaving the field free to the fundamentalists. Which, despite the promises of truce, continue in targeted attacks against key government figures. Ready to win it all back.

Afghanistan, the US and the Taliban sign a withdrawal agreement from the country

The video of the parade – analyzed by Bill Roggio di Long War Journal – is impressive, because it testifies to the efficiency of the Taliban ranks. Bikers precede a long procession of brand-new Toyota station wagons. Many militiamen wield modern US weapons. Some appear to belong to the Red Unit, the special unit made up of commandos trained in night combat.

It is no longer the guerrillas in slippers who hid in the mountains, limiting themselves to hit and run attacks: what is taking the field now is a force with government ambitions. Which no longer fears the main threat of recent years: NATO air raids. The convoy of the Taliban leader To contact Ali Ali he slowly passes through the streets of a city, then stops in front of a building where the dignitary enters quietly on foot: the sign of how deeply ingrained the control of the territory is.

Yet it is a strategic province, a few tens of kilometers from Kabul and crossed by the most important highway that connects the capital to the South. From 2001 onwards, the national army and American troops have worked to pacify it and seven years afterwards the situation seemed quite calm: NATO had entrusted it to a contingent from the Czech Republic, with an activity plan for the development of the economy. But little by little, the Taliban returned.

Foreign

Afghanistan, a civilian bus explodes: over 30 dead

The governors appointed by the Kabul authorities do not have an easy time there. One was murdered in 2013; a year ago a car bomb tried to kill his successor by massacring his escort. Today, of the four districts that make up the province, only one is firmly in the hands of the national authorities. In the others either the fundamentalists dominate or the army remains barricaded in the city bases, leaving them free to move and impose the Koranic law. Typically, they begin by ordering the closure of schools and prohibiting the education of girls. And so they also erase the hopes of a different future for Afghanistan.

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NATO responds to Trump’s statement on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan

https://ria.ru/20201008/afganistan-1578909909.html

Jens Stoltenberg in response to the statement of the US President Donald Trump on the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan before Christmas said the alliance is committed to its mission in Afghanistan so that the country does not become a platform for terrorism. Trump previously reported in Twitter that US troops in Afghanistan should return home before Christmas, which is celebrated in the US on December 25th. According to him, NATO supports the peace process in Afghanistan, welcomes talks between the Afghan government and radical Taliban and as a peacekeeping effort, the alliance has reduced its presence in Afghanistan to 12,000 holding and training Afghan security forces. Stoltenberg said NATO will consult on the future of its mission in Afghanistan. “Together we decided to enter Afghanistan, together we will decide on further changes and when the time is right, we will leave together. This has been the message of NATO for many years and it remains the message of NATO allies,” the secretary general added. Leave 4,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, but Trump’s national security aide Robert O’Brien said on Wednesday that the number should be reduced to 2,500. At the end of February, at a ceremony in Qatar, the US and the Taliban signed the first agreement in more than 18 years of war about peace, which provides for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan in 14 months and the beginning of an inter-Afghan dialogue after the prisoner exchange deal. The US military left five bases in Afghanistan as part of this agreement. The US President confirmed that in the near future the American contingent in the country will be reduced to 4,000 troops.

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the life of an Afghan refugee family in Lesbos fits in a cart

SEEN FROM ELSEWHERE – The middle-class Yussefi family ended up taking refuge on the Greek island after risking everything during a trip to Iran.

By LENA

A woman observes a new temporary camp for migrants and refugees on the island of Lesvos, Greece, September 22, 2020.
A woman observes a new temporary camp for migrants and refugees on the island of Lesvos, Greece, September 22, 2020. YARA NARDI / REUTERS

Par Cristian Segura (El País)

Afghan hospitality is not lost, even when the hosts are a homeless family. On the Greek island of Lesbos, Masomeh Etemadi and Ismaël Yussefi ask their guests to sit with them on a tarp which they use as a meeting space; they also offer them water and food distributed to them by NGOs active in the region. They strive to maintain their dignity and good manners although they only have one room in a hut built with a few reeds and cloth tied to two olive trees, on a rubbish-covered embankment.

The country followed Etemadi and Yussefi for four days the week after the fire that destroyed Moria refugee camp. They had planted their meager things on the side of the road to the burned-out camp and, waiting to see what the future held in store for them, whether it was another calamity or a sign of hope, they chatted with their visitors and compatriots, always

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Talks on the future of Afghanistan: start in Doha

For the first time, government officials and Taliban representatives meet face to face. A way is sought to end the 19-year war.

A member of the Taliban delegation during the opening session in Doha Photo: ap

BERLIN taz | Nineteen years and one day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks that sparked a US-led military intervention in Afghanistan, peace negotiations between the government in Kabul and the insurgent Taliban began on Saturday in Qatar’s capital Doha. The two sides officially sat opposite each other for the first time.

While the internationally recognized government of President Ashraf Ghani had long insisted on direct talks, the Taliban have so far refused to do so. The US-Taliban agreement, also concluded in Doha in February, paved the way for this. In it, the USA promised a full withdrawal of its troops, including the military units of its allies, including those of the Bundeswehr, by July 2021. The condition is that the Taliban in return prevent terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State from operating from Afghanistan.

In statements during the opening session streamed live from a luxury hotel, the two Afghan conflicting parties presented their basic positions. The head of the Afghan Council of Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, praised the “achievements” made after the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, such as “democracy, elections, freedom of speech, women’s rights, minority rights , the rule of law, civil and human rights ”, which are enshrined in the current constitution, even if they have so far only been partially implemented.

But Abdullah avoided saying that these achievements should be fully preserved. In advance, the government had offered the Taliban a “constitutional reform”. Abdullah, an experienced diplomat, also put a new emphasis on Kabul’s previous demand that a nationwide ceasefire must be declared at the beginning of the talks. Now he said that Kabul was aiming for a “humanitarian ceasefire” and that a comprehensive ceasefire should follow “as soon as possible”. The Taliban have so far insisted that this must first be negotiated.

Only Afghans are allowed in the room

Mulla Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy chief for political affairs, kept it brief. He assured that his movement had come to the negotiating table “in all honesty” and limited himself to their main demand that an “Islamic order” for the country had to be at the end of the negotiations.

In addition, UN Secretary General António Guterres and a dozen foreign ministers, including Heiko Maas, spoke in Doha or via Videolink. His Norwegian counterpart Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide also offered on behalf of Berlin to support the negotiations “if requested”. Together with Indonesia, Uzbekistan and host Qatar, Norway and Germany form a support group that has already organized so-called intra-Afghan dialogue meetings in advance, including the Afghan civil society.

The idea is still in the room that the Doha talks continue in the capitals of these countries. The government in Kabul and the Taliban have so far insisted that only Afghans sit in the room. They even rejected a UN mediation.

Abdullah and Baradar are not the respective negotiators, but their superiors. For Kabul, the former head of the secret service, Massum Stanaksai, who has been walking with a stick since a Taliban attack, will take on this role. Shortly before the talks began, the insurgents appointed a new chief negotiator. Abdul Hakim Hakkani Ishaksai is the head of their Council of Islamic Clergy and is considered conservative. That won’t make the talks any easier, but it will give the Taliban delegation more weight and decision-making powers.

The US role remains strong even as an observer. Hafez Mansur, a member of the government team, told Afghan media that US negotiators had indicated that both parties should keep Washington’s interests in mind if they were interested in further assistance in making their decision.

Even with the Taliban in government, Afghanistan cannot survive without external financial aid. The biggest question mark for a peace agreement is in Washington anyway: It is not clear whether US President Donald Trump has the patience to wait until the end of what are presumably protracted talks before withdrawing troops.

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Donald Trump announces reduction of US troops

Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban begin on Saturday. US President Trump praised the progress in the country – and announced that the presence of US troops would be significantly reduced.

Before the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, US President Donald Trump announced a significant troop reduction in Afghanistan. Trump said on Thursday (local time) in the White House that the number of US soldiers would be reduced to 4,000 “in a very short time”. Most recently, about 8,600 US soldiers were in Afghanistan. Trump said no US soldiers had been killed in the country since early February. “Great progress is being made in Afghanistan.” Trump announced that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would travel to Doha in the Gulf emirate of Qatar for the peace talks, which are due to begin on Saturday.

Pompeo said the talks were “a historic opportunity for Afghanistan to end four decades of war and bloodshed.” He recalled the commitment made by the Afghan government and the Taliban that terrorists on Afghan soil should never again threaten the US or its allies. The attacks of September 11, 2001 – which will be the 19th anniversary on Friday – triggered the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Troops are also to be reduced in Iraq

Trump praised his administration for the peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. “The negotiations are a result of my government’s brave diplomatic efforts over the past few months and years,” he said. “The United States will play an important role in bringing the parties together and ending the decades-long war.”

Trump also announced further troop reductions in Iraq. The number of US soldiers there should also be reduced to 2,000 within a “very short time”, the President said on Thursday. The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that the US would reduce its troop strength in Iraq from 5,200 to around 3,000 soldiers. The US Department of Defense announced that this was made possible by the progress made by the Iraqi army.

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Afghan Government: Taliban Peace Talks – Politics

After 19 years of war in Afghanistan, peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban are set to begin in Doha this Saturday. The Qatari government first announced this, and the Taliban are also spreading the message via social networks. Sediq Sediqqi, the spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, confirmed the Süddeutsche Zeitung the scheduled meeting on Thursday evening. “Finally” the moment has come.

The US and the Taliban had already reached an agreement in Doha at the end of February, according to which the Americans and the remaining Western troops in their wake will gradually leave the country by April 2021 if the Islamists adhere to certain conditions. Among other things, the Taliban should do their part to ensure that Afghanistan no longer poses a terrorist threat.

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan with broad international support because the then ruling Taliban regime refused to extradite Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden managed to escape and was only tracked down and killed by the USA in Pakistan in 2011. The Taliban quickly drove the US out of Kabul and installed a president in Hamid Karzai. But they were unable to defeat the Taliban militarily; the Islamists withdrew to Pakistan and regrouped. Again and again they have worn down the western and Afghan troops with attacks from ambush. The war is at a stalemate, but observers believe that the government of President Ghani will have to make far-reaching concessions to move the Taliban to a comprehensive peace deal.

The Islamists are in a comfortable situation for the upcoming negotiations on Saturday: The Ghani government has released thousands of Taliban from custody to pave the way for the talks. The West is also tired of war. The United States only announced on Thursday night that it not only wanted to withdraw 2,000 soldiers from Iraq, but also to reduce its troop presence by more than 4,000 armed forces in Afghanistan. This leaves only a small contingent of American soldiers in the Hindu Kush.

Shortly before the US presidential election in November, the US Department of Defense is pulling out a large-scale withdrawal from the Middle East. Ending the US involvement in these “endless wars” was one of the central election promises of President Donald Trump in his 2016 campaign. Right at the start of the hot phase of his campaign for re-election, Trump now apparently wants to announce: Troops on the way home, promise Redeemed.

As the American Navy General Frank McKenzie announced in a press conference held by telephone, the number of troops stationed in Afghanistan is to be halved by November – instead of the current 8,600 soldiers, only 4,500 are to remain.

The withdrawal can hardly be justified by the fact that the situation in the country has eased, as events of the past few days have shown. Although the Taliban are now ready to sit down at the table with the Afghan government in Doha, they are sticking to their strategy of making clear what they are capable of through attacks before negotiations. Probably to create such a threatening backdrop, fighters invaded the previously peaceful Punjjir province on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Afghanistan’s Vice President Amrullah Saleh narrowly escaped a bomb attack, killing three bodyguards and seven civilians. Saleh is a staunch opponent of the Taliban. They deny being behind the attack

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Assange in London: A Kafkaesque Trial

AWhen Julian Assange is led into the courtroom by two guards, he takes a seat behind a bulletproof glass pane and the camera pans to him for a while. For a moment he looks over at Stella Moris, his fiancé, and throws her a quick kiss on the hand. He has short hair, is wearing a suit and a light colored shirt and tie. Despite his well-groomed appearance, he makes an exhausted impression.

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The expert explained why Trump is withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan

https://ria.ru/20200909/ssha-1576976109.html

The expert explained why Trump is withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan

The intention of US President Donald Trump to announce the further withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan is part of the election campaign, as the current … RIA Novosti, 09.09.

2020-09-09T12:06

2020-09-09T12:06

2020-09-09T12:06

Vladimir Batiuk

donald trump

US and Canadian institute ras

Joe Biden

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USA

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MOSCOW, September 9 – RIA Novosti. Intention of the US President Donald Trump to announce further withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan is part of the election campaign, since the incumbent head of the White House is still lagging behind rival Joe Biden in the election race, said the chief researcher at the Institute of the USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Batyuk . Earlier, a senior official of the US administration announced that Trump would announce a military cut presence in Iraq and Afghanistan . According to him, first we should expect Trump to announce the further withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and in the coming days on the reduction of troops in Afghanistan. According to him, it was precisely because of the pre-election situation that Trump took this act, which, according to the expert, will certainly be supported and appreciated not only by his “nuclear” electorate, but even by many of the Democrats. As Batiuk explained, the Americans are tired of “spreading” democracy across the globe, incurring huge costs and losses. “The Americans believe that Washington should finally remember that there is a country like America that needs very serious investments to upgrade its infrastructure , to solve the problems of health care, education and many others. Now this is an application for the fact that, as Trump promised the Americans, America will, first of all, not carry democracy in countries whose names a hundred percent American cannot possibly pronounce, but it is America and its people that will be the priority, “the agency’s interlocutor added. Promises to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, begun by his predecessors, were key in Trump’s election program. At the end of February, at a ceremony in Qatar, the United States and Taliban signed the first peace agreement in more than 18 years of war, which provides for the withdrawal of foreign wars SC from Afghanistan in 14 months and the beginning of an inter-Afghan dialogue after the prisoner exchange deal. The US military left five bases in Afghanistan as part of this agreement. On January 5, the Iraqi Parliament voted by a majority vote for the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country, and also spoke in favor of revising the format of cooperation with the head USA by the international anti-terrorist coalition. These measures were a response to the US operation in the area of ​​Baghdad International Airport, as a result of which on the night of January 3, the Iranian general, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qasem Soleimani and the deputy head of the Iraqi Shiite militia Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were killed. In Washington, they are believed to be involved in organizing an attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad on December 31, 2019, in response to Iranian attacks on US bases in Iraq, including Ain al-Assad. After these events, the international coalition led by the United States handed over to the Iraqi military a number of facilities where the US military had previously been deployed, including a number of air bases and the headquarters of the coalition’s military advisers. US President Donald Trump said earlier that the troops of the international coalition would be completely withdrawn from Iraq within three years.

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MOSCOW, Sept. 9 – RIA Novosti. The intention of US President Donald Trump to announce the further withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan is part of the election campaign, since the current head of the White House is still lagging behind rival Joe Biden in the election race, said Vladimir Batyuk, chief researcher at the Institute of the USA and Canada, RAS.
Earlier, a senior US administration official said that Trump would announce a reduction in military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to him, first we should expect Trump to announce the further withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and in the coming days on the reduction of troops in Afghanistan.

“Of course, this is part of the election campaign. And it is necessary to announce this right now, because there is too little time left (before the elections). Trump is now practically, let’s say, ready to do anything just to change the balance of power that is not very favorable for him. during this campaign. His opponent, Mr. Biden, is still ahead of Trump by several percentage points, this is too much in conditions when there are less than two months left before the elections, “Batyuk told RIA Novosti.

According to him, it was precisely because of the pre-election situation that Trump took this act, which, according to the expert, will certainly be supported and appreciated not only by his “nuclear” electorate, but even by many of the Democrats. As Batiuk explained, the Americans are tired of “spreading” democracy around the globe, incurring huge costs and losses.

“The Americans believe that Washington should finally remember that there is a country like America that needs very serious investments to upgrade its infrastructure, to solve the problems of health care, education and many others. Now this is an application for how and Trump promised the Americans that America will, first of all, not carry democracy in countries whose names a 100% American cannot pronounce, probably, namely America and its people will be a priority, “the agency’s source added.

US President Donald Trump at the Ramstein military airbase, Germany - RIA Novosti, 1920, 08/10/2020

August 10, 08:00

Trump withdraws troops from Germany for the benefit of the United States. And the whole world

Promises to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, launched by his predecessors, were key to Trump’s election agenda.

In late February, at a ceremony in Qatar, the United States and the Taliban signed the first peace agreement in more than 18 years of war, which provides for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan in 14 months and the beginning of an inter-Afghan dialogue following a prisoner exchange deal. The US military left five bases in Afghanistan as part of this agreement.
The Iraqi parliament on January 5 voted by a majority vote for the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country, and also spoke in favor of revising the format of cooperation with the US-led international anti-terrorist coalition. These measures were a response to the US operation in the area of ​​Baghdad International Airport, as a result of which on the night of January 3, the Iranian general, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Qassem Soleimani, and the deputy head of the Iraqi Shiite militia, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were killed. In Washington, they are believed to be involved in organizing an attack on the American embassy in Baghdad on December 31, 2019.

Iran responded by striking US bases in Iraq, including Ain al-Assad. After these events, the international coalition led by the United States handed over to the Iraqi military a number of facilities where the US military had previously been deployed, including a number of air bases and the headquarters of the coalition’s military advisers. US President Donald Trump said earlier that the troops of the international coalition would be completely withdrawn from Iraq within three years.

Security near the Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore - Russia news agency, 1920, 09/09/2020

The decisive battle for the White House. The main factor will determine the winner

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