US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

ABC News



"Iraq coalition calls Israeli strikes a 'declaration of war'"

Im irakischen Parlament sind die jüngsten israelischen Angriffe gegen schiitische Milizen im Irak als "Kriegserklärung" bezeichnet worden. "The Fatah Coalition said it holds the United States fully responsible for the alleged Israeli aggression, 'which we consider to be a declaration of war on Iraq and its people.' The coalition is a parliament bloc representing Iran-backed paramilitary militias known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. The coalition's statement came a day after a drone strike in the western Iraqi town of Qaim killed a commander with the forces — the latest in strikes apparently conducted by Israel against the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq. It added that U.S. troops are no longer needed in Iraq."

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"Ukraine candidate urges talks to end conflict in east"

Der in aktuellen Umfragen führende ukrainische Präsidentschaftskandidat Volodymyr Zelenskiy hat sich für eine Verhandlungslösung des andauernden Konflikts im Osten des Landes ausgesprochen. "A comedian leading Ukraine's presidential race says the country needs to negotiate with Russia to put an end to fighting in the east. Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who plays the nation's president in a popular TV series, has surged ahead of incumbent Petro Poroshenko and ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, according to opinion polls ahead of the March 31 election. Zelenskiy said late Thursday that if he wins his top priority would be saving lives, adding that talks are the only way to end the separatist conflict in the country's east that erupted after Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea“

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"Russian meddling abroad: Does Putin pull all the strings?"

Einige Experten bezweifeln diesem Beitrag zufolge, dass die im Westen diskutierten mutmaßlichen russischen Pläne, Verschwörungen und Verbrechen immer auf direkte Anordnung des russischen Präsidenten durchgeführt worden sind. "Putin may indeed have involvement in some shadowy schemes, but is he micromanaging every suspected poisoning, computer hack and influence campaign? Experts say not necessarily. Instead, they say Putin and his entourage may be sending out signals about what he wants, and ambitious officials and individuals scramble to interpret and fulfill them to win his favor. (...) 'Russia is not as centralized as people sometimes think,' said Alexander Baunov of the Carnegie Moscow Center. Incidents of election meddling abroad weren't part of 'a single planned event, but separate people and actions' operating loosely under the same anti-Western banner. Such efforts don't always coalesce. Observers describe rivalries among Kremlin insiders as they jostle for favors or influence. Prigozhin's supposed financing of mercenaries in Syria, for example, is reportedly at odds with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu but helps Russia maintain a foothold in the Middle East."

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"Taliban storms strategic Afghan city"

Die Taliban haben die afghanische Provinzhauptstadt Ghazni Berichten zufolge erfolgreich gestürmt. "U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, which oversees American troops in the country, confirmed the attack via Twitter, calling it a 'failed attempt' to capture territory. U.S. forces 'responded with close-air support' in Ghazni while Afghan security forces 'held their ground' and maintained control of all government buildings. 'Another failed attempt by Taliban to seize terrain, while creating strategically inconsequential headlines,' U.S. Forces-Afghanistan tweeted. The early morning's assault on Ghazni was the latest in a string of attempts by the Taliban to overrun urban centers since the Afghan government called off a unilateral cease-fire with the militant group that was in place for Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of Islam's holy month of Rmadan."

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"Lithuania: Russia deploying more missiles into Kaliningrad"

Der Präsidentin Litauens zufolge hat Russland zusätzliche atomwaffenfähige Iskander-Raketen nach Kaliningrad verlegt. Ein russischer Parlamentarier hat die Verlegung als Reaktion auf die NATO-Aktivitäten in Polen bestätigt. "President Dalia Grybauskaite told reporters after visiting NATO troops in the central Lithuanian town of Rukla that 'Iskander missiles are being stationed in Kaliningrad for permanent presence as we speak.' She called it a threat not only to Lithuania but to 'half of all European countries.' (...) From Kaliningrad, which is sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland, Iskander missiles can reach targets in both countries as well as Baltic neighbors Latvia and Estonia, all of them NATO members. The head of the Russian parliament's defense committee, Vladimir Shamanov, confirmed the missiles' deployment in remarks carried by Russian news agencies. He added that the move was a response to a NATO buildup near Russia's borders, with the number of U.S. weapons in Poland a particular irritation to Moscow."

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"James Mattis unveils new US military strategy focused on threat from Russia and China, not terrorism"

Das US-Militär will seinen strategischen Fokus Verteidigungsminister Mattis zufolge künftig wieder stärker auf Bedrohungsszenarien mit Russland und China ausrichten. "For almost two decades, ever since the September 11, 2001 attacks, America's military focus has been on fighting terrorism, and counter-insurgency campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Mr Mattis has unveiled a broad new strategy for the Defence Department, warning that all aspects of the military's competitive warfighting edge have eroded. (...) The most dominant theme in his strategy was for the US to regain its competitive edge with China and Russia, according to an 11-page, unclassified version released by the Pentagon. That shift reflects persistent US worries about China's military build-up in the South China Sea, its moves to expand its political and economic influence, and what has been described as Beijing's systematic campaign of cyberattacks and data theft from government agencies and private US corporations. The shift also underscores broad American concerns about Russia (...). the deputy assistant defence secretary for strategy, Elbridge Colby, said the US still sought areas of cooperation with Russia and China, stressing 'this is not a strategy of confrontation'."

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"Turkey says it will oust Kurdish militants from Afrin, Syria"

Der türkische Präsident Erdogan will offenbar eine neue Offensive zur Vertreibung kurdischer Einheiten aus der nordsyrischen Stadt Afrin anordnen. "Speaking in the eastern province of Elazig, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the People's Protection Units, or YPG, that Turkey will intervene if the 'terrorists in Afrin do not surrender.' His remarks came as Turkey's military shelled Afrin, a Kurdish-controlled enclave along Syria's frontier with Turkey, saying it was responding to harassment by the YPG, according to the Turkish station NTV. (...) the Afrin region is detached from the bulk of Kurdish-controlled territory in northeast Syria. It's surrounded on three sides by Turkish forces and Syrian rebels backed by Ankara. And while the U.S. military maintains bases in the Kurdish territory in northeast Syria, it is not believed to be present in Afrin."

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"UN: 25-Percent Increase in Afghan Children Killed in 2016"

Die Zahl der getöteten und verletzten Zivilisten in Afghanistan ist einem neuen UN-Bericht zufolge im vergangenen Jahr um drei Prozent gestiegen. Davon sind offenbar besonders Kinder betroffen: "The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) attributed the disproportionate spike in child casualties in 2016 mainly to a 66-percent increase in casualties from left-over or discarded munitions. The report states that 923 children in Afghanistan were killed in 2016, a 25-percent increase from the previous year. The number of children injured rose by about 23 percent. Overall it was the highest number of casualties among children ever recorded in a single year by UNAMA."

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"ABC News Anchor David Muir Interviews President Trump"

ABC-Moderator David Muir hat ein ausführliches Interview mit Donald Trump geführt, in dem sich der neue US-Präsident u.a. zu einer möglichen Wiedereinführung der Folter von Terrorverdächtigen geäußert hat. Trump befürwortet demnach die erneute Anwendung entsprechender Verhörtechniken, will die Entscheidung aber seinem Verteidigungsminister James Mattis und CIA-Direktor Mike Pompeo überlassen. "As far as I'm concerned we have to fight fire with fire. Now, with that being said I'm going with General Mattis. I'm going with my secretary because I think Pompeo's gonna be phenomenal. I'm gonna go with what they say. But I have spoken as recently as 24 hours ago with people at the highest level of intelligence. And I asked them the question, 'Does it work? Does torture work?' And the answer was, 'Yes, absolutely.'"

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"IS Claims New Year's Attack on Istanbul Nightclub"

Der "Islamische Staat" hat sich zum Terroranschlag auf einen Nachtklub in Istanbul bekannt. "The IS-linked Aamaq News Agency said the attack was carried by a 'heroic soldier of the caliphate who attacked the most famous nightclub where Christians were celebrating their pagan feast.' It said the man opened fire from an automatic rifle in 'revenge for God's religion and in response to the orders' of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The group described Turkey as 'the servant of the cross.'"

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"Intense Diplomacy, Proposals for New Syria Cease-Fire"

Zeina Karam und Mathew Lee berichten über die Bemühungen der USA und Russlands, die zumindest teilweise geltende Waffenruhe im Syrienkonflikt zu retten. "American officials say one idea being considered by the U.S. side is a detailed map that would be drawn up with the Russians laying out 'safe zones' where civilians and members of moderate opposition groups covered by the truce could find shelter from persistent government attacks. It was not immediately clear whether Russia would accept such a plan or if Moscow could persuade Syrian President Bashar Assad's government to respect the prospective zones. One U.S. official said 'hard lines' would delineate specific areas and neighborhoods. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly."

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"Potential Shift in Hostage Policy: Officials to Recommend Families Be Free to Pay Ransom"

Eine Expertengruppe wird dem Weißen Haus ABC News zufolge möglicherweise raten, sich von der bisherigen Lösegeldpolitik zu verabschieden. Künftig könnte es Familien von Betroffenen erlaubt werden, Geiseln ohne Furcht vor Bestrafung freizukaufen. "'There will be absolutely zero chance of any family member of an American held hostage overseas ever facing jail themselves, or even the threat of prosecution, for trying to free their loved ones,' said one of three senior officials familiar with the hostage policy team's ongoing review. The study undertaken by the National Counterterrorism Center on orders from the Obama White House has involved interviewing many of those with tragic experience such as the parents of journalist James Foley, who were among several families alleging they were repeatedly threatened by administration officials with prosecution last summer for moving to raise millions in ransom demanded by ISIS and other groups in Syria."

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"'Dirty Brigades': US-Trained Iraqi Forces Investigated for War Crimes"

Irakischen Einheiten, die für ihren Kampf gegen den Islamischen Staat von US-Ausbildern unterwiesen wurden, werden ABC News zufolge Kriegsverbrechen vorgeworfen. "Some Iraqi units have already been cut off from U.S. assistance over 'credible' human rights violations, according to a senior military official on the Pentagon's Joint Staff. The investigation, being conducted by the Iraqi government, was launched after officials were confronted with numerous allegations of 'war crimes,' based in part on dozens of ghastly videos and still photos that appear to show uniformed soldiers from some of Iraq's most elite units and militia members massacring civilians, torturing and executing prisoners, and displaying severed heads."

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"UN Anti-Torture Panel Grills US Officials"

Bei ihrer Befragung vor dem UNO-Ausschuss gegen Folter haben Mitarbeiter der US-Regierung eingestanden, dass die USA nach dem 11. September 2001 "Grenzen überschritten" hätten. "The Obama administration officials said that whatever transgressions occurred had been under the previous administration of George W. Bush, but Obama that had quickly tried to turn things around. 'As President Obama has acknowledged, we crossed the line and we take responsibility for that,' McLeod said. 'The United States has taken important steps to ensure adherence to its legal obligations.' Tom Malinowski, an assistant U.S. secretary of state, told the committee the government believes torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment 'are forbidden in all places, at all times, with no exceptions.'"

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"Was fleeing the country Snowden's best option?"

Der australische Journalist Mark Colvin hat sich mit dem NSA-Whistleblower Thomas Drake über die mögliche Zukunft Edward Snowdens unterhalten und dabei auch auf Bundesjustizminister Maas verwiesen, der Snowden die Rückkehr in die USA empfohlen hat. Drake ist sicher, dass Snowdens Flucht und Asyl in Russland angesichts der drohenden Bestrafung in den USA gerechtfertigt gewesen sei. "I think it would have been draconian. It would have been extraordinary isolation. They would have considered him, as they did with me, even more of an enemy of the state and they would have been certain to have detained him in a manner that would have been very difficult even for legal representation to gain access to him. (...) Stay away from American justice."

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"When the CIA Keeps the President in the Dark"

Lee Ferran hat mit US-Geheimdienstexperten gesprochen, von denen einige es für selbstverständlich halten, dass US-Präsident Obama nichts über die aufgedeckten Fälle der CIA-Spionage gegen Deutschland gewusst habe. "It’s unclear who is responsible for the breakdown in communication about the arrest - Hayden and the CIA won’t say - but two retired senior intelligence officials told ABC News it should not be surprising that most likely the president and his national security advisor all along were not aware of the alleged recruitment of the German agent, as well as that of another recently discovered purported U.S. spy in the German Defense Ministry. As former White House counter-terrorism advisor and ABC News consultant Richard Clarke put it, 'never in a million years' would the president be briefed on what Clarke called such 'totally mundane' recruitment targets. A third retired senior CIA covert operations specialist disagreed in this case, saying it was a 'real possibility' the White House was aware of the operation. Either way, all three former senior officials said it’s up to the CIA’s 'good judgment' whether to let the White House in on what one called 'pure espionage.'"

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"Syria Threat Could Prompt Changes at Airports"

Die US-Regierung stufe den Krieg in Syrien als neue Bedrohung der inneren Sicherheit ein und könnte als Reaktion neue Sicherheitsmaßnahmen an Flughäfen anordnen, berichten Mike Levine und Pierre Thomas. "The Obama administration may ask overseas partners to enhance security measures at airports and is weighing whether to do the same here at home to address deepening concerns that terrorists in war-ravaged Syria are trying to develop a new generation of bombs that could be smuggled onto commercial planes, ABC News has learned. '[This threat] is different and more disturbing than past aviation plots,' one source said. The issue was discussed this past week at the White House during a meeting of top-level officials from intelligence agencies, sources said."

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