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Pentagon chief urges 'isolation operation' for IS-held Raqa
Arbil (Iraq) (AFP) - US defence chief Ashton Carter said Sunday that an operation to isolate the Islamic State group in Syria's Raqa should begin in conjunction with the assault on the jihadists' Iraqi bastion Mosul.
"We want to see an isolation operation begin around Raqa as soon as possible," Carter said during a visit to Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan to review an ongoing offensive to retake Mosul from IS.
"We are working with our partners there (in Syria) to do that," the US secretary of defence said, adding: "There will be some simultaneity to these two operations."
Iraqi forces launched a huge operation last week to retake Mosul, the last major city in Iraq under IS control.
The United States leads a 60-nation coalition that has provided key support in the form of thousands of air strikes, training to Iraqi forces and advisers on the ground.
The loss of Mosul would leave Raqa -- the de facto capital of the jihadists' self-declared "caliphate" -- the only major city still under IS control.
Carter said the idea of simultaneous operations against Mosul and Raqa "has been part of our planning for quite a while".
In Iraq, the coalition is allied with both federal forces and Kurdish peshmerga fighters in the Mosul battle.
But in Syria, the issue of which ground forces would be involved in an operation to retake Raqa would be far more complicated.
The United States has given support to Syrian rebels and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who have battled IS. But President Bashar al-Assad's forces, backed by Russia and Iran, are also fighting the jihadists.
What’s left for Vietnam after US withdraws from TPP?
US President Donald Trump on January 23 signed an executive order to withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). “A great thing for the American worker, what we just did,” he said in front of the media right after signing the order.The order to withdraw is among the first orders he signed when he officially entered into office on January 23, besides the federal hiring freeze (with the exception of the military) and the Mexico City policy, which bars foreign aid to… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Young female leaders who inherit fortunes face business difficulties
Many women praised for their talent and huge business assets inherited from their parents have not performed well in business. Nguyen Ngoc My (left) and Pham Do Diem Huong Two years ago, the public was intrigued by the picture of a young girl and David Beckham taken in Vietnam during the British footballer’s visit to the country. Netizens quickly found that the girl was Nguyen Ngoc My, the daughter of Nguyen Tuan Hai, president and CEO of Alphanam, a well known investment firm. They also… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
In White House math, certain places offer clues on outcome
ATLANTA (AP) — Did Donald Trump succeed in at last winning over college-educated whites uneasy with the billionaire reality TV star? Did he drive a wave of working-class white voters? Did Hillary Clinton rebuild Barack Obama's winning coalition — young voters, urban liberals and minorities — while picking off moderate Republicans?Those questions are central to who will win Tuesday's presidential election, and a handful of locales could provide some early answers on election night.The Associated… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Wildfire burns 22 homes in Nevada
(Reuters) - A wildfire fanned by high winds destroyed 22 homes in a wooded area of northern Nevada on Friday, among them a mountain property belonging to the owner of a famous brothel in the state.Dennis Hof, the owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in the Carson City area, revealed in a message on his Twitter page that one of his houses was destroyed by the blaze, which fire officials said had scorched 2,000 acres (809 hectares) in the area of Washoe Valley just south of Reno.Hof, who is profiled… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
If Trump pursues tariffs, Mexico could walk from NAFTA negotiations, minister says
In the latest chapter of the evolving relationship between Mexico and the United States, Mexican economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo has warned that his country will walk away from any negotiations on revising the North American Free Trade Agreement if the US insists on imposing tariffs on Mexican goods.As long ago as September, as a presidential candidate, Donald Trump hammered NAFTA as “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere,” and he has made no secret of his determination to… chat_bubble_outline Read More...