U.S. and Russia may reach a military agreement on Syria.
The United States has one priority in Syria: Destroy the Islamic State.
As Russia is building up a military presence in the region, Secretary of State John Kerry said last Wednesday that Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov proposed to hold talks with the American government regarding the current situation in Syria.
Russia is indirectly backing Bashar al-Assad’s struggling regime against the Islamic militias that are pillaging the region, and Kerry acknowledged on Friday that Assad could remain in power on the short term to allow a concentrated fight against ISIL. This is a first opening toward the Syrian dictator, considering that the U.S. has vehemently asked for Assad to step down since the beginning of the civil four years ago.
Russia sent to Syria an array of military personnel and hardware, including their modern T-90 tanks, and is building a considerable presence in the region. Western officials have been concerned with Russia’s intent in helping Assad, but as the situation in Syria only gets worse, with harsh repercussions on the European front as hundreds of thousands of refugees seek shelter from a brutal war, the U.S. recognizes the possibility to reach a military agreement with Russia in order to bring stability to the country.
Colombia and Venezuela will discuss their border feud in Ecuador this week.
A troubling border dispute has entangled Venezuela and Colombia since some basic goods, such as toilet paper and cooking oil, became hard to come by in Venezuela. The country, rich in oil, has plunged into an economic crisis since prices fell earlier this year. Smuggling activity has been thriving between the two countries, an area where smuggling has been seen as commonplace for years.
For the last decade and a half, relations between Colombia and Venezuela have been all but good. After closing the main border crossing with Colombia earlier this month, President Nicolas Maduro deported hundreds of Colombian immigrants. Many more Colombians who lived in Venezuela for years, around 20,000, left the country on their own accord over fears of a violent crackdown.
A summit is to be held in Quito, Ecuador this Monday between Maduro and his Colombian counterpart President Juan Manuel Santos. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa Delgado, hoping to ease the growing tensions between the two countries, will broker the meeting.
Last Thursday, a Venezuelan fighter jet crashed close to the border with Colombia after detecting what was believed to be a Colombian aircraft. Tempers between the two South American countries are running high.
In the midst of pushback by the Pakistani military, the Taliban attacked a Pakistani air force base last Friday.
Pakistan embarked on a crackdown against the local Taliban forces last June, but the terrorist group still managed to kill more than 140 people, mostly children, at a Peshawar school this past December. Pakistan’s offensive against the Islamic militias seemed to be successful, as violence in the country has dropped by 70 percent during this year.
Most of the people killed in the attack were praying in a Mosque inside the military compound when the Taliban showed up wearing police uniforms. It is unclear how many terrorists took part in the attack.
This is just another act of violence in the tormented northwestern region of Pakistan, the easternmost front of the global Jihad that has battered the world increasingly for the past 14 years.
Contact CU Independent News Staff Writer Giorgio Ausenda at firstname.lastname@example.org.