Nov 11, 2019

Founder of Syria's White Helmet rescue group found dead in Turkey

Reporters outside the home of James Le Mesurier in Turkey. Photo: Burak Kara/Getty Images

James Le Mesurier, a former British army officer and CEO of Mayday Rescue group, was found dead outside of his home in Istanbul on Monday, reports Al Jazeera.

Why it matters: Le Mesurier helped start the White Helmets, a volunteer search and rescue group in Syria credited with saving the lives of thousands, per Al Jazeera. Turkish officials are investigating whether he committed suicide.

What they're saying: The White Helmet's responded to the news of Le Mesurier's death on Twitter.

We have learned with shock and sadness the news of the death of @lemesurierjames, founder and director of the humanitarian organization @MaydayRescue, early on Monday at his home in Tophane Istanbul, Turkey. Mayday is one of the institutions supporting the White Helmets."
"The Syrian Civil Defense family extends its deepest condolences to the James family, and we express our deepest sorrow and solidarity with his family. As we also must commend his humanitarian efforts which Syrians will always remember."
— The White Helmets

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Ahead of NATO summit, Erdogan condemns Macron for "brain death" comments

Emmanuel Macron (L) with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, June 28. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a televised speech Friday that Emmanuel Macron's recent warning about NATO was a “sick and shallow” interpretation, sniping at the French president to have his own "brain death" checked, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Erdogan's attacks on Macron, whom he also called a "novice" that knows how to "show off," come just days before NATO leaders are set to meet in London for a summit.

Go deeperArrowDec 1, 2019

Deadly car bomb blasts bus terminal in Syrian town held by Turkey

Turkey said at least eight people were killed and more than 20 wounded during a car bomb attack on Nov. 10. Photo: Zein Al Rifai/AFP/Getty Images

At least 10 people have died after a car bomb exploded on Saturday in the northern Syrian town Al-Bab, per a post from the official Twitter account of the Turkish Defense Ministry.

Why it matters: The community has been held by Turkey-backed opposition fighters since 2016, AP reports. Violent attacks have increased following Turkey's offensive into northern Syria in October.

Go deeperArrowNov 16, 2019

Scoop: Erdogan upends Oval meeting to play anti-Kurd film on iPad

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at a press conference with President Donald Trump. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

An Oval Office meeting yesterday with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took a dark turn when Erdoğan pulled out his iPad and made the group watch a propaganda video that depicted the leader of the primarily-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces as a terrorist, according to three sources familiar with the meeting.

Why it matters: The meeting hosted by President Trump included five Republican U.S. senators who've been among the most vocal critics of Turkey's recent invasion of Syria and attacks on the U.S.'s Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS.

Go deeperArrowNov 14, 2019