Feb 15, 2018

U.S. and Turkey at impasse over Kurds

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Photo: Dursun Aydemir / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told his Turkish counterpart Nurettin Canikli on the sidelines of a NATO meeting Thursday that the U.S. believes it can ensure U.S.-backed Kurds in Syria diverge from Kurds in Turkey, the AP reports.

  • Why it matters: That statement doesn’t hold any weight with Turkey, which considers Kurdish forces on both sides of the border terrorist groups and launched an offensive last month against Kurds in Syria. Canikli said it's “impossible and unrealistic” that Syrian Kurds would turn away from Kurdish rebels in Turkey. The divide over the Kurds has put the NATO allies at odds.
  • Meanwhile, a meeting between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today in Ankara showed no apparent results. When asked outside his hotel about the meeting, Tillerson said "we're still working."
  • Go deeper: Recent Syria flare-ups expose tangled mess of rivalries and tensions.

Go deeper

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Health

Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrow10 hours ago - World