America’s Withdrawal From Syria—and the Middle East

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U.S. forces, accompanied by Kurdish People’s Protection Units fighters, drive their armoured vehicles near the northern Syrian village of Darbasiyah, on the border with Turkey on April 28, 2017. (DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Breaking with advisers and generals, President Trump decides to pull troops out of Syria. Is this the beginning of the end of American power in the Middle East?

United States President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that all American forces will soon be withdrawn from Syria. In a video released on Twitter, Mr. Trump declared victory over the Islamic State and, as a result, has determined to withdraw the 2,000 troops currently inside Syrian territory.

“We have defeated isis in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump presidency,” Mr. Trump tweeted, which was quickly followed by the video. Continue reading

Chinese Banks Are Laundering North Korean Cash

A truck returns over the Friendship Bridge from the North Korean town of Sinuiju to the Chinese border city of Dandong, in China’s northeast Liaoning province. (CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

 

‘The North Korea crisis is a massive distraction from the real threat posed by China and Russia.’

Chinese support of the North Korean government remains firmly in place and vital to the regime’s survival. Revelations emerged on April 12 that two major Chinese banks are providing a key financial lifeline to the nuclear-armed rogue regime of tyrant Kim Jong-un.

Both the Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank have been “identified in a 2016 U.S. asset-seizure case as providing accounts for a Chinese trading company that helped North Korea launder its money,” Bloomberg wrote.

The two have been shown to hold and transfer cash entering and leaving Pyongyang, and facilitating its laundering through United States financial institutions.

These two banks, China’s second- and third-largest, each have more assets than JPMorgan Chase & Co., America’s largest bank.

In 2016, the Obama administration declined to enforce money-laundering laws against the banks. The Wall Street Journal noted at the time that this decision sent a signal to Beijing that “Chinese banks aiding North Korea are untouchable.”

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