NORTHERN SYRIA—On a secret trip to Syria, the new commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said Saturday he felt a moral obligation to enter a war zone to check on his troops and make his own assessment of progress in organizing local Arab and Kurd fighters for what has been a slow campaign to push the Islamic State out of Syria.
“I have responsibility for this mission, and I have responsibility for the people that we put here,” Army Gen. Joseph Votel said in an interview as dusk fell on the remote outpost where he had arrived 11 hours earlier. “So it’s imperative for me to come and see what they’re dealing with—to share the risk they are dealing with.” Continue reading
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov says that John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), made a secret visit to Moscow in March, according to The Moscow Times.
“It’s no secret that Brennan was here,” Syromolotov said on Monday. “But he didn’t visit the Foreign Ministry. I know for sure that he met with the Federal Security Service [the successor agency to the Soviet KGB], and someone else.” Continue reading