A quick review of the major military related headlines from the last week:
Turkish bombardment of Kurdish positions in Syria.
- President Trump announced that US troops would be pulling out of positions in northern Syria where they work and fight alongside members of the Kurdish SDP in the ongoing struggle against ISIS. Allies, both military and political, criticized the move to abandon the Kurds because of an expected attack by Turkey, a fellow NATO member. The issue is further complicated the tens of thousands of ISIS militants detained in prison camps in the same region that may soon have no one guarding them.
- Days later, Turkey shelled those same positions, killing hundreds of those same Kurdish troops and civilians, followed by a ground invasion by the Turkish military dubbed Operation Peace Spring. Turkey claims the SDP is allied with the Kurdish terrorist group PKK within their country and sees them as a threat. Casualties are mounting on both sides and tens of thousands of civilians have fled the region.
- The protests in Iraq against widespread government corruption rage on as the death count rises into the triple digits with thousands injured. Protestors claim a number of atrocities by the military and police who claim they’ve only fired after being fired upon.
- Talks between the United States and North Korea resumed on Saturday only to collapse in little over eight hours. The State Department claimed the talks went well despite their brevity, but later in the week the North threatened to renew long range and nuclear weapons testing.
Kim Miyong Gil, North Korea's lead negotiator, reads statement after Saturday's brief talks in Stockholm, Sweden, calling them "sickening negotiation."
- The epidemic of vaping-related illness has reached the military. Two soldiers have been hospitalized with lung damage caused by e-cigs, although one has been successfully treated and released..
- A Defense Intelligence Agency officer was arrested for leaking sensitive documents to two reporters, one of whom is his girlfriend. The agent, Henry Frese, is charged with providing several top secret intelligence reports to the journalists, believed to be from NBC and CNBC, although their identities have not been officially confirmed.
- Iranian state television, IRNA, reported that one of the country’s oil tankers, the Sabiti, was hit by a missile attack 80 miles off the coast of Saudia Arabia. As of Friday morning in the US, the Iranian claims have not been confirmed by any independent news agencies or other governments.
- Francis Currey, who won the Medal of Honor during the Battle of the Bulge, passed away at the age of 94 leaving only two surviving Medal of Honor winners from World War Two.
- Also in Medal of Honor news, active duty Green Beret Master Sergeant Matthew O. Williams will have the Silver Star he earned during a 2008 raid in Afghanistan upgraded to the nation’s highest military honor later this month.
Francis Currey and Matthew Williams.
In Case You Missed It
- Have a look at a fairly typical first day at a civilian job through the eyes of guest contributor and Marine veteran Miko Yo. It may go a bit differently than you imagine.
- This Week in Military History: When Alvin York had to register for the draft, he hoped to get out of it as a conscientious objector. That probably wasn’t much consolation to the 132 German soldiers he captured on October 8th, 1918.
Then-Corporal York (helmeted, center, behind the first rank of Germans) returning to his battalion with a whole lot of prisoners.