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Jan 20, 2020, 01.01 AM IST

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Syria death toll tops 380,000 in almost nine-year war: monitor

The conflict flared after unprecedented anti-government protests in the southern city of Daraa on March 15, 2011. Demonstrations spread across Syria and were brutally suppressed by the regime, triggering a multi-front armed conflict that has drawn in jihadists and foreign powers. The conflict has displaced or sent into exile around 13 million Syrians.

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  • The increase is due to additional missions assigned to the UN Secretariat, inflation and exchange rate adjustments, according to diplomats. These include the observer mission in Yemen, a political mission established in Haiti, the investigation of crimes committed in Syria since the outbreak of civil war in 2011, and in Myanmar after the 2017 crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority.

    Majority of the refugees in India come from three countries that are not included in the Citizenship (Amendment) Act — China, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Meanwhile, more and more Indians are seeking asylum in other countries. Proportionate to its population, India’s refugee burden is low. Pakistan, meanwhile, has the world’s second highest number of refugees.

    The US last week announced the withdrawal of 1,000 American troops from northeast Syria, days after Turkey launched an offensive against the previously US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara considers a terrorist group.

    American President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of most American troops from Syria, which cleared the way for Turkey to attack Kurdish forces, has prompted Republicans and Democrats alike to accuse him of abandoning a United States ally.

    In the October 9 letter sent after US troops were pulled out of Syria, Trump told Erdogan: "Don't be a tough guy. Don't be a fool!" "History will look upon you favourably if you get this done the right and humane way," Trump wrote in the letter.

    The Russians, in effect, have become guarantors of peace in the Middle East. The US demonstrates itself to be an untrustworthy ally. The combined effect of both developments is to diminish America’s role as the lynchpin of global stability.

    The envoy also said, "Turkey supports terror and all countries who support Turkey, support terror". He said this in response to a question on Pakistan extending support to Turkey's military offensive in Syria.

    On Wednesday, Turkish jets and artillery targeted Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria, forcing thousands of civilians to flee their homes.

    The Pentagon also released video of airstrikes on a group of unknown fighters on the ground who opened fire on the helicopters that ferried US forces in for the assault on Baghdadi's compound in Syria's Idlib province.

    The helicopters flew low and fast into the night, ferrying U.S. special forces to a compound where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi...

    Baghdadi has long been a target for US and regional security forces trying to eliminate Islamic State, even as they reclaimed most of the territory the group once held.

    The head of US Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, speaking to reporters after the Pentagon released video and photos of the US special forces raid that resulted in the death of Baghdadi, acknowledged that ISIS' leadership may be disjointed and that it could take some time for it to recuperate, but that doesn't mean it is not a threat.

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