Reports: US troops deploy along Syria-Turkish border

Fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) visit the site of Turkish airstrikes near northeastern Syrian Kurdish town of Derik, known as al-Malikiyah in Arabic. (AFP)
Updated 28 April 2017

Reports: US troops deploy along Syria-Turkish border

BEIRUT: A Syrian war monitor and Kurdish activists say US armored vehicles have deployed in areas in northern Syria along the border with Turkey, a few days after a Turkish airstrike that killed 20 US-backed Kurdish fighters.
Footage posted by Syrian activists online shows a convoy of US armored vehicles driving on a rural road in the village of Darbasiyah, a few hundred meters from the Turkish border. Clashes in the area were reported between Turkish and Kurdish forces Wednesday a day after the Turkish airstrike.
Rami Abdurrahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the deployment seems limited.
A Kurdish activist, Mustafa Bali, confirmed the deployment.
Col. John Dorrian, a US spokesman for the international coalition against Daesh, declined to comment, saying troop movement is “ongoing.”


Tunisian president chooses former finance minister to be PM

Updated 6 min 2 sec ago

Tunisian president chooses former finance minister to be PM

  • Elyes Fakhfakh has a month to form a coalition capable of winning a confidence vote in parliament by a simple majority
  • The choice of Fakhfakh, 48, underscores the country’s economic priorities following a decade of low growth

TUNIS: Tunisian President Kais Saied on Monday designated Elyes Fakhfakh as prime minister, a presidency statement said, after the fractured parliament this month rejected a government proposed by an earlier nominee to the post.
The former finance minister now has a month to form a coalition capable of winning a confidence vote in parliament by a simple majority, or there will be another election with urgent economic decisions hanging over the country.
The choice of Fakhfakh, 48, underscores the economic priorities following a decade of low growth, high public debt and declining services since the 2011 revolution that introduced democracy.
Fakhfakh, a former employee of the French energy company Total, served as finance minister in 2012 in the volatile period after the revolution and also worked as tourism minister.
The incumbent government of Youssef Chahed has since 2016 tried to rein in spending while addressing the aftermath of two major militant attacks in 2015 that devastated Tunisia’s crucial tourism industry.
However, it has been acting as a caretaker government since the Oct. 6 parliamentary election in which the largest party, the moderate Islamist Ennahda, took only a quarter of the seats.
It nominated Habib Jemli as prime minister in November, but his proposed government failed to win parliamentary backing and lost a confidence vote on Jan. 10.
That meant President Saied, who was also elected in October, had the right to designate his own choice of prime minister to try to form a government.
Tunisia’s constitution splits power between the head of state and the government, leading to several periods in recent years of political struggles between them.