Results tagged “United States”
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The Obama administration released the five top Taliban commanders from Guantanamo in exchange for Sgt. Bowie Bergdahl, the only remaining US hostage held by the Taliban. The five commanders, Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mohammed Nabi, Khairullah Khairkhwa, and Abdul Haq Wasiq, were flown to Qatar, which helped broker the deal.
Authorities charged Kyrgyzstan national Khairullozhon Matanov, an acquaintance of Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, with lying to investigators and destroying evidence relating to the attack. An American who carried out a suicide attack for the Al Nusrah Front in Syria was identified as Moner Mohammad Abusalha, who had grown up in Florida.
In a speech at West Point, President Obama set forth his foreign policy direction, which foresees fewer major US military deployments, more multilateral operations and diplomatic efforts, increased support for "vetted" Syrian rebels, and the creation of a $5 billion fund to help countries like Turkey and Jordan combat terrorism, which he said remains the most direct threat to the US. Obama claimed that "al Qaeda's leadership on the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan has been decimated" and said the main threat now comes from al Qaeda affiliates and extremists. US officials confirmed that a US citizen carried out a recent Al Nusrah Front suicide bombing in Syria.
President Obama is planning a further reduction in US troop levels in Afghanistan, drawing down to 9,800 by the end of this year, diminishing to half that by the end of 2015, and leaving just embassy staff by late 2016. If no agreement regarding status of forces is reached with Afghanistan, there is a possibility that all US troops will be withdrawn. The Obama administration is also considering authorizing a US military mission to train allegedly moderate Syrian rebels. US special operations teams are currently training and equipping counterterrorism forces in Libya, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. The US has deployed a warship with about 1,000 Marines to the coast of Libya in case Americans need to be evacuated from the country.