World News Briefs -- January 18, 2018

A Turkish military tanks arrives at an army base in the border town of Reyhanli near the Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay province, Turkey January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Reuters: Turkey says could act in Syria unless U.S. withdraws support for Kurdish force

HATAY, Turkey (Reuters) - Turkey said on Wednesday it would not hesitate to take action in Syria’s Afrin district and other areas unless the United States withdrew support for a Kurdish-led force there, but Washington denied such plans and said “some people misspoke”.

Turkish President Erdogan has repeatedly warned of an imminent incursion in Afrin after Washington said it would help the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the Kurdish YPG militia, set up a new 30,000-strong border force.

The plan has infuriated Turkey, which considers the Syrian YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has fought an insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984. The PKK is considered a terrorist group by the European Union, Turkey and the United States.

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Tillerson says U.S. military should stay in Syria and vows diplomatic push to end civil war.

Syria responds to Tillerson's US military engagement pledge.

Turkey says could act in Syria unless U.S. withdraws support for Kurdish force.

Damascus warns it may shoot down Turkish planes attacking Kurds within Syrian borders.

Palestinian killed in fire exchange with Israeli army.

Exclusive: Trump denies U.S. embassy to be moved to Jerusalem within a year.

Pence visit showcases dilemma facing Egypt, Jordan leaders.


North Korea crisis: South to continue talks with 'clear eyes'.

Tillerson says Russia helps North Korea get fuel.

Japan, Australia eye deeper defense alliance.

China's economy grows by 6.9% in 2017.

China testing facial-recognition surveillance system in Xinjiang – report .

52 killed in bus fire in Kazakhstan.

Sunken tanker Sanchi: Four oil slicks seen, says China.


Sudan opposition leader vows to 'bury regime'.

Suicide bombing in Borno market causes multiple deaths.

Zimbabwe president promises 'free and fair' election in five months. Zimbabwe to hold first post-Mugabe vote in summer.

Ethiopia frees opposition leader Merera Gudina.

Egypt 2018 elections: Sisi expected to announce bid.

Senegal to revamp logging laws after massacre linked to timber trade.

South Africa: Cape Town slashes water use amid drought. Extreme drought grips parts of South Africa.


Merkel and Kurz clash over migrant quota.

UK to pay millions to keep France border agreement.

Russia’s National Guard vows to prevent unauthorized rallies during presidential election.

Russia moves toward creation of an independent internet.

Russia marks 75 years since breaking Nazi siege of Leningrad.

U.S. warns Kosovo against scrapping War Crimes Court.

NATO head urges Macedonia to end dispute with Greece, reform.

Transportation disturbed, flights canceled as storm lashes Europe.


Trump wall: President denies changing view on Mexico border plan. Donald Trump tweets: Mexico border 'Wall is the Wall'.

Trump 'very eager' to be interviewed in Russia probe.

U.S. jobless claims plunge to lowest weekly tally since 1973.

Trump admin. moves to bar Haitians from agricultural, seasonal worker visas.

Mexico remittances: Transfers from US hit record high.

Pope Francis urges end to Chile's Mapuche conflict.

Pope wraps up Chile stop with visit to migrants, on to Peru.


Drone strikes on both sides of Pak-Afghan border kill 2, injure 1 suspected militant.

As ISIS threat fades, fight over who gets credit rises.

U.S. prosecutors charge German man with supporting al Qaeda.


Is the US a bigger debt risk than Russia and Botswana? A Chinese rating agency thinks so.

Twitter to notify users who were exposed to accounts run by Russian trolls.

Superjumbo jet future secured by Emirates order.

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