Syria

A federal judge has ruled that a U.S.-born woman who traveled to Syria and joined ISIS is not an American citizen, even though the State Department had issued her a passport when she was a child and later renewed it.

Hoda Muthana, 25, was a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham when she traveled to Syria. She is currently being held at a detention camp in northern Syria with her young son.

At a military base in Hasakah province in northeastern Syria, a Bradley armored fighting vehicle churns up sand as it speeds past a TV camera, an American flag flying behind its turret.

The Bradley, airlifted in from Kuwait, was demonstrated for a small group of journalists, the first group of reporters taken by the U.S. military to Syria since President Trump announced late last month that he would leave troops there to protect oil installations.

The Gawilan camp is situated in the hilly terrain of northern Iraq, 90 miles from the Syrian border. Since 2013, it has been home to more than 8,000 Syrian Kurds who fled their country's civil war. Now, hundreds more are coming — this time, seeking refuge after fleeing Turkey's offensive in northern Syria.

President Trump has executed a policy U-turn on Syria. He's now tasking U.S. forces that he'd promised to withdraw from there with a new mission: securing the oil fields of southeastern Syria.

And it's raising questions about just what he intends to do with that oil.

Before Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest, he was "screaming, crying and whimpering" as he was fleeing U.S. forces, winding up trapped in a dead-end tunnel in his Syrian compound, according to President Trump.

Baghdadi was being chased through the tunnel by a U.S. officer who is being celebrated as a crucial part of the top-secret mission that ended in the demise of one of the world's most wanted terrorist leaders.

That officer is a dog.

President Trump is renewing his push for U.S. control of Syrian oil. But experts say there's not much oil there, and what there is belongs to the Syrian government.

Still, the idea of controlling the oil fields is one that has long appealed to Trump. And it may provide a rationale for maintaining a U.S. military presence in Syria, reversing the president's promise of a full withdrawal.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET

Turkey is demanding that U.S. officials call off plans to meet with Mazloum Abdi, the Kurdish commander-in-chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces which fought alongside American troops to dislodge Islamic State insurgents from northeastern Syria.

"Our allies' dialogue with a terrorist wanted with a red notice is unacceptable," Turkish foreign minister Mevut Cavusoglu told Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency Friday.

Last week, Turkey agreed to a cease-fire in its military offensive targeting Kurdish-led forces in northeastern Syria. But even with hostilities largely on hold, the invasion's humanitarian impact continues to unfold.

Updated at 2:45 p.m. ET

President Trump says he is lifting sanctions on Turkey after the country agreed to what he called a permanent cease-fire in northern Syria, ending Turkey's military offensive that began after the U.S. pulled troops from the area.

Trump argued that his decision to remove U.S. forces — criticized by U.S. Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike — helped to bring the deal to fruition.

Pages