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18 Syrian troops killed in attack by militants’

Nov 18, 2018
Moscow: At least 18 Syrian servicemen were killed in an attack by militants in the Syrian province of Latakia, the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation said on Saturday.

Illegal armed formations attacked outskirts of the cities of Aleppo and Hama, as well as the localities of Tall Alush in Aleppo province and Safsara in Latakia province over the past day, the center said in a statement published by the Russian Defence Ministry.

“As a result of the attack in Safsara in Latakia province, 18 Syrian servicemen were killed and one Syrian serviceman was wounded,” it said, Xinhua news agency reported.

The center called on leaders of the militants in the Idlib de-escalation zone to cease hostilities and move toward a peaceful settlement.

Meanwhile, humanitarian missions were carried out during this period, with 450 food sets distributed among residents in a settlement in the Dei ez-Zor province and a ton of bread sent to a district to the south of Aleppo, it said.

The center has so far carried out a total of 1994 humanitarian actions, delivering 3124.2 tons of aid to Syrian residents.
Government shutdown if no funds for border wall: Trump
(10:12)
Washington, Nov 18 (IANS) US President Donald Trump told the media at the White House here that this would be a “good time” for a government shutdown if he doesn’t get funding from Congress for his border wall.

“I think probably, if I was ever going to do a shutdown over border security, when you look at the caravans, when you look at the mess, when you look at the people coming in, this would be a very good time to do a shutdown,” CNN quoted Trump as saying on Saturday.

Trump added, however, that he didn’t think a shutdown would “be necessary, because I think the Democrats will come to their senses”.

Congress averted a government shutdown in September by passing a massive spending bill to fund a large portion of the government.

The package did not, however, include money for Trump’s border wall, and Congress passed a shorter-term spending bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security, among other agencies, until December 7.

At a White House event in August, Trump said he was looking for about $5 billion for the wall to cover this fiscal year, which some Democrats have already said they would vote against.

Trump also said on Saturday that the US military will remain at the US-Mexico border “as long as necessary”, suggesting that the 5,900 troops deployed to the border could stay there past December 15, the scheduled end of the mission.

The President also touted the “tremendous military force” assigned to the border mission in Texas, Arizona and California, lauding the troops for building “great fences”.

“They built great fences. They built a very powerful fence, a different kind of a fence, but very powerful. The fence is fully manned,” he said.

IANS