• World

    Turkey’s Killer Drone Swarm Poses Syria Air Challenge to Putin

    (Bloomberg) -- Turkey deployed swarms of killer drones to strike Russian-backed Syrian government forces, in what a senior official said was a military innovation that demonstrated Ankara’s technological prowess on the battlefield.The retaliation for the killing last week of 33 Turkish soldiers by Syrian forces involved an unprecedented number of drones in coordinated action, said the senior official in Turkey with direct knowledge of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Syria policy. It was the first time a country had commanded the air space over such a large area using drone swarms, according to the official.The series of strikes since Thursday by dozens of the remotely-controlled aircraft targeted Syrian bases and chemical warfare depots, the Turkish military said. But Turkey also located and destroyed some Syrian missile-defense systems, raising questions about the effectiveness of the Russian-made equipment intended to deter such air attacks.“That’s something only Israel had been recorded publicly to have done until now,” Charles Lister, director of the Extremism and Counterterrorism Program at the Middle East Institute, said on Twitter, in reference to video footage taken by a Turkish drone allegedly showing the destruction of a Syrian army air-defense system. Turkey was waging an “air campaign run entirely by armed drones backed up” by heavy rocket artillery, he said.The tactic threatens to bring NATO member Turkey into direct confrontation with Russia, adding to strains in relations between Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin as they prepare to meet this week in an effort to ease tensions over Syria. The two leaders have worked together to try to end the Syrian civil war, despite backing opposing sides, but have repeatedly stumbled over who should control the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib that borders Turkey.Russia dominates the skies over Syria as part of Putin’s military support of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, deploying advanced S-400 missile-defense systems to secure the air space while its warplanes aid Syrian forces battling to take the last rebel stronghold in Idlib. Turkish forces back the rebels and Ankara says it fears a fresh exodus of refugees flocking into Turkey if Idlib falls to Assad.Syria reacted to the Turkish drone campaign by declaring the air space in Idlib closed, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported Sunday. “Any aircraft that violates the Syrian airspace will be dealt with as a hostile aircraft that must be downed,” SANA reported, citing an unnamed military official.Turkey announced Sunday that its forces had shot down two Syrian Su-24 warplanes and destroyed three more Syrian air defense systems, while confirming that one armed Turkish drone was hit.Turkey wants to carve out a zone that it controls in northern Syria as part of efforts to resettle millions of Syrian refugees currently in Turkey. Putin has said Assad’s forces should control all of Syria’s territory as the best way to guarantee Turkey’s border security.Russia denied involvement in the Feb. 27 air strike that inflicted the biggest single-day loss of Turkish troops for decades, though Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow can’t prevent Syrian forces striking at “terrorists” on their soil. Turkish officials accuse Moscow of doing too little to rein in Assad.Turkey has long hosted the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Anatolian Eagle military exercises, which simulate attacks on similar Russian missile-defense systems including with electronic warfare. Israeli forces also participated in the drills once. Turkey deployed an array of electronic jammers in Syria before it launched the drone strikes as part of its “Spring Shield” campaign.Ankara appeared eager to show off its aerial firepower. The Defense Ministry posted a series of videos on Twitter showing Syrian tanks and artillery being destroyed in apparent drone attacks.To contact the reporter on this story: Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara at contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory L. White at , Tony Halpin, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Politics
    The Week

    4 reasons Klobuchar's dropout was perfectly timed

    Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has exited the 2020 race on her own terms.Klobuchar's campaign confirmed she was dropping out from the race on Monday, just a day before voters go to the primary polls in 14 states on Super Tuesday. And while her departure comes less than a day after moderate rival former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg's, The New York Times' Jonathan Martin explains why Klobuchar's timing was actually ideal. gets to -Keep her Minnesota win streak intact -Earn a chit w -Get her own news cycle, separate from -Appear to be more of a team player by immed endorsing \- and before / — Jonathan Martin () March 2, 2020For starters, the fact that Klobuchar has never lost a race can largely remain intact, especially seeing as her home state of Minnesota will vote on Tuesday. Klobuchar then quickly pivoted to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden instead of presumably taking a chunk of the moderate vote on Super Tuesday, perhaps helping to secure a Cabinet spot or another favor from Biden if he's elected. She also put enough breathing room between Buttigieg's departure and her own to snag her own media bump. But she didn't take the time to consider her next alliance like Buttigieg did, ultimately beating him to the Biden endorsement and adding to her own centrist "team player" image, Martin notes.More stories from theweek.com Apple reportedly agrees to $500 million settlement for slowing old iPhones It's not 1972 and Bernie Sanders isn't George McGovern Coronavirus might be the end of international travel as we know it

  • U.S.
    Good Morning America

    Single dad adopts 13-year-old who was abandoned 2 years earlier at hospital

    On Nov. 12, Tony Mutabazi was adopted by his foster dad, Peter Mutabazi in Charlotte, North Carolina. Tony had been in the foster care system since the age of 2, and at the age of 4, Tony was adopted by a couple in Oklahoma. "He's the nicest, smartest kid I've ever had," Mutabazi told "Good Morning America."

  • U.S.
    ABC News Videos

    ‘Doomsday’ husband says missing kids are ‘safe’ as wife awaits extradition

    Chad Daybell, the stepdad of two missing Idaho children, told ABC News “the kids are safe,” after more than five months have passed since the 17 and 7-year-old vanished without a trace.