Thursday, November 23, 2017
News Roundup

Massacre of Syrian soldiers raises risk of widening conflict

RECOMMENDED READING


BAGHDAD — More than 40 Syrian soldiers who had sought temporary safety in Iraq from rebel fighters along the border were killed Monday in an attack by unidentified gunmen as the Iraqi military was transporting the soldiers back to Syria in a bus convoy, the government said.

At least seven Iraqis were also reported killed in the attack, which appeared to be the most serious spillover of violence into Iraq since the Syrian conflict began two years ago.

Ali al-Musawi, a spokesman for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, accused "armed groups from the Iraqi and Syrian side" of coordinating the attack, which he described as an ambush. He said Iraq would deploy more security forces on the border.

Middle East experts said such a move raised the risk that the Iraqis could become more directly enmeshed in the Syrian conflict, underscoring how it threatens to destabilize a wider swath of the region.

In a phone interview, al-Musawi did not specify which armed groups he was alluding to, but it was clear that he meant Sunni militant extremists affiliated with al-Qaida in Iraq. Sunnis are also leading the uprising in Syria.

"A number of us have been saying that Iraq is the one most affected by the meltdown in Syria," said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and curator of the Syria Comment blog. "In that region, the tribes go right across the Syrian border, and most of the people are related by blood," he said. "They're in one common struggle."

Syrian rebels claimed gains against the government Monday, notably the seizure of the north-central city of Raqqa.

Comments
Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

It’s going to be a wet Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay, but sunny skies are coming during the long weekend, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Ric Kearbey. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

A self-proclaimed Nazi is banned from the University of North Florida’s campus — but will remain a student, university officials said.Ken Parker, a 37-year-old Navy veteran who once served as the grand dragon, or highest-ranking leader, of the Ku Klu...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

CLEARWATER — On Tuesday, Jon Mott had a 103-degree fever. That was not enough to keep him from maintaining his dominance Thursday at the 39th Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.The former Northeast standout added to his record with his fifth title in the ev...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
President Trump presents his report card, passes with flying colors

President Trump presents his report card, passes with flying colors

PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump has a Thanksgiving Day message for the nation: Look at all I’ve done. Trump is telling followers in an early-morning holiday tweet that, "your Country is starting to do really well." He says: Jobs are "coming back,...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Lutz pedestrian dies in accident on U.S. 41

LUTZ — A man is dead after deputies said he walked into the path of a car on U.S. Route 41 Wednesday night.Charles Miller, 69 of Lutz, was walking east across the highway at 7:34 p.m., according to Florida Highway Patrol.Daniel Johnson, 35 and also o...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Police: Family hit on Dale Mabry Highway in stable condition

TAMPA — The mother and two small children who were hit by a car while trying to cross Dale Mabry Highway on Wednesday were all in stable condition by Thanksgiving morning, said Tampa police. Investigators said the family is not originally from the Ta...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tarpon Springs seeking to honor sponger George Billiris

Tarpon Springs seeking to honor sponger George Billiris

TARPON SPRINGS — The city is considering a way to honor the legacy of the late longtime sponge merchant George Billiris at a city building. "We know how he promoted Tarpon Springs," Commissioner David Banther said at a recent City Commission meeting....
Published: 11/23/17
New Weeki Wachee basketball coach transitions from years on college sidelines

New Weeki Wachee basketball coach transitions from years on college sidelines

WEEKI WACHEE — Mark Lee was looking for an accomplished coach to take over Weeki Wachee High’s boys basketball team. Not only did he find what he was searching for, but he may have gone above and beyond with the hiring of Rick Scruggs.The 30-year vet...
Published: 11/23/17
Florida 10-year-old is one of 21 kids suing federal government over climate change

Florida 10-year-old is one of 21 kids suing federal government over climate change

At age 10, Levi Draheim hates math and loves reading Harry Potter books. He plays the violin but dislikes practicing. What he really enjoys is paddling a kayak or going swimming. It helps that he lives just a five-minute walk from the beach in the to...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Happy Turkey Day!Today is a day of tradition.The Macy’s parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.And our annual "Turkey of the Year.’’It’s a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist P...
Updated: 2 hours ago