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Syrian Army captures key town from Islamic State (ISIS) in northern countryside of Aleppo province

The Syrian Army unleashed a wide-scale offensive in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, after succeeding to wrest control over the city of Aleppo last December

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Rebel fighters walk near damaged buildings in al-Rai town, northern Aleppo countryside, Syria, Dec. 30, 2016
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Damascus, Feb 26, 2017: The Syrian Army captured a key town in the northern countryside of Aleppo province on Sunday, following battles with the Islamic State.

Capturing the town of Tadef enables the Syrian army to secure transportation routes in eastern Aleppo, and constitute a base for launching attacks and undermining the presence of the IS militants in that part of the province, the Syrian army said in a statement, according to state news agency SANA.

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The town is also located southeast of city al-Bab, which was recently captured by Turkish forces and allied rebel fighters.

The Syrian Army unleashed a wide-scale offensive in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, after succeeding to wrest control over the city of Aleppo last December.

The offensive enabled the military forces to assume control of territory 600 km east of Aleppo.

Also, the army has laid a siege along the southern rim of al-Bab city, to secure the eastern part of Aleppo city from IS attacks, or the possible advance of the Turkish-backed rebels.

Observers believe that there was a Russian-Turkish understanding for splitting the battles in al-Bab.

For the Turks, capturing al-Bab cuts the way in the face of the growing Kurdish influence in northern Syria, a red line drawn by Turkey.

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For the Syrian army, laying a siege to al-Bab from its southern edge prevents the IS fighters to withdraw toward other stronghold in eastern province of Deir al-Zour, or northern city of al-Raqqa, the de facto capital of the terror-designated group.

The Syrian government has always looked to the Turkish moves in northern Syria as an encroachment upon the sovereignty of the country, claiming that Ankara was capturing areas in northern Syria to build a wall, which could be a prelude to setting Ankara’s long-demanded safe zones in northern Syria, near the Turkish borders. (IANS)

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA

Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

Also Read: Governments Across The World Request Apple for 30,000 Device Information

Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)