The United States is sending 200 additional military personnel to Syria to help the campaign to drive the Islamic State militant group from Raqqa, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday. Speaking in Bahrain at the Manama Dialogue conference on Middle East security, Carter said the 200, including special forces trainers, advisers and explosive ordnance disposal teams, would join 300 U.S. special force troops already in Syria. "These uniquely skilled operators will join the 300 U.S. special operations forces already in Syria, to continue organizing, training, equipping, and otherwise enabling capable, motivated, local forces to take the fight to ISIL," he said in a speech, referring to Islamic State.
The CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help President-elect Donald Trump win the White House, and not just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, a senior U.S. official said on Friday. U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed that as the 2016 presidential campaign drew on, Russian government officials devoted increasing attention to assisting Donald Trump's effort to win the election, the U.S. official familiar with the finding told Reuters on Friday night on condition of anonymity. Citing U.S. officials briefed on the matter, the Washington Post reported on Friday that intelligence agencies had identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, to WikiLeaks.
Russell Westbrook's seventh straight triple-double put him in rare company, but it couldn't lift the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Houston Rockets. Westbrook on Friday scored 27 points, handed out 10 assists and pulled down 10 rebounds to become the first player since Chicago Bulls icon Michael Jordan in 1989 to notch seven consecutive triple-doubles. Guard Eric Gordon came off the bench to score 17 points and Ryan Anderson chipped in 14.