This is VOA news. I'm David Byrd.
American-led forces and their Syrian Kurdish allies have carried out their biggest joint operation against the Islamic State group since President Trump ordered a pullback of U.S. forces in Syria. We get more from AP's Ben Thomas.
The U.S.-led coalition says its forces along with hundreds of U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish commandos took part in an operation in southeastern Syria Friday, capturing dozens of Islamic State militants, clearing IS compounds and seizing weapons and explosives.
The news came on the same day Vice President Mike Pence visited Iraq in an effort to reassure Kurdish allies in the region, telling reporters President Trump's commitment to our allies here in Iraq as well as to those in the Syrian defense forces, the Kurdish forces who fought alongside us, is unchanging.
President Trump's pullback of American forces in Syria opened the door for a cross-border offensive against the Kurds last month by Turkey.
Ben Thomas, Washington.
Security and hospital officials said Saturday that two people were killed when Iraqi security forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse crowds of protesters in a third day of fierce clashes in central Baghdad.
Two protesters were struck with rubber bullets and died instantly and more than 20 others were wounded in fighting on Rasheed Street.
Sixteen people have died and more than 100 wounded in the renewed clashes.
At least 342 protesters have died in Iraq's massive protests, which started October 1 when thousands of Iraqis took to the streets to decry corruption and lack of services despite the country's oil wealth.
Separately, Iraq's parliament failed to hold a session Saturday due to a lack of quorum. Lawmakers were supposed to read reform bills introduced to placate protesters.
This is VOA news.