theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Majority of Americans 'Strongly Dissaprove' of Obama's Job Performance

Labor Daze!

Sarah Jean Seman

This semi-retired president is not impressing anyone. Americans are more than twice as likely to "strongly disapprove" of President Obama's overall job performance than they are to "strongly approve," according to a recent Galluppoll: 
In the first year of Obama's presidency, the percentages of Americans who had strong views about the job he was doing were essentially tied, but the strongly negative responses now significantly outweigh the strongly positive ones. The largest segment of Americans today, 39%, strongly disapprove of Obama's job performance, while 14% moderately disapprove. Another 27% moderately approve, while 17% strongly approve.

Obama's voter base has been crumbling piece by piece as his term ticks along. Millennials stepped back as Obama created one of the worst economies in history for youth opportunity; super-sizing the national debt and fostering high unemployment rates. Hispanics, Blacks, women and almost every other demographic have also begun distancing their praise from the commander-in-chief. 
So who is left in the waning 17 percent who "strongly approve" of Obama's broken promises, failed foreign policy tactics, and negligent oversight of his administration? A few proud Democrats. Yet the poll's trajectory shows even this demographic is fast dissipating. 
Additionally, whereas Democrats were nearly three times as likely to strongly approve as moderately approve of Obama in 2009, the ratio is now about 1-to-1. 
The honeymoon is long over. Time to retire?



As part of a legal settlement that will allow some illegal immigrants who deported themselves from Southern California to return to the United States, the federal government has agreed to advertise the settlement on various Mexican and Spanish-language media outlets.

The ACLU filed a class-action lawsuit last year on behalf 

of eleven illegal immigrants who deported themselves. The

 settlement reached on Wednesday will only cover "longtime

 California residents with relatives who are U.S. citizens

 and... young migrants whose parents brought them into

 the country illegally" who deported themselves between

 2009 and 2013. An ACLU official has indicated that there

 were nearly 250,000 people who were "deported

 voluntarily from Southern California between 2009 and

 2013" and estimated to the Los Angeles Times that the

 "number of repatriations could reach into the hundreds or


The U.S. government, through ad buys online, in print, on

 billboards, and on radio stations, will hope to reach

 "friends and family of the affected class" in Southern

 California and Mexico. According to the settlement, the

 federal government will advertise on television channels

 like Univision, ESPN Deportes, MundoFox, El Universal,

 and the Univision Deportes Network. They will also

 partner with People en Espanol and even the Mexico

 National Football Team in addition to placing billboards

 "in high population Mexican border cities of Tijuana

, Tecate and Mexicali, as well as focusing placements near

 border crossings."

U.S. officials will also place "radio ads :60 in length... on

 top Spanish speaking radio stations near the Mexico/U.S.

 border." Those who search for "Lopez Case," "Lopez Class

 Action," "Voluntary Return to Mexico," "Rights for

 Detainees," "Detained by ICE," and "Returned to Mexico by

 ICE" will also be targeted with information about the


Islamic militia group says it has 'secured' US compound in Libya

An Islamic militant group said Sunday it has “secured” a U.S. Embassy compound in Libya’s capital city of Tripoli.
American personnel evacuated the area roughly a month ago amid ongoing fighting in the country.
An Associated Press journalist walked through the compound Sunday after the Dawn of Libya, an umbrella group for Islamist militias, invited onlookers inside.
Windows at the compound had been broken, but it appeared most of the equipment there remained untouched.
A commander for the Dawn of Libya group said his forces had entered and been in control of the compound since last week.
Fox News as of late Sunday morning has not been able to independently confirm the group’s claim.
On Sept. 11, 2012, U.S. diplomat Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in a terror attack on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya.
A video posted online this weekend shows men playing in a pool at the U.S. compound.
In a message on Twitter, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Safira Deborah said the video appeared to have been shot at the embassy's residential annex.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Rep. Mike Rogers: Obama’s foreign policy is in “free fall”

** FILE ** Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican. (Associated Press)

** FILE ** Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican. (Associated Press)

By Tom Howell Jr.
President Obama’s foreign policy is in “absolute free-fall” amid the rise of the Islamic State, and Western allies no longer view the U.S. as a leader in confronting religious extremism in the Middle East, the House intelligence chairman said Sunday.
Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican, said the White House sat on its hands while Islamic fighters grew in influence, recruited abroad and seized swaths of Iraq and Syria.
“Europe has obviously stood up and said, we have a huge problem. [U.K. Prime Minister] David Cameron came out and said, not only do we have a problem, here’s my plan to deal with it,” he told “Fox News Sunday.” “And so the United States seems to be in this malaise of not being that concerned.”
Mr. Obama is set to strategize this week with NATO allies at a summit in Wales. Whether to use military might to stem the rise of the Islamic State and how to address unrest in eastern Ukraine will be at the top of the agenda.

Taking it slow and coalescing around a plan is “not wrong, it’s just very, very late in the game,” Mr. Rogers said.
For instance, the recent beheading of journalist James Foley at the hands of the Islamic State was “just a symptom of what was a long and growing problem for the United States.”
The British Parliament this week will consider a measure that lets the government seize passports from citizens believed to be sympathetic to the Islamic State, and the congressman said he would be open to a similar measure in the U.S.
But, he warned, “we’d have to be careful about how we do it.”

Read more: 
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American Heritage Store - FREE SHIPPING!

Dear Readers,

             We are proud to announce the Grand Opening of American Heritage on-line store! 

We now live in time when the information we read has been so polluted with ideology that we have become unsure of the Founding Principles that have guided this nation for over 300 years. For us to truly understand the responsibility that each of us has to ourselves, our nation, and future generations, we must know and understand the principles of good government, and the pitfalls of tyranny. 

In these confusing times, knowing beyond a doubt what is expected of each of us makes us part of the solution in restoring the greatness of our Heritage. 

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theodore miraldi

Sheriff Joe: Terrorists know how to get into U.S.

'The border is still not secure, anybody can cross'

Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Worldwide news coverage of America’s porous southern border, says Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has effectively tipped off terrorists on exactly how to get enter the U.S. undetected.

“The border is still not secure and probably never will be 100-percent secure,” Arpaio told WND in an exclusive interview. “I’ve been working there 34 years on both sides, and anything can happen. Anybody can cross that border, whether they’re Central American, Middle Eastern or terrorist.”
Arpaio confirmed he’s seen Middle Eastern illegal immigrants pass from Mexico through his Maricopa County area, and he’s worried constant television coverage of how easy it is may inspire terrorists from Middle Eastern countries to follow suit.
“Why would it be surprising when you have a 2,000-mile border and people are coming across all the time?” he asked.
“The national media is always talking about the border, and people in the Middle East have televisions,” Arpaio told WND. “People listen to the media.”
Arpaio pointed out that efforts to stop the terrorist threat along America’s southern border face two major obstacles: Mexican and Central American governments that can’t keep track of who is moving through their territory and a U.S. government that apparently has the same problem.
“All those people who came in from Central America, how do we know who they are? What’s [in] their records? Those countries aren’t very good at keeping records, you know,” Arpaio said. “How do you know all those people who came across, flooding our country, how do you know they’re not part of terrorist groups? [Central American nations] can’t keep track of them.”
Yet Arpaio doesn’t have much faith in the U.S. government to do any better.
“Where was the CIA and the U.S. ambassador, the embassy, how come they didn’t know 30-40,000 [illegal minors] were coming in? They should have known about it. Why didn’t they do anything about it?” Arpaio asked. “Where’s our intelligence to show all these young people were coming into the United States?
“We did a survey of the people in [our] jail, about 3,000 that we looked at for all different types of crimes,” Arpaio related. “They’re all here illegally, so we turned them over to [Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE] to be deported, and yet, they keep coming back on crimes. How do they keep coming back when you give them to ICE?
“Either they have been deported and they keep coming across the border, or they’re let out the back door, back on to the streets,” he posited. “[U.S. authorities] can’t even keep track of them, and these are criminals! Sex violators and everything else that we turn over and they keep coming back to jail again.
“We’re not too good at keeping track of these illegal aliens,” Arpaio concluded. “The whole system is broken. So, you think somebody from the Middle East can’t come across the door? C’mon.”


Saudis paying off ISIS not to attack?

King's bombshell warning to West neglects to tell whole story

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud


WASHINGTON – Following Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud’s bombshell warning that the next target of the Islamic State, or ISIS, will be Europe first and America a month after that, one Middle East source is suggesting the Saudis may have paid ISIS extortion money not to attack the kingdom.

The source, who asked to remain anonymous but is close to officials in the governments of Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, said that the Saudis years ago did the same thing when Prince al-Turki, then Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief, traveled to Afghanistan to meet with al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.
In that meeting, Turki reportedly paid millions of dollars to bin Laden to refrain from attacking the Saudi kingdom, even though bin Laden had turned against the Saudi monarchy for hosting U.S. forces on Muslim soil to fight against then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
In expressing concern that such an event may be happening, the WND source pointed out there had been concern about a month ago that ISIS was preparing to attack the Saudi kingdom, with a number of ISIS fighters saying publicly the jihadist group would capture Mecca and Medina – two of the most holy Muslims cities in all Islam.
Until recently, ISIS forces were known to be approaching the border between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, with some cells having penetrated the kingdom before being captured.
In his most recent comments to new ambassadors to the Saudi Kingdom, however, Abdullah only warned that the West, including Europe and the U.S., would be the next targets unless there is “rapid” action.
“If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,” Abdullah was quoted as saying in the daily Asharq al-Awsat.
“Terrorism knows no border, and its danger could affect several countries outside the Middle East,” Abdullah told the new ambassadors.
The king’s prediction sent shockwaves through the international media, even garnering the top headline on the widely popular Drudge Report.
But with no similar concerns from Abdullah about a possible attack on Saudi soil, WND’s source questioned whether Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan may be working negotiations behind the scenes to keep ISIS at bay.
Bandar is a nephew of Abdullah. For years, he was the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., becoming close friends with former U.S. President George W. Bush. Following that stint, he returned to Saudi Arabia and became the chief of the Saudi intelligence service and Saudi national security council.
President George W. Bush and Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan
President George W. Bush and Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan
From the time the U.S. created the Sunni Mujahedeen to fight against the then Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the early 1980s, Bandar played a key role in operations to dispatch jihadist fighters and helped provide financial, military and human support.
WND’s source said that given his close association with jihadist groups over the years, Bandar may have the necessary contacts to pay extortion money to ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, just as Turki did years earlier to bin Laden.
The source said Bandar has a history of such activity, referring to his efforts in Syria to buy fighters to go against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is allied with Iran.
The Saudis, who are Sunni, are concerned that Iran – which is Shia – will extend its influence in predominantly Sunni Gulf Arab countries. The Sunnis and Shia have been at odds since the death of Mohammad in 632 A.D.
Today, Iran and Saudi Arabia are engaged in proxy wars from Bahrain and Iraq to Syria and Yemen. The Saudis are concerned that the Shia in countries such as Iraq and Syria and even Lebanon will have more influence over what the Saudis believe are Sunni regions in the Middle East.
All the jihadist fighters from such prominent groups as Jabhat al-Nusra, Abdullah Azzam Brigades and the Islamic State are extremist Sunnis who seek to make all lands dominated by Sunnis into a caliphate that will be subject to strict Shariah, or Islamic law.
Bandar was known to have been working for a time in northern Lebanon and then in Jordan to pay fighters to join various Islamist groups. The fighters would be trained in Jordan, many by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, then transferred through Turkey and into Syria.
Many of the fighters whom the U.S. trained and Bandar financed belonged to jihadist groups that not only took over from the opposition fighters of the Free Syrian Army, but later peeled off to join ISIS.
As a consequence, many of the ISIS fighters display many of the tactics and fighting techniques employed by U.S. Special Forces, a development which has raised mounting concern in Washington should the fighters who survive the battlefield return to their homeland, including the U.S.
In a display of Bandar’s relationship with jihadi fighters, he had met with Russian President Vladimir Putin late last year in the hope of getting the Russian president to switch his support away from Assad and Iran and back the Syrian opposition, which by then had thoroughly infiltrated the opposition and had control over larger weapons.
Bandar reportedly told Putin that he controlled like a “light switch” the Sunni Chechen fighters who had been attacking Moscow’s subway and international airport and were threatening to attack the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Putin not only refused Bandar’s request to Putin to give up his backing of Assad and Iran, but reportedly grew angry with Bandar for what amounted to a threat on the Russian homeland by jihadist fighters who are under the control of Saudi Arabia.


Pulling Back the Curtain on “Phony Scandals”

Ed Feulner

President Obama claims to be running “the most transparent administration in history.” But even those who knew he was exaggerating must have been surprised when dozens of his own inspectors general revealed what a laughably hollow claim this is.
Earlier this month, 47 of the federal government’s 73 watchdogs filed a formal complaint about the “serious limitations” the Obama administration places on their ability to uncover waste, fraud and abuse.
It’s an unprecedented charge. “I’ve never seen a letter like this,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said. “And my folks have checked. There has never been a letter even with a dozen IGs complaining.”
IGs from the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice -- among many others -- say the administration is imposing such “serious limitations on access to records” that it’s creating “potentially serious challenges to the authority of every Inspector General and our ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.”
Time after time, the IGs request information necessary for them to do their jobs. And time after time, they’re told the information is “privileged” and therefore can be legally shielded, even though prior administrations haven’t made such dubious claims.
Yes, this can be a legitimate claim in certain, very limited instances. Information that could jeopardize certain matters of national security, for example, is naturally very sensitive and must be handled carefully.
But when you’re concealing more information than you’re revealing, and doing so almost routinely, something is seriously wrong.
Take how the Peace Corps refused to provide records of reported sexual assaults to assist an investigation into how the agency handled such cases. And the difficulty the EPA’s inspector general had obtaining documents from the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. And many other cases that haven’t become public yet.
The IGs aren’t the only ones disturbed by the stonewalling attitude of “the most transparent administration in history.” In July, representatives of 38 journalism organizations sent a letter to President Obama, complaining about a lack of government openness.
The lead signer was David Cuillier, president of the Society of Professional Journalists. The letter accused the administration of “politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies.”
The administration is always quick to dismiss any focus on the IRS targeting conservatives, or the Benghazi attack, or the Justice Department investigating reporters, as “phony scandals.” They want us to believe they’re baseless distractions.
But we’re supposed to take this on faith. Why not provide the information necessary to prove their point? Why not open the files so we can see for ourselves?
“All of these stories linger because of unanswered questions and lack of meaningful information,” USA Today recently editorialized. “The administration could bring all of these matters to closure by simply releasing all available records.”
And if they refuse to do so, how can they blame anyone for assuming that the information they’re hiding must be damaging? That the evidence of wrongdoing is so strong that it’s better to weather charges of hypocrisy?
Even Ralph Nader isn’t happy with the White House. “Despite lofty initial campaign promises by the Obama administration, widespread government secrecy has only worsened in recent years,” he wrote earlier this year.
Ironically, the inspectors general wouldn’t even exist if not for a 1978 law that came in the wake of the Watergate scandal -- a law designed to prevent future cover-ups. As the IGs note in their letter, this law stipulates that they are entitled to “complete, unfiltered, and timely access to all information and materials ... without unreasonable administrative burdens.”
This isn’t a matter of politics. Government secrecy strikes at the very heart of how our system of government is designed. Transparency is essential to a free society.
Rep. Issa is planning to hold hearings about this in September. Surely an administration victimized by nothing more than “phony scandals” has nothing to fear.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

ABC, CBS, NBC schooled on covering IRS scandal

The bombshell revelation about the surging IRS scandal this week was that Lois Lerner’s emails – those described as lost forever by the federal agency – were in fact backed up.
But a report from the Media Research Center points out that the networks really didn’t appear to be paying attention.
The report from Deputy Research Director Geoffrey Dickens noted that not only did the networks not examine a long list of potential conflicts of interest, they didn’t even bother to report the “big revelations.”
“Big Three network coverage of these stunning developments through Wednesday morning? 0 seconds,” he wrote.
It was on Monday already that Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said a Justice Department attorney confirmed the long-sought emails from Lerner, a former executive for the IRS who repeatedly has refused to testify before Congress, do exist.
The emails concern Lerner’s time frame with the agency during which conservative and Christian organizations deliberately were targeted with what amounted to harassment – deliberate delays, additional paperwork and the type of invasive questions that demanded to know the content of people’s prayers.
The IRS even tried to force individuals to agree, for example, that they would never protest the Planned Parenthood abortion businesses.
The one reporter who did invade the sphere of news, MRS reported, was Sharyl Attkisson.
“Invited on Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs Tonight to discuss the revelations of a Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyer confirming the existence of Lois Lerner’s ‘missing’ emails and the IRS’s destruction of her Blackberry (stories the networks through Wednesday morning have yet to touch) Attkisson also did a great job of explaining the conflict of interest going on at the DOJ,” the MRC reported.
“Attkisson told Dobbs that at the same time the DOJ was ‘defending the IRS in court in the civil case with Judicial Watch’ it was ‘also investigating the IRS. So at the same time it’s supposed to conduct a fair and impartial investigation on the one hand … it is defending the IRS in court on the other hand on the missing document cases. I think there is a potential appearance of a conflict of interest there.”
Dobbs, in his introduction, had explained that IRS attorneys said all government computer records are backed up, but they claimed the backup system was “too onerous” to hunt through to find those emails, which have been sought by Congress, among others, for months.
Attkisson addressed the potential conflicts of interest head-on, saying, “There are several players at the Justice Department who have alleged potential conflicts of interest in this investigation. In particular he, the man you mentioned, [Andrew] Strelka worked under Lois Lerner, maintained a relationship with her. There are emails produced by the House Oversight committee that show he thanked her for the help that he had given her in the time that he worked in her division and held her partly responsible for some of the success that he’s, he held. He also, according to documents, was part of a discussion about focusing on tea party cases. So there, there are some email documents that lend to the idea that he could have been part of that scandal all together rather than somebody who should be part of the department investigating it. That’s the allegation from Republicans on House Oversight. They’ve once again asked Eric Holder of the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to get at this investigation rather than doing it himself to avoid this appearance of a conflict.”
She also noted IRS testimony before Congress already “has proven to be inaccurate on more than one occasion, including about these backup tapes.”


Saudi King:ISIS in Europe 1 month, in America 2 months

A Muslim King’s Dire Warning

The man who now leads them warned his American captors, “I’ll see you guys in New York.”
They could exploit the porous southern U.S. border for an attack, and on Thursday President Barack Obama said, “We don’t have a strategy yet” to fight them.
The Islamic State has blitzed its way into control across a huge swath of Syria and Iraq in recent months, and on Friday, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia issued a dire warning: Jihadists could reach Europe and America in a matter of months.
Saudi King Abdullah listens to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speak before a meeting at the King’s private residence on June 27, 2014 in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, June 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)
“If we ignore [the Islamic State], I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,” [King Abdullah] said in remarks quoted on Saturday by Asharq al-Awsat daily and Saudi-backed Al-Arabiya television station.
“Terrorism knows no border and its danger could affect several countries outside the Middle East,” said the king who was speaking at a welcoming ceremony on Friday for new ambassadors, including a new envoy from Saudi ally the United States.
As he listed the atrocities the Islamic State has committed, the Saudi king plead for western aid.
“It is no secret to you, what they have done and what they have yet to do,” King Abdullah said, citing jihadists’ penchant for beheading their enemies. “I ask you to transmit this message to your leaders: ‘Fight terrorism with force, reason and speed.’”

Ukraine crisis deepens, Moscow 'practically at war against Europe.'

The European Union announced Saturday that new economic sanctions are being drawn up in response to the apparent incursion of Russian troops into Ukraine, although some European leader were hesitant about straining relations with Russia and damaging their own economies over the conflict.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who briefed a summit of the 28-nation EU's leaders in Brussels, said a strong response was needed to the "military aggression and terror" facing his country.
"Thousands of the foreign troops and hundreds of the foreign tanks are now on the territory of Ukraine," Poroshenko told reporters in English. "There is a very high risk not only for peace and stability for Ukraine, but for the whole peace and stability of Europe."
French President Francois Hollande and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said upon their arrival for the summit in Brussels the leaders will make a political decision and then ask the EU's executive arm to finalize the fine print of new sanctions.
Hollande argued that if Russia failed to reverse the flow of weapons and troops into Ukraine, then it would leave the EU with no other option than to impose new sanctions.
"Are we going to let the situation worsen, until it leads to war?'' Hollande said at a news conference, Reuters reported. "Because that's the risk today. There is no time to waste."
Lithuanian leader Dalia Grybauskaite added Russia's meddling in Ukraine, which seeks closer ties with the EU, amounts to a direct confrontation that requires stronger sanctions.
"Russia is practically in the war against Europe," she said in English, The Associated Press reports.
NATO estimates that at least 1,000 Russian soldiers are in Ukraine even though Russia denies any military involvement in the fighting that has so far claimed 2,600 lives, according to U.N. figures.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also warned that Europe can't be complacent about Russian troops on Ukrainian soil.
"Countries in Europe shouldn't have to think long before realizing just how unacceptable that is," he said. "We know that from our history. So consequences must follow if that situation continues."
However some leaders were cautious about implementing new sanctions, The Wall Street Journal reported, with leaders of Hungary and Slovakia blasting sanctions as ineffective measures that would only hurt EU economies as much as they hurt Russia.
Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann warned the Union that it should be "speaking less" about sanctions.
"The effect of sanctions as they have been applied so far hasn't always produced what some expected," he said.
In Brussels, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso provided no specifics about which sanctions were being considered but also said that "sanctions are not an end in themselves," but a means to dissuade Russia from further destabilizing Ukraine.
"We may see a situation where we reach the point of no return," Barroso warned. "If the escalation of the conflict continues, this point of no return can come."
The U.S. and the EU have so far imposed sanctions against dozens of Russian officials, several companies and the country's financial industry. Moscow has retaliated by banning food imports.
Grybauskaite said the EU should impose a full arms embargo, including the canceling of already agreed contracts. France has so far staunchly opposed that proposal because it has a $1.6 billion contract to build Mistral helicopter carriers for Russia.
New EU sanctions have to be agreed unanimously -- a requirement that has in the past blocked or softened decisions since some nations fear the economic fallout. Russia is the EU's No. 3 trading partner and one of its biggest oil and gas suppliers.
Barroso said that the EU -- a bloc encompassing 500 million people and stretching from Lisbon to the border with Ukraine -- stands ready to grant Kiev further financial assistance if needed. The bloc will also organize a donors' conference to help rebuild the country's east at the end of the year, he added.
Ukrainian officials say that their forces face increasingly strong resistance from Russian-backed separatist rebels just weeks after racking up significant gains and forcing rebels out of much of the territory they had held.
Ukrainian forces had been surrounded by rebels in the town of Ilovaysk, about 15 miles east of the largest rebel-held city of Donetsk for days.
"We are surrendering this city," Ukraine's Lysenko told reporters. "Our task now is to evacuate our military with the least possible losses in order to regroup."
Lysenko said that regular units of the military had been ordered to retreat from Novosvitlivka and Khryashchuvate, two towns on the main road between the Russian border and Luhansk, the second-largest rebel-held city. Ukraine had claimed control of Novosvitlivka earlier in August.
Separately, Ukrainian forces said one of their Su-25 fighter jets was shot down Friday over eastern Ukraine by a missile from a Russian missile launcher. The pilot ejected and was uninjured, the military said in a brief statement.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.