Results tagged “United States”
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The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on six top Assad regime officials, a Russian bank that provided services to Syria, and two refineries owned by the regime. Over the past three years the US has sanctioned some 200 individuals and entities for supporting the regime. An FBI agent seized in Pakistan was released on bail.
Claiming that US-supplied advanced weapons would be kept out of the hands of extremists, Syrian National Coalition president Ahmad Jarba asked the US for more weapons in order to "neutralize" the Assad regime's air power. The Pentagon said the US is sending fewer than 10 uniformed military personnel, as well as a team of civilians, to help the Nigerian government recover hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram. A bipartisan group in Congress is trying to expand the issuance of visas for Afghans who served as interpreters for US forces. Officials are seeking the release of an FBI agent seized by Pakistani authorities on May 5.
Secretary of State Kerry said the US is sending intelligence officials to help Nigerian security forces recover the nearly 300 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls; the use of US military assets in the search for the girls is not anticipated. Secretary of Defense Hagel warned that the US cannot afford isolationism as "terrorists and insurgents are not fading into oblivion," but said Congress must face necessary military spending cuts on bases and outmoded aircraft. The head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's navy threatened that his forces will target US aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf if war breaks out between Iran and the US. He also said his forces are in "daily" contact with US ships in the Gulf. The US began imposing sanctions on both sides in the South Sudan conflict.
The State Department said the US will allow the Syrian National Coalition to establish a formal diplomatic office in Washington DC, upgrading its status from that of an informal liaison office; and announced a $27 million increase in nonlethal aid to the rebels, bringing the total so far to $287 million. State also said it will increase shipments of nonlethal aid to moderate commanders in the Free Syrian Army. The US reached an agreement with Djibouti to allow the US to keep troops and equipment there for 10 more years.
Ryan Crocker, who has served as US ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon, warned the US against making the "grave mistake" of a military intervention in Syria and said that forcible regime change would probably result in a Syria dominated by "the worst of the worst" extremists. Defense Secretary Hagel called for renewed financial commitments from NATO members in the face of challenges posed by Russia. The former Comptroller for the city of Chicago was taken into custody in Pakistan, where he had fled to evade fraud charges. A retired US general was rebuked for testifying that the US should have done more to rescue Americans during the Ansar al Sharia attack on the US mission in Benghazi in September 2012.