Results tagged “United States”
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The administration appeared to back off from the demand that the Assad regime provide a full and complete list of its chemical weapons arsenal by Sept. 21, and said "forward momentum" is the goal. The head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee questioned why none of the terrorists who attacked the US Consulate in Benghazi last year have been arrested, and why no State Department officials have been fired or disciplined despite formal findings that State had failed to provide adequate security and some diplomatic security officials had shown poor leadership.
Navy Secretary Mabus ordered security reviews for all Navy and Marine Corps bases and installations in the US, following the massacre at the DC Navy Yard yesterday; Defense Secretary Hagel plans to order security reviews for all Defense Dept. installations. A Defense Dept. audit said recent cost cuts have led to significant security lapses in the Navy. UN Security Council diplomats met to draft a resolution on Syrian chemical weapons. Russia maintained that the UN report contains no proof that the Assad regime was to blame for the chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21. A district court authorized the forfeiture to the US of a 36-story office building in Manhattan owned by front companies for the Iranian government that laundered money and violated Iran sanctions; it is reportedly the largest terrorism-related forfeiture so far in the US.
Aaron Alexis, a Navy veteran, shot and killed 12 people and wounded 14 more at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.; he was killed during the melee and his motive is unknown. The UN investigative report on the Aug. 21 chemical attack in Damascus concluded that sarin gas was used in surface-to-surface missiles in the area; the US and the UK insisted that the Assad regime had conducted the attack, and Russia differed, asking why no rebels were among the casualties. Following the report, UN Ambassador Samantha Power dismissed the claim that insurgents launched the attack as one that "defies logic." President Obama signed an order to help protect Syrians against chemical weapon attacks by providing protective gear and training.
The US and Russia have reached an agreement for the elimination of Syria's chemical weapons by mid-2014. Under the agreement, the Assad regime must deliver a complete list of the types, quantity, and locations of Syria's chemical-weapons stockpiles to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons by Sept. 20. The option remains for punitive action against the regime for noncompliance.
US officials are now signaling they will allow for weeks of diplomacy on the Syrian chemical weapons issue, although they say the option of a military strike remains on the table. They also said they will not insist on including the threat of force in a draft UN Security Council resolution, as doing so would ensure a Russian veto.