Results tagged “United States”
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Secretary of State Kerry said the US had "little doubt" that chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime in Damascus last week, and castigated the regime for "cynically attempt[ing]" to destroy evidence. He said the US has "additional information" to support its charges, which the US will produce in the coming days. US officials reportedly claimed that the type of rocket used in the attack was solely in the possession of regime forces. The US is considering limited long-range missile strikes against Syrian military and intelligence command and control sites and other regime targets, to "deter and degrade" the regime's capability to deploy chemical weapons.
The Obama administration is said to be preparing military options and legal justification for a possible intervention in Syria with or without UN backing, having assessed that "there is very little doubt at this point that a chemical weapon was used by the Syrian regime against civilians" in Damascus on Aug. 21. The US dismissed Syria's decision to allow UN inspectors into the area of the alleged recent strike as "too late to be credible." The UN inspection team had arrived in Syria on Aug. 18 to investigate prior reports of chemical weapons use in the country, including Syria's request in March for a UN investigation into possible chemical weapons use by rebels at Khan al-Assal. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held an emergency meeting in Jordan with defense chiefs from 10 nations to discuss regional security implications of the ongoing crisis in Syria.
The State Department's Aug. 23 travel warning on Afghanistan said that the threat to US citizens in the country remains critical, no province is immune to violence, and "remnants" of the Taliban regime and the al Qaeda network, as well as other hostile groups, remain active. Patrick Campbell, of Freetown, Sierra Leone, was charged for trying to sell yellowcake uranium to Iran, following his arrest at JFK airport on Aug. 21, where authorities found samples of the toxic ore hidden in shoes in his luggage. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of 16 Afghan civilians in Kandahar province, Afghanistan in March 2012.
President Obama said that recent reports of a mass chemical attack in Syria are "of grave concern." Defense Secretary Hagel said he has been asked to prepare a range of military options for Syria. The Navy is expanding its presence in the Mediterranean. A court found Army Maj. Nidal Hasan guilty on all counts of premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder for the 2009 attack at Fort Hood that killed 13 people and wounded over 30; he faces a sentence of either death or life in prison. The conviction of Pirouz Sedahaty on fraud charges was reversed on grounds including the government's failure to provide a "fair and complete summary of classified material" to his defense team. The charges involved an Islamic charity that was a terrorist organization. An elderly Florida imam was sentenced to 25 years in prison for sending $50,000 to support terrorist causes in Pakistan.
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller warned that al Qaeda may have postponed a plot that led to the closure of over 20 US diplomatic facilities, and he said there is dialogue between core al Qaeda and affiliates. The US and its allies supported the UN's demand for an immediate investigation into the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. The State Department said it is "unable to conclusively determine [chemical weapons] use but has been "doing everything possible ... to nail down the facts." Pfc. Bradley Manning, who yesterday was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking a vast trove of secret government information, today announced he was female and asked the military to assist with hormone therapy.