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President Barack Obama has said he has not yet decided on Syria strike

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President Barack Obama has said he has not yet decided on Syria strike. However, the president said he had concluded Syrian government forces were behind a recent chemical weapons attack near Damascus. Speaking on US television, Barack Obama said the use of chemical weapons affected US national interests and that sending a “shot across the bows” could have a positive impact on Syria&#...

Syria may have used chemical weapons against rebels, the White House has said

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Syria may have used chemical weapons against rebels, the White House has said. US intelligence agencies believe “with varying degrees of confidence” that the nerve agent sarin had been deployed on a “small scale”, and did not say where or when it had been used. The White House has warned chemical weapons use would be a “red line” for possible intervention, but...

Nawaf Fares, Syria's ambassador to Iraq, has defected to the opposition

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Nawaf al-Fares, Syria’s ambassador to Iraq, has defected to the opposition and urged other senior Syrian politicians and members of the military to do the same. Nawaf al-Fares is the first senior Syrian diplomat to abandon the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Syria’s foreign affairs ministry has responded by dismissing him from his post, Sana news agency says. Meanwhile Wester...

President Barack Obama has approved for the first time a direct military aid to the Syrian opposition

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...unced today that President Barack Obama has approved for the first time a direct military aid to the Syrian opposition. President Barack Obama made the decision after his administration concluded Syrian forces under President Bashar al-Assad were using chemical weapons, a spokesman said. Ben Rhodes did not give details about the military aid other than to say it would be “different in scope...

Turkey begins rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns deployment along its border with Syria after last week's downing of a fighter jet

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Turkey begins rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns deployment along its border with Syria after last week’s downing of a fighter jet. Columns of military vehicles have been seen moving from military bases to the border, close to where the jet crashed. The F-4 Phantom went down in the sea after entering Syrian airspace and being hit by a missile. The pilots are missing. Meanwhile, explosi...

Turkish army has scrambled six F-16 fighter jets near its border with Syria after Syrian helicopters came close to the border

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Turkish army has scrambled six F-16 fighter jets near its border with Syria after Syrian helicopters came close to the border. Six jets were sent to the area in response to three such incidents on Saturday, the statement said, adding that there was no violation of Turkish airspace. Last month, Syrian forces shot down a Turkish jet in the border area. The incident further strained already tense re...

The UN has unanimously voted to adopt a binding resolution on ridding Syria of chemical weapons

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The UN has unanimously voted to adopt a binding resolution on ridding Syria of chemical weapons. At a session in New York, the 15-member Security Council backed the draft document agreed earlier by Russia and the US. The deal breaks a two-and-a-half year deadlock in the UN over Syria, where fighting between government forces and rebels rages on. The vote came after the international chemical watc...

Syria has formally complained to the United Nations over a reported Israeli attack within its borders

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Syria has formally complained to the United Nations over a reported Israeli attack within its borders. Syria’s army said Israeli jets had targeted a military research centre north-west of Damascus on Wednesday, killing two people and wounding five. It denied reports that trucks carrying weapons bound for Lebanon were hit. Russia has called the attack unacceptable, while a Syrian official an...

Bashar al-Assad has appeared on Russian TV to confirm that Syria's chemical weapons will be placed under international control

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has appeared on Russian TV to confirm that his country’s chemical weapons will be placed under international control. Bashar al-Assad’s comments, to Rossiya 24, came as US and Russian foreign ministers prepared to meet in Geneva to discuss the plan, proposed by Russia earlier this week. He insisted that the move was a result of the Russian initiative and not...

Vladimir Putin urged Barack Obama, as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, to think about future victims in Syria before using force

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President Vladimir Putin has challenged the US to present to the UN evidence that Syria attacked rebels with chemical weapons near Damascus. The Russian president said it would be “utter nonsense” for Syria’s government to provoke opponents with such attacks. President Barack Obama says he is considering military action against Syria after intelligence reports that 1,429 people...

Barack Obama has said he will put plans for a military strike against Syria on hold if the country agrees to place its chemical weapons stockpile under international control

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President Barack Obama has said he will put plans for a military strike against Syria on hold if the country agrees to place its chemical weapons stockpile under international control. However, the US president said he was skeptical the Syrian government would follow through. As the US Congress debates authorizing an attack, Russia on Monday proposed Syria relinquish its chemical weapons. The US...

David Petraeus is urging members of Congress to support President Barack Obama's plan for military intervention in Syria

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...ging members of Congress to support President Barack Obama’s plan for military intervention in Syria. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is suspected of launching chemical attacks on his own people, killing more than 1,400, including hundreds of children. Former CIA director and retired Army General David Petraeus says military action in Syria is “necessary” to deter other nations – like...

John Kerry says the US has evidence that the chemical nerve agent sarin was used in a deadly attack in Damascus last month

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...d gathered after the attack “tested positive for signatures of sarin”. The US blames the Syrian government for the August 21 attack. President Barack Obama has vowed punitive action but wants Congress to vote on it first. Syria dismissed the delay and said it was ready for any strike. UN experts have been in Syria gathering evidence to determine whether chemical weapons attacks have ta...

John Kerry held lengthy talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday during his first visit to Moscow since becoming secretary of state

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...to work towards holding an international conference to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State John Kerry announced it would follow on from an Action Group for Syria meeting in Geneva last June. John Kerry said they would try to “bring both sides to the table”. Relations between Moscow and Washington have been strained...

Hillary Clinton has arrived in Turkey for talks on the worsening crisis in neighboring Syria

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Hillary Clinton has arrived in Turkey for talks on the worsening crisis in neighboring Syria. The US Secretary of State will meet Turkish leaders as well as Syrian opposition activists. They are expected to discuss preparations for a transition of power in Syria if the government of President Bashar al-Assad falls. The UN says there has been a surge in the number of civilians fleeing violence in...

Egypt's President Mohammed Mursi has told Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Iran that the Syrian uprising is a revolution against an oppressive regime

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...8217;s President Mohammed Mursi has told a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Iran that the Syrian uprising is a “revolution against an oppressive regime”. Mohammed Mursi, who is making the first visit to Iran by an Egyptian leader since 1979, said the movement had an “ethical duty” to support the uprising. His comments sparked a walkout by the Syrian delegation. S...

Key Syrian defector General Manaf Tlas has hinted that French secret agents helped him flee Syria in early July

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Key Syrian defector General Manaf Tlas has hinted that French secret agents helped him flee Syria in early July. Manaf Tlas said French “services” had helped him escape but refused to be drawn on how, only thanking the French government. He warned that if the Damascus regime was subjected to more pressure, it could resort to using chemical weapons. General Manaf Tlas was speaking from...

President Barack Obama says the US should take military action against Syria

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...sident Barack Obama says he will seek congressional authorization for taking military action against Syria. The US says the Syrian government carried out chemical weapons attacks on August 21 in which 1,429 people died. Barack Obama said the operation would be limited in duration and strong to deter future chemical attacks. Congress is due to re-open on September 9. The Syrian government denies it...

Syria has submitted details of its chemical weapons as part of a US-Russia brokered deal to make them safe

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Syria has submitted details of its chemical weapons as part of a US-Russia brokered deal to make them safe, the chemical arms watchdog has said. The Hague-based OPCW added that it expected more details from Syria in the coming days and had postponed a meeting planned for Sunday. Syria was given a Saturday deadline to give a full list of its chemical arms. The US had threatened military action ove...

Barack Obama has warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad he will face consequences if he uses chemical weapons against his people

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Barack Obama has warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad he will face “consequences” if he uses chemical weapons against his people. “The world is watching. The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable,” said President Barack Obama. A Syrian official has insisted it would “never, under any circumstances” use such weapons, “if such weap...

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that the US forces are "ready" to launch strikes on Syria if President Barack Obama chooses to order an attack

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The US forces are “ready” to launch strikes on Syria if President Barack Obama chooses to order an attack, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announces. “We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take,” said Chuck Hagel. US Secretary of State John Kerry has said there is “undeniable” proof that Syria...

President Barack Obama has said the use of chemical weapons by Syria would be a "red line" that would change his thinking on intervention in the crisis

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...he chemical weapons front or the use of chemical weapons.” Earlier the new UN special envoy to Syria faced criticism for refusing to say whether President Bashar al-Assad must quit. Barack Obama, speaking to reporters at a White House briefing, said the deployment or use of biological weapons would widen the conflict in the region. He said: “It doesn’t just include Syria. It woul...

Lakhdar Brahimi, the new UN-Arab League envoy on Syria, has given a deeply pessimistic view of the task ahead of him, as he takes up his new post

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...ay to fulfill his mission after his peace plan failed to achieve a meaningful ceasefire. Fighting in Syria has been escalating. In the latest – still unconfirmed – incident, opposition activists say a warplane killed as many as 18 people in a single strike in Aleppo province. Activists say 20,000 people have died since the uprising against the Syrian government began last March. On Sun...

Turkish parliament has authorized troops to launch cross-border action against Syria

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Turkish parliament has authorized troops to launch cross-border action against Syria, following the deadly shelling of the town of Akcakale. The bill, passed by 320 to 129, also permits strikes against Syrian targets. But Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay insisted this was a deterrent and not a mandate for war. Turkey has been firing at targets inside Syria since Wednesday’s shelling of th...

Syria hails the US-Russia agreement on destroying the country's chemical weapons as a "victory" that averts war

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A Syrian minister hails the US-Russia agreement on destroying the country’s chemical weapons as a “victory” that averts war. The framework document says Syria must provide full details of its stockpile within a week – with the chemical arsenal eliminated by mid-2014. If Syria fails to comply, the deal could be enforced by a UN resolution with the use of force as a last res...