'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
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President Obama cautioned against jumping to conclusions about conflicting reports that chemical weapons are now being used in Syria's 2-year-old civil war, although he stressed Wednesday that if the reports are true it would be "a game changer."
Two key Republican senators called on President Obama on Tuesday to follow through on his threats to Syrian President Bashar Assad if reports that the embattled Syrian leader may have used chemical weapons against rebel forces are substantiated.
As Secretary of State John F. Kerry met in Berlin with his Russian counterpart, American and European officials said Tuesday that the Obama administration is close to deciding whether to provide direct assistance to rebel forces in Syria.
The State Department on Thursday insisted that the communications equipment it has provided to opposition groups in Syria is capable of resisting penetration from spies working for Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Syrian government warplanes unleashed deadly airstrikes on rebel strongholds in the country's north on Tuesday, activists reported.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday acknowledged deep differences with Russia over how to handle the crisis in Syria, saying she would continue to try to persuade Moscow to back increased international pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, even if such a step is unlikely.
Al Qaeda has advanced beyond isolated pockets of activity in Syria and now is building a network of well-organized cells, according to U.S. intelligence officials, who fear the terrorists could be on the verge of establishing an Iraq-like foothold that would be hard to defeat if rebels eventually oust President Bashar Assad.
Failed efforts to curtail escalating violence in Syria led policy experts to unanimously call for direct U.S. assistance to rebel forces during a hearing at the Capitol on Wednesday, pushing for a new intelligence operation to identify legitimate opposition leaders and supply them with military support.
Syria's main opposition groups rejected on Sunday a new international plan that calls for a transitional government because the compromise agreement did not bar President Bashar Assad from participating.
Turkey deployed anti-aircraft guns, rocket launchers and other weapons along its border with Syria on Thursday, a military buildup that came as world powers showed new urgency to resolve the crisis before it ignites the region.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday pressed Russia to join international efforts for a political transition in Syria that would see President Bashar Assad driven from power, and she suggested greater flexibility could come from a previous recalcitrant Moscow.
As one diplomatic effort after another fails to end more than a year of brutal violence in Syria, the Obama administration is preparing a plan that essentially would give U.S. nods of approval to arms transfers from Arab nations to some Syrian opposition fighters.
U.S. and Turkish officials condemned the mounting bloodshed in Syria on Monday but declined to endorse calls by the Arab League for the creation of a U.N. peacekeeping force to quell the violence.
A member of Syria's parliament has left the country to join the opposition against President Bashar Assad's regime, saying the Syrian people are suffering sweeping human rights violations.
NATO warplanes subjected Tripoli to hours of heavy bombing on Tuesday, apparently hunting Libyan leader and international outcast Moammar Gadhafi. But as NATO's mission to protect Libyan civilians continued, so did Bashar Assad's mission to gun down demonstrators against his regime in Syria. Over a thousand have been killed and reports emerging from the country indicate worse things are coming.