The Syrian military is understood to have late last month test-fired a number of chemical weapon delivery munitions, witnesses told Der Spiegel for a Monday report.
Five or six unfilled munitions designed to carry toxic warfare agents were discharged by airplanes and tanks at Diraiham, which is not far from a large chemical arms laboratory at Safira, the German news magazine reported.
Iranian military personnel thought to be Revolutionary Guard officers were on hand for the checks, according to witness statements. Revolutionary Guard chief Mohammad Ali Jafari on Sunday acknowledged that officers from the elite force were in Syria to offer “intellectual and advisory help” to the Assad government as it battles armed rebels.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta’s unusual offer to China’s military to join a major U.S.-led naval exercise in the Pacific prompted several U.S. security officials to express fears privately that China will gain valuable war-fighting intelligence from the Rimpac, or Rim of the Pacific, exercise.
China’s military will learn details on how the United States conducts coalition warfare, a strategic war-fighting capability. It also will learn valuable data on U.S. communications used in naval warfare maneuvers, said defense officials familiar with the war games.
Such cooperation also would violate legal restrictions on military exchanges with China that were imposed by Congress to prevent unrestricted cooperation with Beijing from enhancing Chinese war-fighting …
To circumvent the restriction, the Pentagon over the past few months had lawyers review the prohibition. They told Mr. Panetta he could authorize the Chinese military participation by asserting it would not undermine U.S. security.
However, Pentagon officials are concerned that Congress, especially House Republicans, will step in and oppose or block the Chinese warship involvement.
Libyan police in Benghazi have mutinied and refuse to serve under the man appointed by the government to take over security following last week’s storming of the U.S. consulate in which the ambassador and three other Americans were killed.
With no one clearly in charge in Libya’s second city and major oil port, the officer named by the government in Tripoli to replace both Benghazi’s police chief and the deputy interior minister responsible for the eastern region told Reuters that he had asked for the army to be sent in if he could not start work.
But as the appointee, Salah Doghman, spoke late on Tuesday, police threatened to walk out en masse if the leadership switch was forced through and accused central government in the capital of making local officials scapegoats for its own failures.
The mishandling of the war in Afghanistan by the Obama administration has made it so dangerous that the U.S. should consider withdrawing all troops from the country early, according to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and other lawmakers.
The Obama You Don’t Know — The Washington Examiner looks at the Barack Obama Legend, especially the Chicago years and the roots of his political power. Obama’s critics of the Left have long regarded him as a politician who never met a poor man he couldn’t sell out.
Michael Hudson, a real estate economist at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, was Fitch’s editor at the Village Voice. He said Fitch despised Chicago political insiders like Obama, who, he argued, became wealthy while cloaking themselves as reformers.
“Bob Fitch’s basic premise,” Hudson told the Examiner, “was to show that the reform Democrats always have been the pro-financial real estate interests to do insider dealings. They are people who wear halos when in fact they are predators.”
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