May 23, 2015

Obama stays the course despite Islamic State advances in Iraq and Syria

U.S. President Barack Obama’s war strategy failed to stop Islamic State jihadis from overrunning Ramadi but he appears reluctant to change course. The disastrous fall of the Iraqi city exposed the limits of Obama’s policy, experts say, highlighting the sectarian divisions in Iraqi society ...

Weapons inspectors find traces of undeclared sarin and VX in Syria

May 9, 2015

Weapons inspectors find traces of undeclared sarin and VX in Syria

International inspectors have found traces of sarin and VX nerve agent at a military research site in Syria that had not been declared to the global chemical weapons watchdog, diplomatic sources said on Friday. Samples taken by experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition ...

As Syrian rebels make gains, Assad weaknesses  laid bare

May 2, 2015

As Syrian rebels make gains, Assad weaknesses laid bare

In the span of a month, Syrian insurgents have routed government forces across the country’s northwest, flushing them out of strongholds in a string of embarrassing defeats for President Bashar Assad. The first to go was the city of Idlib, which fell to opposition ...

U.S. plan for Syria rebels already mired in doubt

| Apr 28, 2015

U.S. plan for Syria rebels already mired in doubt

Hundreds of Syrian rebels will soon start U.S. training to battle the Islamic State group without knowing whether or how Washington would come to their aid on the battlefield. The U.S. plan to train and arm a force that is expected to eventually total ...

U.S. dispels rumors Islamic State leader was wounded in airstrike

Apr 22, 2015

U.S. dispels rumors Islamic State leader was wounded in airstrike

U.S. forces have no reason to think Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was wounded in an airstrike against an Iraqi target last month, the Pentagon said Tuesday. British daily The Guardian had earlier reported that the militant, who styles himself caliph of the ...

Top Saddam deputy reportedly killed after years on the run

Apr 18, 2015

Top Saddam deputy reportedly killed after years on the run

He was the last member of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s inner circle still on the run, depicted with his distinctive red mustache as the “king of clubs” on the U.S. military’s deck of cards of most-wanted Iraqi regime fugitives. Now, officials say they ...

Apr 14, 2015

Right group's report says Syria may have used toxic chemicals in attacks

An international human rights group says evidence “strongly suggests” that Syrian government forces used toxic chemicals in several “barrel bomb” attacks in northwestern Syria last month. Human Rights Watch quoted rescue workers as saying the attacks in Idlib province from March 16 to March ...

Iraqi leader to seek arms with deferred payment on U.S. visit

Apr 12, 2015

Iraqi leader to seek arms with deferred payment on U.S. visit

Iraq’s prime minister will seek President Barack Obama’s help to acquire billions of dollars in drones and other U.S. arms to fight the Islamic State group during a U.S. visit this week, a senior Iraqi official said. Facing a cash crunch due to a ...