September 23rd, 2013
03:30 AM ET

Al-Assad: Syria rebels may attack inspectors

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has suggested that some outside governments may urge rebels to attack international inspectors sent into war-fractured country to secure its arsenal of chemical weapons.

"There might be countries that might ask the terrorists to attack the inspectors to prevent them from doing their job, and blame the Syrian government," he said in an interview aired Sunday by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.

"At this point, this remains just a possibility and we cannot know until the inspectors arrive in Syria," al-Assad said.

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Filed under: Syria • War • World
September 13th, 2013
03:09 AM ET

U.S. and Russia negotiate over Syria

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sits down with his Russian counterpart Friday for a second day of talks about a possible diplomatic solution on Syria, he faces a proverbial standoff with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Imagine two men facing one another holding guns. One says: You drop yours first, then I'll drop mine. The second answers: No, you drop yours first.

Al-Assad demanded on Thursday that the United States call off any potential strike on Syrian government forces before he gives up his large chemical weapons arsenal.

But Kerry made it clear that the threat of a U.S. military strike remains on the table, if Syria does not hand over its stockpiles.

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Filed under: Arab Spring • Russia • State Department • Switzerland • Syria • Uncategorized • Vladimir Putin • War • World • World Update
September 3rd, 2013
12:17 AM ET

U.N.: Syrian refugees now more than 2 million

The number of Syrians who have fled their war-ravaged country has risen above 2 million, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday.

That's an increase of nearly 1.8 million people over the past 12 months, the UNHCR said, describing the trend as "alarming."

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Filed under: Syria • War • World
August 30th, 2013
04:05 AM ET

UK, U.N. and U.S. get jitters over Syria

Going it alone against the Syrian government is not what President Barack Obama wants, U.S. Secretary of State Chuck Hagel said Friday.  But that scenario is looking more and more likely.

A day earlier, the United States' closest ally, Great Britain, backed out of a possible coalition. A U.N. Security Council meeting on Syria ended in deadlock, and in the U.S. Congress, doubts about military intervention are making the rounds.  

Skeptics are invoking Iraq, where the United States government under President George W. Bush marched to war based on a thin claim that former dictator Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction.

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Filed under: David Cameron • Military • National security • NATO • Security • Syria • TV-Piers Morgan • TV-The Situation Room • U.S. • United Kingdom • War • World • World Update
U.N.: Chemical weapons use must be punished
August 26th, 2013
01:35 AM ET

U.N.: Chemical weapons use must be punished

The use chemical weapons is a crime against humanity and must be punished, United Nations chief Ban Ki-Moon told journalists Monday in Seoul, South Korea.

Washington may be preparing to take on the role of the punisher, if reports the Syrian government used poison gas against civilians are verified.

U.N. inspectors on the ground in Syria may be close to doing that.

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Filed under: Arab Spring • CNN Inside Syria • Iraq War • Military • Pentagon • Russia • Syria • U.S. Navy • War • World • World Update
August 12th, 2013
05:23 AM ET

Nazi war crimes suspect Laszlo Csatary dies

Laszlo Csatary, the Nazi war crimes suspect who was arrested last year, has died, his lawyer told Hungarian media. He was 98.

Csatary was accused of sending more than 15,000 Jews to the Auschwitz concentration camp in the spring of 1944.

Csatary was arrested in June 2012 after a Jewish rights organization discovered him living in Budapest. The Simon Wiesenthal Center considered him its most-wanted Nazi war criminal.

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Filed under: Crime • Hungary • Justice • War • World
August 1st, 2013
02:16 AM ET

Rebels in Congo face deadline to hand in arms

Rebels in an unstable part of the Democratic Republic of Congo have until Thursday afternoon to hand in their weapons to U.N. peacekeepers or risk being disarmed by force.

The ultimatum comes amid the latest flare up of unrest in central Africa's volatile Great Lakes region.

The 19,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in the country, MONUSCO, issued the deadline on Tuesday. It's the first time it has said it will use its troops there to implement a security area around the city of Goma, by the border with Rwanda.

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Filed under: Democratic Republic of Congo • Rwanda • United Nations • War • World
Seoul thinks Kim may test a missile this week
April 7th, 2013
04:15 AM ET

Seoul thinks Kim may test a missile this week

South Korea's government said Sunday it believes North Korea may test a missile around April 10, citing as an indicator Pyongyang's push for workers to leave the Kaesong Industrial Complex by then.

Seoul "is on military readiness posture," said South Korea's Blue House spokeswoman Kim Haeng in a briefing. She said national security chief Kim Jang-soo also based the assessment on North Korea's hint to foreign diplomats in Pyongyang to send personnel out of the country.

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Filed under: District of Columbia • Kim Jong Un • Military • National security • North Korea • Pentagon • Security • South Korea • U.S. • Uncategorized • War • World • World Update
March 29th, 2013
08:33 PM ET

North Korea says it's at war with South

North Korea has entered a "state of war" with neighboring South Korea, according to a report from the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

North and South Korea technically remain at war since their conflict between 1950 and 1953 ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty. On March 11, the North Korean army declared the armistice agreement invalid.

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Filed under: North Korea • South Korea • War • World
Islamists claim Iraq anniversary attacks
March 20th, 2013
04:54 AM ET

Islamists claim Iraq anniversary attacks

An al-Qaeda affiliate claimed responsibility Wednesday for a chain of 24 bombings and two gun attacks in Iraq a day earlier, as the death toll rose to 61.

A statement attributed to the Islamic State of Iraq appeared on extremist websites, calling Tuesday's carnage "retaliation" against Shiite members in government.

Though Iraq has grown safer in the last six years, sectarian violence and instability still grip the country 10 years after the start of the U.S.-led war.

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March 16th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Rights group: Syria expanding use of cluster bombs

More civilians in Syria are dying because government forces are using increasing numbers of cluster bombs in residential areas, a rights group said Saturday.

Human Rights Watch says its researchers have identified 119 locations across Syria, where at least 156 cluster bombs have been used from August to mid-February.

The result is "mounting civilian casualties," the rights group said.

Human Rights Watch said it has investigated two cluster bomb attacks in the past two weeks - in Deir Jamal, near Aleppo, and Talbiseh, near Homs.

These attacks killed 11 civilians, including two women and five children, and injured 27 others, the rights group said.

"Syria is expanding its relentless use of cluster munitions, a banned weapon, and civilians are paying the price with their lives and limbs," said Steve Goose, director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch.

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Filed under: Syria • Uncategorized • War • World • World Update
March 12th, 2013
12:31 AM ET

5 dead in Afghanistan helicopter crash

Five coalition service members died after a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan on Monday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said.

The chopper went down in the Daman district of southern Kandahar during a rain storm, said Jawid Faisal, a government spokesman for the province.

There was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the incident, ISAF said. It has not released the nationalities of the service members.

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Filed under: Accidents • Afghanistan • Military • NATO • Uncategorized • War • World • World Update
Afghan police officer hugs suicide bomber
Afghanistan National Army soldiers try to remove a destroyed car at the site of a suicide attack next to the Defense Ministry in Kabul Saturday.
March 9th, 2013
04:18 AM ET

Afghan police officer hugs suicide bomber

A policeman sacrificed his life for the sake of others, embracing a suicide bomber in southeast Afghanistan on Saturday morning to dull the blast as it detonated, eyewitnesses said.

The bomb killed the officer, Murad Khan, and eight minors between the ages of 7 and 17.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • War
February 21st, 2013
05:56 AM ET

Car bomb targets Syrian ruling party's HQ

[Updated at 6:22 a.m. ET] A car bomb near the Syrian ruling party's headquarters killed 31 people on Thursday, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

[Posted at 5:56 a.m. ET] A car bomb targeting the headquarters of Syria's ruling party killed eight people in central Damascus on Thursday, according to state media and opposition activists.

The explosion burned 17 cars and damaged 40 more, Syrian state TV said.

Eight body bags were brought for charred remains of passengers who were in a taxi, according to state television.

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Filed under: Arab Spring • Syria • War • World • World Update
November 11th, 2012
12:53 PM ET

Israel strikes rocket sites after Hamas 'escalation'

[Update 12:44 p.m.] The Israeli military says more than 85 rockets from Gaza have hit Israel since yesterday.  "In the past two days, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip have dramatically escalated their attacks against Israel — firing an anti-tank missile at an IDF jeep as well as launching barrages of rockets at Israeli civilians," the Israel Defense Forces says.

The Palestinian official news agency WAFA posted this photo, saying it was taken in Gaza today after an Israeli strike.  WAFA did not give an exact location.  Israel has said it targeted a rocket-launching squad in Gaza.

This photo shows Israelis running for cover as a siren wailed in the city of Ashkelon in southern Israel, warning people of more rocket attacks coming in from Gaza, on Saturday night.

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Syrian civil war in photos
October 29th, 2012
08:59 AM ET

Envoy to Syria: Neither side shows signs of backing down

Reeling from his doomed cease-fire plan that disintegrated in hours, international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi met Monday with Russia's foreign minister on what to do about the Syrian civil war.

It was Brahimi's first meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, a position he inherited after other world diplomats also failed to stop more than a year of relentless bloodshed. Brahimi said neither side of the crisis is showing signs of backing down.

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Filed under: Syria • War
October 25th, 2012
09:28 AM ET

Americans killed in Afghanistan insider attack

Someone in an Afghan police uniform killed two U.S. troops today  - the latest in a string of insider attacks this year.

The attack in Uruzgan Province is being investigated, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said. More than 50 people have been killed in these so-called "green-on-blue" incidents this year. The Afghan government calls the attacks terrorism.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Terrorism • U.S. • War • World
August 30th, 2012
11:48 AM ET

Buzz ramps up over SEAL's bin Laden book

It’s already No. 1 on Amazon’s bestseller list.

Like little kids with the latest Harry Potter sequel, Washington and the rest of the world will be eagerly thumbing through “No Easy Day” when it hits bookshelves Tuesday. The memoir of a Navy SEAL who helped kill Osama bin Laden in May 2011 purports to tell the full story of how the globe’s most-wanted terrorist met his end.

Mentions of the book's author spiked on Twitter on Thursday morning, as did the term "Navy SEAL book." About 4,500 mentions were made by mid-morning. The book was mentioned more than 8,000 times on August 22, when news broke of its release.

Carl Carver tweeted, "This sort of thing is NOT healing relations in Middle East, predicted as the starting point of WWIII !"

"It seems like once a year since I graduated college I get super excited for a book release, this year No Easy Day by Mark Owen is that book," Drake Stahr tweeted.

The RangerUp fan page on Facebook, a popular spot for military folks, had a range of comments.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Al Qaeda • Alaska • Navy SEALs • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan • September 11 • Taliban • Terrorism • U.S. • War • World
Air Force officer’s database shows U.S. bombs since WWI
THOR data plotted on Google Earth show British (red) and U.S. (blue) bombings in Germany from 1941 to 1945.
July 31st, 2012
06:30 PM ET

Air Force officer’s database shows U.S. bombs since WWI

A U.S. Air Force officer hopes to soon release a database of bombs dropped from American military aircraft since World War I a tool he says can be used to shed new light on old conflicts and perhaps even help locate unexploded ordnance.

Lt. Col. Jenns Robertson says he began working on THOR, or Theater History of Operations Reports, in his spare time in 2006. It combines information from numerous sources thousands of paper reports, punch cards and magnetic tape records for older conflicts, and digital databases for others across nearly 100 years.

The database, already being used by the Defense Department and other government agencies, for the first time allows users to search and find on a map nine decades of U.S. bombings. THOR was first reported on this week by The Boston Globe.

Robertson started the database when he was part of a briefing team for the Air Force’s chief of staff at the Pentagon.

“What drove the development of THOR was ... the data may have been out there, but it was a pain in the rear end to find it and make it useful,” Robertson said by phone Tuesday.

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Filed under: Marines • Military • U.S. Air Force • U.S. Army • U.S. Navy • War
Toast to fallen sailor goes viral
May 28th, 2012
11:08 PM ET

Toast to fallen sailor goes viral

A bar patron's toast to a fallen sailor has become a phenomenon on Facebook.

On March 28, Hannah Hobbs, a waitress at a Bennigan's restaurant near Borger in the Texas Panhandle, posted a photo of a glass of beer, with a handwritten note from the customer that read:

In memory of Lt. j.g. Francis Toner, USN.
Killed in action 27 March 2009,
Baikh Province, Afghanistan
"Non Sibi Sed Patriae"
NOT FORGOTTEN!

In her photo caption Hobbs explained:

"This guy came in today and asked if it was ok if he left this on the bar.. I cried :( I left it there until like 1130 tonight.... I didn't want to pour it out but I had to. So I'm posting this pic so it can stay forever!! So can I get some likes people??"

Yes, yes she could get some likes. As of 10 p.m. ET Monday, Memorial Day, 1,239,045 people had clicked the "Like" button, and the numbers were continuing to skyrocket as the image was shared more than 117,000 times. FULL POST

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Facebook • Military • U.S. Navy • War
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