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Jul 24, 2013

Obama halts delivery of F-16s to Egypt amid unrest

WASHINGTON, July 24 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has
halted the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets to Egypt, U.S.
officials said on Wednesday, in the strongest signal yet of
U.S. impatience with Egypt’s armed forces after its toppling of
President Mohamed Mursi.

The decision appears to underscore deepening U.S. concern
about the course taken by the Arab world’s most populous
country, reeling from violent street clashes following Mursi’s
July 3 overthrow.

Jun 29, 2013

Analysis: Snowden’s options appear to narrow in bid to evade U.S. arrest

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Nearly a month after Edward Snowden exposed top secret U.S. surveillance programs, the former spy agency contractor looks no closer to winning asylum to evade prosecution at home – and his options appear to be narrowing.

Stuck in legal limbo in a Moscow airport transit area and facing uncertainty over whether any of the destinations he is said to be contemplating – Ecuador, Venezuela and Cuba – will let him in, Snowden seems to be at the mercy of geopolitical forces beyond his control.

Jun 29, 2013

Snowden’s options appear to narrow in bid to evade U.S. arrest

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Nearly a month after Edward Snowden exposed top secret U.S. surveillance programs, the former spy agency contractor looks no closer to winning asylum to evade prosecution at home – and his options appear to be narrowing.

Stuck in legal limbo in a Moscow airport transit area and facing uncertainty over whether any of the destinations he is said to be contemplating – Ecuador, Venezuela and Cuba – will let him in, Snowden seems to be at the mercy of geopolitical forces beyond his control.

Jun 15, 2013

How Obama crossed his own line on Syria after months of debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Obama’s decision to arm Syrian rebels for the first time follows an intense, nearly two-year debate within the White House in which the president and his closest advisers consistently expressed skepticism about U.S. intervention in a Middle East civil war, current and former officials said.

The two deciding factors in the decision to change course, they said, were growing military gains by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, aided by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia, and harder intelligence that the Syrian military had used chemical weapons in the form of sarin nerve gas.

Jun 14, 2013

U.S. considering no-fly zone after Syria crosses nerve gas “red line”

ANKARA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is considering imposing a no-fly zone in Syria, its first direct military intervention of the two-year-old civil war, Western diplomats said on Friday, after the White House said Syria had crossed a “red line” by using nerve gas.

After months of equivocating, President Barack Obama’s administration said on Thursday it would now arm rebels, having obtained proof the Syrian government used chemical weapons against fighters trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

Jun 14, 2013

U.S. to start arming Syria rebels but still moving warily

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After more than two years on the sidelines, President Barack Obama is going to start arming Syrian rebels but that is unlikely to reverse the recent momentum won by the government and its Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah allies any time soon.

Obama’s decision to send U.S. weapons to opposition fighters came as the White House announced it had proof that President Bashar al-Assad’s government had used chemical weapons against rebel forces in the civil war.

Jun 14, 2013

U.S. to increase military support to Syria rebels

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has authorized sending U.S. weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time, a U.S. official said on Thursday after the White House said it has proof that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against opposition forces fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S. decision came as Assad’s surging forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies turned their guns on the north, fighting near the northern city of Aleppo and bombarding the central city of Homs after having seized the initiative by winning the open backing of Hezbollah last month and capturing the strategic town of Qusair last week.

Jun 14, 2013

U.S. says Assad forces used chemical weapons against Syria rebels

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – The United States has concluded that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemical weapons against rebel fighters and Washington will supply direct military assistance to the opposition, the White House said on Thursday.

The new assessment and decision came as Assad’s surging forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies turned their guns on the north, fighting near the northern city of Aleppo and bombarding the central city of Homs after having seized the initiative by winning the open backing of Hezbollah last month and capturing the strategic town of Qusair last week.

Jun 13, 2013

U.S. accuses Assad on chemical weapons, plans military aid to rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has concluded that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemical weapons against rebel fighters in Syria and President Barack Obama has decided to supply direct military assistance to the Syrian opposition, the White House said on Thursday.

The new intelligence assessment, which followed Obama’s demand for conclusive proof that chemical weapons had been deployed, could put pressure on Washington to respond aggressively to the crossing of what Obama himself had called a “red line.”

Jun 13, 2013

Obama faces growing pressure to act in Syria conflict

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama came under mounting pressure on Thursday to act more forcefully in the Syria crisis with Bill Clinton offering a sharp critique of his policy, even as the White House signaled a growing urgency in deliberations on arming increasingly desperate Syrian rebels.

Clinton’s call for deeper U.S. engagement in Syria’s civil war put the Obama administration on the defensive just a day before Western envoys are expected to hear rebel pleas for weapons in the face of setbacks to President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and his Lebanese Hezbollah allies.

    • About Matt

      "White House correspondent who has covered news on four continents for Reuters, from Latin American coups and drug wars to the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles to the Balkans conflict to the second Palestinian Intifada to the Iraq war. He has covered George W. Bush and is now covering President Barack Obama."
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