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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.

Jun 10, 2013

U.S. holds high-level meetings on Syria, including on arming rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States could decide as early as this week whether to arm Syrian rebels, U.S. officials said on Monday, as Secretary of State John Kerry put off a Middle East trip to attend meetings on the subject.

The meetings are taking place as the battlefield has tilted against the rebels in the Syrian civil war as Lebanese Hezbollah has entered the fray on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, helping his forces retake the strategic town of Qusair last week.

Jun 10, 2013

U.S. to weigh arming Syrian rebels, official says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States could make a decision as early as this week on whether to arm Syrian rebels, U.S. officials said on Monday, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry put off a Middle East trip to attend meetings on the subject.

However, the U.S. government has debated for months whether to provide weaponry to the rebels in their civil war against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and has so far decided against.

Jun 10, 2013

Obama to name Furman as chief economist

WASHINGTON, June 10 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on
Monday will nominate longtime adviser Jason Furman to be his new
chief White House economist, an administration official said.

Furman, who will replace economist Alan Krueger as chair of
the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), has a
Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and has advised Obama
since his 2008 election campaign.

Jun 9, 2013

Obama confronts Xi on cyber theft

RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama confronted Chinese President Xi Jinping over allegations of cyber theft on Saturday but they agreed at a shirtsleeves summit in the California desert on reining in North Korea.

The two leaders debated how to handle China’s growth as a world power more than 40 years after President Richard Nixon’s groundbreaking visit to Mao Zedong’s Communist China in 1972 ended decades of estrangement between Washington and Beijing.

    • 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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