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Sep 27, 2014

Next U.S. attorney general faces daunting national security challenges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At a time when heightened fears of government surveillance coincide with growing anxiety about global terrorism, the next top U.S. law-enforcement officer will face daunting challenges to balance protection of Americans’ security and the right to privacy.

President Barack Obama says he has not yet chosen a successor to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who announced his resignation on Thursday, but whoever takes on the job for the last two years of the tenure will have no easy task.

Sep 24, 2014

‘Too many Israelis’ ready to give up on peace, Obama laments

UNITED NATIONS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama lamented on Wednesday that “too many Israelis” were ready to abandon Middle East peace efforts and urged them to reflect on the matter, saying the status quo with the Palestinians was unsustainable.

As part of a broader speech to the United Nations Assembly, Obama appeared to gently chide close U.S. ally Israel against giving up on peace a week before he hosts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House.

Sep 23, 2014

Shadowy al Qaeda cell, hit by U.S. in Syria, seen as ‘imminent’ threat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – While the world has focused on a U.S.-led air assault on Islamic State strongholds in Syria, American officials said they also struck a blow there against a little-known cadre of hardened al Qaeda militants that posed a more immediate threat to the West.

The strikes early on Tuesday on what Washington called the Khorasan Group, so shadowy that U.S. officials had barely uttered its name in public, were staged to disrupt a plot against U.S. or European targets that the Pentagon said was “nearing the execution phase.”

Sep 23, 2014

U.S., Iran seek common ground against militants, but doubts persist

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Whether Washington likes it or not, Shi’ite Iran, a key ally of the governments of Iraq and Syria, is all but certain to be a major player in the fight against the Sunni militants of Islamic State.

Bitterly at odds over most major Middle Eastern issues, the United States and Iran now essentially find themselves on the same side in an escalating crisis over the Islamist group that has seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

Aug 31, 2014

Libyan armed faction takes over U.S. embassy annex in Tripoli

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Members of a Libyan militia have taken over an annex of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli but have not broken into the main compound where the United States evacuated all of its staff last month, U.S. officials said on Sunday.

A YouTube video showed the breach of the vacated diplomatic facility by an armed group from the northwestern city of Misrata, with dozens of fighters seen crowding around a swimming pool and some diving in from the balcony of a nearby building.

Aug 31, 2014

U.S. planes strike militants near Iraq’s Amreli, airdrop aid

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States carried out air strikes on Saturday against Islamic State fighters near the besieged Shi’ite town of Amerli in northern Iraq and airdropped humanitarian aid to civilians trapped there, the Pentagon said.

President Barack Obama authorized the new military action, broadening U.S. operations in Iraq amid an international outcry over the threat to Amerli’s mostly ethnic Turkmen population.

Aug 31, 2014

U.S. planes strike militants, drop aid near Iraq’s Amerli

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States carried out air strikes on Saturday against Islamic State fighters near the besieged Shi’ite town of Amerli in northern Iraq and airdropped humanitarian aid to civilians trapped there, the Pentagon said.

President Barack Obama authorized the new military action, broadening U.S. operations in Iraq amid an international outcry over the threat to Amerli’s mostly ethnic Turkmen population.

Aug 28, 2014

U.S. air strikes on Syria would face formidable obstacles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American forces face formidable challenges as President Barack Obama considers an air assault on Islamist fighters in Syria, including intelligence gaps on potential targets, concerns about Syria’s air defenses and fears that the militants may have anti-aircraft weapons, current and former U.S. officials say.

The Pentagon began preparing options for an assault on Islamic State fighters after the militants last week posted a gruesome video showing the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley. Deliberations by Obama’s national security team on expanding the campaign against Islamic State from Iraq into neighboring Syria gathered pace in recent days, officials say.

Aug 8, 2014

Obama faces doubts U.S. intervention can turn tide in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even as warplanes dropped the first U.S. bombs on Islamic militant targets in northern Iraq, President Barack Obama faced doubts inside his administration and out that the limited mission he circumscribed was enough to shift the balance in a conflict threatening to tear Iraq apart.

Backed into a corner after months of steadfastly avoiding direct U.S. military action in the Iraq crisis, Obama has reluctantly ordered intervention in a country that Americans thought they had left behind long ago.

Aug 8, 2014

U.S. starts aid airdrops in Iraq but no strikes yet

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON, Aug 8 (Reuters) – The United States
began to drop relief supplies to beleaguered Yazidi refugees
fleeing Islamist militants in Iraq, but there was no immediate
sign on Friday of U.S. air strikes to halt the sweeping advance
of Islamic State fighters.

President Barack Obama said he had authorised limited
bombing to prevent “genocide” and blunt the onslaught of Sunni
radicals who have captured swathes of northern Iraq and advanced
to a half hour drive from the Kurdish regional capital, Arbil.

    • 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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