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Sep 13, 2013

Tiny recon robots herald new generation of drones

LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Ex-U.S. Marine Ernest Langdon
pulls a pin and throws a small black object onto the ground. But
it doesn’t explode. Instead, the robot rights itself and swiftly
scuttles away, feeding infrared video back to a small radio
control screen.

Unmanned drones have become an almost ubiquitous presence on
the battlefield for U.S. and other high-tech forces.

Aug 27, 2013

U.S. strike would aim to punish Assad, not turn tide of war

LONDON (Reuters) – Any strike by the United States and its allies on Syria will probably aim to teach President Bashar al-Assad – and Iran – a lesson on the risks of defying the West, but not try to turn the tide of the civil war.

U.S. and European officials say a short, sharp attack – perhaps entirely with cruise missiles – is the preferred response to what they believe is Assad’s responsibility for a chemical weapons attack on rebel-held areas last week.

Aug 27, 2013

Analysis: U.S. strike would aim to punish Assad, not turn tide of war

LONDON (Reuters) – Any strike by the United States and its allies on Syria will probably aim to teach President Bashar al-Assad – and Iran – a lesson on the risks of defying the West, but not try to turn the tide of the civil war.

U.S. and European officials say a short, sharp attack – perhaps entirely with cruise missiles – is the preferred response to what they believe is Assad’s responsibility for a chemical weapons attack on rebel-held areas last week.

Aug 23, 2013

Nerve agent rockets seen behind Syria strike: experts

LONDON (Reuters) – While much remains sketchy about the apparent gassing of Syrians on the outskirts of Damascus, Western experts believe rockets or missiles were used to disperse a nerve agent in the worst chemical attack in a quarter of a century.

They suspect an organophosphate agent, most likely sarin gas, was involved in Wednesday’s attack. However, the basic chemical agent may have been mixed with other substances acting as preservatives and perhaps also to alter or add to the effects of the gas.

Aug 23, 2013

Syria government, rebels ramp up conventional weapons use

LONDON (Reuters) – Syria’s warring sides might have struggled to get the foreign arms they want, but even before this week’s apparent chemical attack both government and opposition were using ever more powerful conventional weapons.

On Wednesday, opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of killing hundreds with a nerve gas attack in the suburbs of the capital Damascus.

Aug 22, 2013

Clock ticks while experts kept away from Syria gassing site

AMSTERDAM/LONDON (Reuters) – The longer chemical weapons inspectors wait in a Damascus luxury hotel for permission to drive up the road to the site of what appears to be the worst poison gas attack in a quarter century, the less likely they will be able to get to the bottom of it.

The poisoning deaths of many hundreds of people took place only three days after a team of U.N. chemical weapons experts arrived in Syria. But their limited mandate means the inspectors have so far been powerless to go to the scene, a short drive from where they are staying.

Aug 22, 2013

Analysis: Clock ticks while experts kept away from Syria gassing site

AMSTERDAM/LONDON (Reuters) – The longer chemical weapons inspectors wait in a Damascus luxury hotel for permission to drive up the road to the site of what appears to be the worst poison gas attack in a quarter century, the less likely they will be able to get to the bottom of it.

The poisoning deaths of many hundreds of people took place only three days after a team of U.N. chemical weapons experts arrived in Syria. But their limited mandate means the inspectors have so far been powerless to go to the scene, a short drive from where they are staying.

Jul 7, 2013

Online videos showcase Syrian rebels’ foreign weaponry

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – From his home in the English town of Leicester, former business administrator Elliot Higgins trawls through sometimes hundreds of online videos a day from Syria’s civil war.

His research, begun after he took redundancy late last year, has made him a self-taught expert on the weaponry of a conflict largely inaccessible to outsiders, in which disparate rebel groups, some linked to al-Qaeda, form their own supply lines.

Jun 27, 2013

With multiple missions, U.S. military steps up Africa focus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Striking Islamist militants with drones, supporting African forces in stabilizing Somalia and Mali and deploying dozens of training teams, the U.S. military has returned to Africa.

Its presence remains mostly low key, barely mentioned in the context of President Barack Obama’s visit this week to Africa.

Jun 14, 2013

Obama, Putin face difficult talks on Syria at G8 conference

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After authorizing U.S. weapons for rebels in Syria, President Barack Obama faces difficult talks on ending the civil war there when he meets next week with the Syrian government’s most powerful ally: Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The pair will hold their first private, face-to-face meeting in a year on Monday at the G8 conference in Northern Ireland, the White House said on Friday.

    • About Peter

      "Peter Apps is political risk correspondent for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, covering a range of stories on the interplay between politics, economics and markets. Previously, he was emerging markets correspondent based in London after postings in southern Africa and Sri Lanka. His neck was broken in a vehicle smash on assignment in Sri Lanka in 2006, leaving him largely paralysed from the shoulders down."
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