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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.

Jun 14, 2013

Analysis: Transforming Syria’s war could take more than arming rebels

WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – - If the United States and allies genuinely want to change the course of the war in Syria, it may take considerably more than simply supplying the faltering opposition with weaponry.

Western officials say they still believe the ultimate endgame – and possibly the exit of Bashar al-Assad – will be through a negotiated settlement.

Jun 14, 2013

Transforming Syria’s war could take more than arming rebels

WASHINGTON/LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) – - If the United
States and allies genuinely want to change the course of the war
in Syria, it may take considerably more than simply supplying
the faltering opposition with weaponry.

Western officials say they still believe the ultimate
endgame – and possibly the exit of Bashar al-Assad – will be
through a negotiated settlement.

May 22, 2013

Analysis: From opera to exercises, U.S. and China deepen military ties

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even as the United States accuses China of military espionage and worries about Beijing’s more strident posture in the Asia-Pacific region, the ties between the armed forces of the two nations have been getting closer.

Direct contact between China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and some of its potential adversaries has increased dramatically in the last two years.

    • 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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