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Sep 17, 2013

Gunman opens fire at Navy Yard in Washington D.C., 13 dead

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. military veteran opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday in a burst of violence that killed 13 people, including the gunman, and set off waves of panic at the military installation just miles from the White House and U.S. Capitol.

The FBI identified the suspect as Aaron Alexis, 34, of Fort Worth, Texas, a Navy contractor who had two gun-related brushes with the law. He was discharged from the Navy Reserve in 2011 after a series of misconduct issues, a Navy official said.

Sep 16, 2013

At least 12 dead in shooting at Navy Yard in Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At least 12 people were killed in a shooting on Monday at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington, where one suspected gunman was among the dead and authorities were searching for two other possible assailants wearing military-style clothing, officials said.

The exact number of dead and wounded fluctuated in the hours following the shooting, which took place about three miles from the White House, starting about 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT).

Sep 10, 2013

Syria vows to give up chemical weapons, no deal yet at U.N.

WASHINGTON/AMMAN (Reuters) – Syria accepted a Russian proposal on Tuesday to give up chemical weapons and win a reprieve from U.S. military strikes but serious differences emerged between Russia and the United States that could obstruct a U.N. resolution to seal a deal.

Even as the White House said it was determined to push ahead with a congressional resolution authorizing force, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the weapons plan would only succeed if Washington and its allies rule out military action.

Sep 10, 2013

Obama wants to keep pressure on Syria as diplomatic option pursued

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and top national security officials urged Congress on Tuesday to keep the pressure on Syria over its chemical weapons arsenal while the United States explores a diplomatic alternative to military strikes.

A potential diplomatic breakthrough put the brakes on a vote in Congress over authorizing military force as lawmakers and the administration sought more time to assess Russia’s proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.

Sep 10, 2013

Dismantling Syria chemical weapons arsenal would be tough task

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Any deal with Syria to hand over its chemical weapons in the middle of a chaotic civil war would be difficult for inspectors to enforce and destroying them would likely take years, U.S. officials and experts caution.

Syria’s strongest backer, Russia, proposed on Monday that Damascus save itself from a U.S. military strike over its alleged use of chemical weapons by putting its stockpiles under international control.

Sep 5, 2013

Surprise or not, U.S. strikes can still hurt Assad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It would hardly be a surprise to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or his military if American missiles start hitting Syria soon.

With weeks to prepare for an attack, Assad might benefit in some ways from the delay in any strike caused by President Barack Obama’s decision to seek approval from a divided U.S. Congress.

Sep 5, 2013

Analysis: Surprise or not, U.S. strikes can still hurt Assad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It would hardly be a surprise to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or his military if American missiles start hitting Syria soon.

With weeks to prepare for an attack, Assad might benefit in some ways from the delay in any strike caused by President Barack Obama’s decision to seek approval from a divided U.S. Congress.

Sep 5, 2013

Kerry portrait of Syria rebels at odds with intelligence reports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry’s public assertions that moderate Syrian opposition groups are growing in influence appear to be at odds with estimates by U.S. and European intelligence sources and nongovernmental experts, who say Islamic extremists remain by far the fiercest and best-organized rebel elements.

At congressional hearings this week, while making the case for President Barack Obama’s plan for limited military action in Syria, Kerry asserted that the armed opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “has increasingly become more defined by its moderation, more defined by the breadth of its membership, and more defined by its adherence to some, you know, democratic process and to an all-inclusive, minority-protecting constitution.

Aug 29, 2013

Syria crisis tests U.S. defense chief wary of war

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (Reuters) – Since U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel left for Southeast Asia last week, he has been wrestling with a dilemma at the heart of Washington’s policy on Syria and Hagel’s own guiding philosophy – when and how to go to war.

“I think the world has had enough war,” Hagel told a forum in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.

Aug 29, 2013

Insight:Syria crisis tests U.S. defense chief wary of war

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (Reuters) – Since U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel left for Southeast Asia last week, he has been wrestling with a dilemma at the heart of Washington’s policy on Syria and Hagel’s own guiding philosophy – when and how to go to war.

“I think the world has had enough war,” Hagel told a forum in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Stewart has worked for Reuters since 1998 and reported from more than 30 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Egypt. Before becoming a Washington D.C.-based military affairs and intelligence reporter, Phil covered terrorism, foreign affairs and the Vatican from Rome from 2004 until mid-2009. He has also previously been based in Colombia and Brazil as a foreign correspondent. Before joining Reuters, Phil covered U.S. politics out of Washington D.C. for States News Service. He earned his BS in international relations from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. ..."
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