ROSEVILLE, CA – Multiple police agencies are in the area of Riverside Avenue in response to the shootings of an ICE agent and Roseville police officers Friday afternoon.
A city of Roseville spokesperson confirmed one officer shot is with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The officer was transported to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.
Witnesses said it appeared the ICE agent’s leg wound was accidentally self-inflicted but that was not confirmed by authorities.
ICE spokesperson Virginia Kice provided this statement:
A special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was shot Friday afternoon shortly after 3 p.m. while conducting a joint enforcement action with investigators from the police department in Roseville, Calif. The special agent was rushed to a local hospital where he is now reported to be stable and alert. Additional HSI agents are en route to the incident scene and will be assisting the Roseville Police Department with the ongoing investigation.
The nature of the enforcement wasn’t clear yet, although Roseville police tweeted they’ve been looking for the suspect for a week.
Manufacturing Dissent is a documentary posthumously dedicated to Syrian Palestinian actor Mohamad Rafea, who was kidnapped, tortured and finally brutally murdered on Sunday November 4th 2012 by terrorist groups that have been set loose on the country since the US, UK and their western and Gulf State allies launched a covert war in Syria in early 2011, dressed up by the media as a “revolution”. The words spoken in this video by Rafea, and the courage he shows here, is why he was murdered.
Manufacturing Dissent is a feature about the psychological-warfare by the media and political establishment of the west and their allies aimed at facilitating the US, European and Israeli agenda of getting rid of the current Syrian government. It demonstrates how the media has directly contributed to the bloodshed in Syria.
Manufacturing Dissent includes evidence of fake reports broadcasted/published by the likes of CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and others and interviews with a cross section of the Syrian population including an actor, a craftsman, a journalist, a resident from Homs and an activist who have all been affected by the crisis.
Produced by journalists Lizzie Phelan and Mostafa Afzalzadeh.
Police Search For Dry Ice Bomb Suspect After 3 More Devices Found At LAX
October 15, 2013 1:17 PM
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Detectives Tuesday continued their efforts to find the suspect wanted for planting dry ice bombs around Los Angeles International Airport.
One dry ice bomb exploded and two plastic bottles containing the dangerous material were found around 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Tom Bradley International Terminal in a restricted area, Los Angeles Police Department Det. Gus Villanueva said.
No one was injured, and no flights were delayed.
Airport police and a bomb squad cleared the items around 9:45 p.m.
Extra police patrols and bomb sniffing dogs remained were at the airport Monday.
“We’re doing what we usually do, but we’re just more exposed today just because of what’s going on,” LAX Airport Police Officer Robert Corchado said.
On Sunday, another dry ice device exploded inside an employee bathroom at LAX’s Terminal 2. No injuries were reported in that incident.
In both instances, the bombs were left in an area of the airport that requires special clearance for access. Officials are investigating whether they may have been set up by an employee.
….. The overarching goals of Urban Shield include striving for the capability to present a multi-layered training exercise to enhance the skills and abilities of regional first responders, as well as those responsible for coordinating and managing large scale events. Urban Shield is implemented to identify and stretch regional resources to their limits, while expanding regional collaboration and building positive relationships. In addition, this exercise provides increased local business and critical infrastructure collaboration. Urban Shield challenges the skills, knowledge and abilities of all who participate. It not only improves regional disaster response capabilities, but provides a platform for national and international first responders, as well as the private sector, to work efficiently and effectively together when critical incidents occur.
Published time: September 20, 2013 20:35
Edited time: September 21, 2013 10:10
A view of Ankara from the Chankaya presidential complex.(RIA Novosti / Aleksandr Yurev)
Turkish authorities shot and killed one suspect and wounded another after suspected militants launched a rocket attack on a police headquarters in the capital Ankara late on Friday.
Turkish police launched a large-scale overnight manhunt to track down the perpetrators of the attack after they fled on foot and exchanged fire with police.
They used a rocket launcher to strike two buildings and the grounds belonging to police in the in the Dikmen district of Ankara. A third rocket fired did not explode. No one was killed or injured in the attack.
Police immediately launched an operation to find those responsible for the explosions. They intercepted two suspects near the Middle East Technical University (ODTU) campus.
The suspect who was killed also took part in an attack on the ruling AK Party’s headquarters in Ankara in March, the police statement said. No information was forthcoming on the status of the injured suspect.
Interior Minister Muammer Güler said it was not yet clear which organization was responsible for the attack, but the police had already gathered some of the evidence crucial for further investigation.
A number of anonymous sources close to the Syrian conflict have told RT that rebel forces are planning to launch a ‘provocation-attack’ using chemical weapons – against Israel. Let’s go live now to RT’s Paula Slier in Tel Aviv – to hear more about this.
RT sources: Syrian rebels plan chem attack on Israel from Assad-controlled territories
Published time: September 09, 2013 15:59
Edited time: September 09, 2013 20:47
A chemical attack may be launched on Israel by Syrian rebels from government-controlled territories as a “major provocation,” multiple sources told RT.
The report comes as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov proposed that Syria puts its chemical weapons arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction in order to prevent a possible military strike against the war-torn country.
Moscow also urged Syrian authorities to join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The offer has already been passed over to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, who met Lavrov in Moscow for talks on Monday.
“We don’t know if Syria will accept the offer, but if imposing international control over chemical weapons stored in the country can help to avoid military strikes, we are immediately going to start working with Damascus,” Lavrov said.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry has welcomed Moscow’s initiative, “based on the Syrian’s government care about the lives of our people and security of our country,” Muallem said later on Monday.
Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice made a statement saying that Damascus’ alleged “use of chemical weapons against its own people” posed a threat to US national security. “The use of chemical weapons also directly threatens our closest ally in the region, Israel,” she said, speaking at the New America Foundation in Washington.
An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube by the Arbeen unified press office on August 21, 2013 shows a man comforting a Syrian girl in shock as she screams in Arabic “I am alive” following an attack in which Syrian opposition claim the regime used chemical weapons in eastern Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus (AFP Photo)
There is proof the footage of the alleged chemical attack in Syria was fabricated, Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib, mother superior of St. James Monastery in Qara, Syria, told RT. She says she is about to submit her findings to the UN.
Mother Agnes, a catholic nun, who has been living in Syria for 20 years and has been reporting actively on what has been going on in the war-ravaged country, says she carefully studied the video featuring allegedly victims of the chemical weapons attack in the Syrian village of Guta in August and now questions its authenticity.
In her interview with RT, Mother Agnes doubts so much footage could have been taken in so little time, and asks where parents of the supposedly dead children are. She promises to send her report to the UN.
The nun is indignant with the world media for apparently turning a blind eye to the Latakia massacre by rebel extremists, which left 500 civilians including women and children dead.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has called on the international community to pay attention to revelations made by Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib.
RT:The United States has used internet photos and video footage of the supposed chemical weapons attack in Eastern Guta to build a case against the Syrian government. Have you been able to look at these files? What do you have to say about them?
Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib
Mother Agnes: I have carefully studied the footage, and I will present a written analysis on it a bit later. I maintain that the whole affair was a frame-up. It had been staged and prepared in advance with the goal of framing the Syrian government as the perpetrator.
The key evidence is that Reuters made these files public at 6.05 in the morning. The chemical attack is said to have been launched between 3 and 5 o’clock in the morning in Guta. How is it even possible to collect a dozen different pieces of footage, get more than 200 kids and 300 young people together in one place, give them first aid and interview them on camera, and all that in less than three hours? Is that realistic at all? As someone who works in the news industry, you know how long all of it would take.
The bodies of children and teenagers we see in that footage – who were they? What happened to them? Were they killed for real? And how could that happen ahead of the gas attack? Or, if they were not killed, where did they come from? Where are their parents? How come we don’t see any female bodies among all those supposedly dead children?
David Cameron’s presentation of new data about sarin nerve gas use in Syria has been aggressively dismissed by Russia. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/AP
Britain, France and the US on Thursday tried to pile pressure on an increasingly emboldened Vladimir Putin by producing new evidence that lethal sarin nerve gas was used in the notorious chemical attack in Syria in August.
The predominantly British claims were based on tests of clothing and soil samples that David Cameron said had been taken from Syria and tested positive for sarin by scientists at Porton Down, Wiltshire.
The British prime minister said that “we were confident and remain confident that Assad was responsible” for the attack on Ghouta, east Damascus, and added: “We have just been looking at some samples taken from Damascus in the Porton Down laboratory in Britain which further shows the use of chemical weapons in that Damascus suburb.”
Cameron’s fresh evidence was aggressively dismissed by Russia in an acrimonious end to the first day of the G20 summit in St Petersburg, at which events were dominated by the crisis in the Middle East.
A senior spokesman for Putin was reported to have told Russian journalists in a briefing that Britain was “a small island no one listens to”, apart from some oligarchs who had bought Chelsea football club. The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, insisted that any evidence about the use of chemical weapons in Syria should be presented by the UN security council.
Cameron was forced to dismiss the belittling criticism – initially believed to have been made by the Russian president’s press attache, Dimitri Peskov – saying Britain was the leading the argument for a strong response to the use of chemical weapons.
A No 10 source said: “As host of guests from the world’s leading countries, I’m sure the Russians will want to clarify these reported remarks, particularly at a G20 where it’s a very British agenda on trade and tax. It highlights how a small island with great people can achieve a big footprint in the world.”
Later, Peskov angrily denied he had made the remarks, broadcast hours before Putin was due to meet Cameron for a late-night discussion. “I simply can’t explain the source of that claim … It is definitely not something I have said,” he said.
Cameron’s frustration at the way in which he has been forced to stand aside from any US-led military action against the Syrian government was revealed when he questioned how Labour could live with itself after taking “the easy political way out” in last week’s Commons vote, a decision that he said had been taken in the knowledge that children had been gassed to death in eastern Damascus.
He said he took “full and personal responsibility for the decision to recall parliament, for the decision to take a strong and principled stand against the gassing of children in Syria, and I take full responsibility for putting forward as generous a motion I could, to bring as many people with me as I could. Everyone who voted has to live with the way that they voted.”
The positive tests for sarin were carried out in the past seven days by British scientists at the Porton Down facility, and were deployed by Cameron in a fresh attempt to persuade the Russian president to do more to force the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, to the negotiating table.
The samples brought to Britain from the Syrian borders are different from the hair and blood samples tested in the US. Details of those test results were released by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, four days ago.
British sources did not give further details of the precise content of the UK tests but said they were confident the samples had not been tampered with during their passage to the Syrian border, and then to Britain. The results of the separate UN weapons inspectors’ on-site tests in Syria have yet to be revealed, but are likely to be known around the time the US Congress votes on whether to backmilitary action next week.
Russia gave UN 100-page report in July blaming Syrian rebels for Aleppo sarin attack
This image provided by Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, purports to show dead bodies after an attack on Ghouta, Syria on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. | Uncredited/AP
BERLIN — Russia says a deadly March sarin attack in an Aleppo suburb was carried out by Syrian rebels, not forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, and it has delivered a 100-page report laying out its evidence to the United Nations.
A statement posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry website late Wednesday said the report included detailed scientific analysis of samples that Russian technicians collected at the site of the alleged attack, Khan al Asal in northern Syria. The attack killed 26 people.
A U.N. spokesman, Farhan Haq, confirmed that Russia delivered the report in July.
The report itself was not released. But the statement drew a pointed comparison between what it said was the scientific detail of the report and the far shorter intelligence summaries that the United States, Britain and France have released to justify their assertion that the Syrian government launched chemical weapons against Damascus suburbs on Aug. 21. The longest of those summaries, by the French, ran nine pages. Each relies primarily on circumstantial evidence to make its case, and they disagree with one another on some details, including the number of people who died in the attack.
The Russian statement warned the United States and its allies not to conduct a military strike against Syria until the United Nations had completed a similarly detailed scientific study into the Aug. 21 attack. It charged that what it called the current “hysteria” about a possible military strike in the West was similar to the false claims and poor intelligence that preceded the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
“Deep within every one of us lies a natural understanding of good and evil. That is why one man can tell the truth convincingly…but it takes the entire apparatus of the state to peddle a lie, and propagate that lie to new generations.”…Gandhi
While the world watches to see when and how the ‘punishment attack’ will be launched on Syria, I read reports all day trying to see if anyone would lay out what really has been going on. They did not.
The US and its allies, to their eternal shame, have already used WMD on the Syrian people, but initially in a non traditional form. They changed their game plan for future regime changes to avoid using their own troops and as little cash as possible. How?
They went rogue. They went over to terrorism. They went over to al-Qaeda, that’s how. Using the Gulf State proxies has fooled no one here.
They dusted off Ziggy Brzezinski’sold destabilization plan for starting Muslim holy wars against the Russians in the Caucasus. The strategy was to keep them tied up in the tried and true, ‘death by a thousand cuts’ insurgent wars.
Ziggy has no regrets over the 150,000 dead in the Chechen war. His justification was “Would you have rather seen them marching into Europe?” There was a little problem with that. They never could have marched into Europe as both ‘assured mutual destruction’ and tactical nuclear weapons served as an effective bear trap.
We move on now to how earlier in Afghanistan where Saudi money and CIA logistics cranked up the first major ‘use the locals for cannon fodder’ war in that region. And yes, the Madrasa schools to indoctrinate children to be an endless supply of holy warriors…yes…we and the Saudis did that.
As happens over and over, when later a Frankenstein after effect monster is found walking around, all those previously found to have conceived him deny being the father. So we have the continuing carnage of Muslim extremism being inflicted upon us which someone paid with taxpayer money was a smart idea.
Roll forward to several years ago where Syria was chosen as a replacement vehicle for an attack on Iran and to put the Russians ‘in their place’. Due to tight budgets, like internet writers often do by borrowing someone else’s material, a new policy guru wanting to look smart dusted off the old Ziggy Holy War plan and proposed going back to the well for a proven strategy.
This is not Moses leading them over the bridge
The Persian Gulf States would pay most of the freight, and the cannon fodder this time would be the endless supply of disaffected Arab youth and religious extremists.
Their officer corps, in a twisted irony, would be veterans of the Iraq, Afghanistan and Chechen wars, plus the leftovers from the Arab Springs.
This was going to be regime change on the cheap, a cookie cutter strategy that could be used over and over. This was the first WMD unleashed on Syria.
But there were a few problems with the plan. First, the world public is now well aware how uncaring government regimes can be for not accepting any responsibility for the disasters they create because they have immunity.
So citizens know that makes them very dangerous as cold graves do not await them for terrible failure, but cozy think tank positions and highly paid lobbying jobs with their true employers.
Plan A was to collapse the Syrian Army through defections, and the government itself through a long series of assassinations that Western media forgot to tell us about. But something happened on the way to the forum, the government and army did not collapse, and the people…they got mad. Plan A backfired.
The public looks at a long drawn out fight as a misjudgment by their leaders going into it. Modern military brass almost always advise not to go in where a decisive victory can not be attained reasonably quickly.
Politicians are prone to multiply their mistakes here, like Bush did in brow beating his brass into more rosy projections of fewer occupation troops needed to secure Iraq. General Eric Shinseki said 400,000 and was forced to resign.
[This is the first article I am reposting as part of VT's strategic affiliation plans for the future. Although our readership outside the US has not been huge, it has been targeted. Besides being closely followed by civilian and military Intelligence in a many countries, we are also read by some of the top academic institutions. New Eastern Outlook is sponsored by the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of sciences, its root going back to the Saint Petersburg's Asian museum in 1819.
It's current writing staff and huge stable of scholars come not only from the Institute, but from another famous institution, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, the diplomatic school for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. It is the oldest and most renowned school in Russia for preparing professionals in internationals relations and diplomacy. Many of its current students are from families of political, economic and intellectual elites in Russia.
This opportunity did not fall out of the sky. It was the result of many years of hard work, not only noticed and supported by our mass audience readers, but by a diverse array of decision makers who have followed our unique approach of dealing with domestic and world affairs. There has been some spirit bonding going on, and we are now going to build upon that to expand our talent base world wide.
This is the just the beginning, with much more to come. We thank all of our readers and staff who have contributed to our 'great experiment'. And I would like to thank our numero uno editor, Gordon Duff, without whom VT would not be what it is today... Jim W. Dean]
‘All for one and one for all’ should be the battle cry if the West goes to war against Assad’s Syrian regime
If Barack Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured – for the very first time in history – that the United States will be on the same side as Al-Qaeda.
Quite an alliance! Was it not the Three Musketeers who shouted “All for one and one for all” each time they sought combat? This really should be the new battle cry if – or when – the statesmen of the Western world go to war against Bashar al-Assad.
The men who destroyed so many thousands on 9/11 will then be fighting alongside the very nation whose innocents they so cruelly murdered almost exactly 12 years ago. Quite an achievement for Obama, Cameron, Hollande and the rest of the miniature warlords.
This, of course, will not be trumpeted by the Pentagon or the White House – nor, I suppose, by Al-Qaeda – though they are both trying to destroy Bashar. So are the Nusra front, one of Al-Qaeda’s affiliates. But it does raise some interesting possibilities.
Maybe the Americans should ask Al-Qaeda for intelligence help – after all, this is the group with “boots on the ground”, something the Americans have no interest in doing. And maybe Al-Qaeda could offer some target information facilities to the country which usually claims that the supporters of Al-Qaeda, rather than the Syrians, are the most wanted men in the world.
There will be some ironies, of course. While the Americans drone Al-Qaeda to death in Yemen and Pakistan – along, of course, with the usual flock of civilians – they will be giving them, with the help of Messrs Cameron, Hollande and the other Little General-politicians, material assistance in Syria by hitting Al-Qaeda’s enemies. Indeed, you can bet your bottom dollar that the one target the Americans will not strike in Syria will be Al-Qaeda or the Nusra front.
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, sources familiar with the matter said.
Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.
This and other developments signal a shift toward growing, albeit still circumscribed, support for Assad’s armed opponents – a shift that intensified following last month’s failure of the U.N. Security Council to agree on tougher sanctions against the Damascus government.
The White House is for now apparently stopping short of giving the rebels lethal weapons, even as some U.S. allies do just that.
But U.S. and European officials have said that there have been noticeable improvements in the coherence and effectiveness of Syrian rebel groups in the past few weeks. That represents a significant change in assessments of the rebels by Western officials, who previously characterized Assad’s opponents as a disorganized, almost chaotic, rabble.
Precisely when Obama signed the secret intelligence authorization, an action not previously reported, could not be determined.
The full extent of clandestine support that agencies like the CIA might be providing also is unclear.
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined comment.
A U.S. government source acknowledged that under provisions of the presidential finding, the United States was collaborating with a secret command center operated by Turkey and its allies.
Last week, Reuters reported that, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey had established a secret base near the Syrian border to help direct vital military and communications support to Assad’s opponents.
This “nerve center” is in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 60 miles from the Syrian border, which is also home to Incirlik, a U.S. air base where U.S. military and intelligence agencies maintain a substantial presence.
BEIRUT — A Syrian rebel group’s April pledge of allegiance to Al-Qaeda’s replacement for Osama bin Laden suggests that the terrorist group’s influence is not waning and that it may take a greater role in the Western-backed fight to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The pledge of allegiance by Syrian Jabhat al Nusra Front chief Abou Mohamad al-Joulani to Al-Qaeda leader Sheik Ayman al-Zawahri was coupled with an announcement by the Al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq, that it would work with al Nusra as well.
Lebanese Sheik Omar Bakri, a Salafist who says states must be governed by Muslim religious law, says Al-Qaeda has assisted al Nusra for some time.
“They provided them early on with technical, military and financial support , especially when it came to setting up networks of foreign jihadis who were brought into Syria,” Bakri says. “There will certainly be greater coordination between the two groups.”
The United States, which supports the overthrow of Assad, designated al Nusra a terrorist entity in December. The Obama administration has said it wants to support only those insurgent groups that are not terrorist organizations.
Al Nusra and groups like it have seen some of the most significant victories against Syrian government forces in the course of the 2-year-old uprising in which Assad’s forces have killed about 80,000 people. Rebels not affiliated with al-Qaeda have pressed Washington for months to send weaponry that will allow them to match the heavy weapons of the Syrian army. They’ve urged the West to mount an air campaign against Assad’s mechanized forces.
President Obama refuses to provide any direct military aid. Foreign radical Islamists streaming into the fight from the Middle East and Europe are making headway with the Syrian population by providing services and gaining ground in battles.
Bombing Syria would make US pilots ‘Al-Qaeda’s air force’ – Kucinich
Published time: August 28, 2013 15:08
A picture released by the US Navy shows Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Christiana Marszalek signaling as an AV-8B Harrier takes off from the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) on March 29, 2013 in the Mediterranean Sea. (AFP Photo/US NAVY/Corbin Shea)
A ‘targeted strike’ on Syria by the US would be nothing but an act of war, former Congressman Dennis Kucinich said, adding that an airstrike on President Assad’s anti-radical Islamist forces would mean the US Air Force was supporting Al-Qaeda.
Kucinich, a prominent anti-war politician who has consistently opposed America’s military involvement in Iraq and Libya, warned that President Barack Obama would be violating the US Constitution if he took military action against Syria without authorization from Congress.
An airstrike on Syria would also embolden multinational jihadists with links to Al-Qaeda, warned Kucinich, a four-time Congressman who was a longshot contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008. For the US, that would mean being dragged into yet another war in the Middle East, he said.
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP)
“So what, we’re about to become Al-Qaeda’s air force now?” said Kucinich. “This is a very, very serious matter that has broad implications internationally. And to try to minimize it by saying we’re just going to have a ‘targeted strike’ — that’s an act of war. It’s not something to be trifled with.”
Kucinich, who stood down in January after losing the Democratic nomination for his seat in the House of Representatives, said he doubted the allegations that President Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people.
“This is being used as a pretext,” he said. “The verdict is in before the facts have been gathered. What does that tell you?” said Kucinich, adding that the Obama administration was “rushing” toward a possible “World War 3.”
‘US would use any UN chemical weapons report to justify attack on Syria’
Published on Aug 27, 2013
International pressure has been building for a military strike on Syria in the wake of an alleged chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb. The West has laid the blame at the feet of President Assad, as UN inspectors probe the site of the attack. RT’s contributor Afshin Rattansi thinks that whatever UN chemical weapons report would be, US would construe it in a way to justify attack on Syria.
Lieberman, Rove, Kristol Urge Obama to Attack Syria
In an open letter to President Obama a group warmongers have urged President Obama to impose “meaningful consequences on the Assad regime.”
“At a minimum, the United States, along with willing allies and partners, should use standoff weapons and airpower to target the Syrian dictatorship’s military units that were involved in the recent large-scale use of chemical weapons. It should also provide vetted moderate elements of Syria’s armed opposition with the military support required to identify and strike regime units armed with chemical weapons,” says the letter.
Below is the full letter and list of signatories.
Dear Mr. President,
Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has once again violated your red line, using chemical weapons to kill as many as 1,400 people in the suburbs of Damascus. You have said that large-scale use of chemical weapons in Syria would implicate “core national interests,” including “making sure that weapons of mass destruction are not proliferating, as well as needing to protect our allies [and] our bases in the region.” The world—including Iran, North Korea, and other potential aggressors who seek or possess weapons of mass of destruction—is now watching to see how you respond.
We urge you to respond decisively by imposing meaningful consequences on the Assad regime. At a minimum, the United States, along with willing allies and partners, should use standoff weapons and airpower to target the Syrian dictatorship’s military units that were involved in the recent large-scale use of chemical weapons. It should also provide vetted moderate elements of Syria’s armed opposition with the military support required to identify and strike regime units armed with chemical weapons.
Moreover, the United States and other willing nations should consider direct military strikes against the pillars of the Assad regime. The objectives should be not only to ensure that Assad’s chemical weapons no longer threaten America, our allies in the region or the Syrian people, but also to deter or destroy the Assad regime’s airpower and other conventional military means of committing atrocities against civilian non-combatants. At the same time, the United States should accelerate efforts to vet, train, and arm moderate elements of Syria’s armed opposition, with the goal of empowering them to prevail against both the Assad regime and the growing presence of Al Qaeda-affiliated and other extremist rebel factions in the country.
Left unanswered, the Assad regime’s mounting attacks with chemical weapons will show the world that America’s red lines are only empty threats. It is a dangerous and destabilizing message that will surely come to haunt us—one that will certainly embolden Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons capability despite your repeated warnings that doing so is unacceptable. It is therefore time for the United States to take meaningful and decisive actions to stem the Assad regime’s relentless aggression, and help shape and influence the foundations for the post-Assad Syria that you have said is inevitable.
Dr. Fouad Ajami
Dr. Michael Auslin
Ambassador L. Paul Bremer
Matthew R. J. Brodsky
Dr. Eliot A. Cohen
Senator Norm Coleman
Ambassador William Courtney
James S. Denton
Paula A. DeSutter
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