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As Obama Pushes to Punish Syria, Lawmakers Fear Deep U.S. Involvement

Washington - President Barack Obama's efforts to persuade the U.S. Congress to back his plan to attack Syria were met with skepticism on Monday from lawmakers in his own Democratic Party who expressed concern the United States would be dragged into a new Middle East conflict. "There is a lot of skepticism," said Representative Jim Moran after taking part in a 70-minute phone briefing for Democratic lawmaker ...

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NATO Chief Convinced Syrian Government behind Chemical Attack

Brussels -  NATO's secretary-general said on Monday he had seen evidence convincing him Syrian authorities were behind a deadly chemical weapons attack and said it would send a "dangerous signal to dictators" if the world did not respond firmly. However, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said it was up to individual NATO countries to decide how they would respond to the attack and he did not envisage any NATO role beyo ...

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Putin Says Would Be ‘Utter Nonsense’ For Assad to Use Chemical Arms

Vladivostok - Russia's President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday it would be "utter nonsense" for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons when it was winning its war with rebels, and urged U.S. President Barack Obama not to attack Syrian forces. The United States said on Friday it was planning a limited military response to punish Syria's President Bashar al-Assad for a "brutal and flagrant" chemical ...

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Russia Says U.S. Threat of Force against Syria Unacceptable

Moscow - Russia said U.S. threats to use military force against Syria were unacceptable and that Washington would be violating international law if it acted without the approval of the U.N. Security Council. The United States said on Friday it was in the planning process for a limited military response to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a "brutal and flagrant" chemical weapons attack that it say ...

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Most French Oppose Attack on Syria and Don’t Trust Hollande to Do It: Poll

Paris - Most French people do not want France to take part in military action on Syria and most do not trust French President Francois Hollande to do so, a poll showed on Saturday. The United States said on Friday it would punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government for a chemical attack that it says killed more than 1,400 people in Damascus last week, and Hollande said Britain's parliamentary vote ...

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Syrian Rebels Plan Raids to Exploit Western Strikes: Commander

Beirut - Opposition fighters across Syria are preparing to launch attacks that exploit anticipated U.S.-led military strikes, but there are no plans to coordinate with Western forces, a Syrian rebel commander said on Saturday. The United States said on Friday it was planning a limited response to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for a "brutal and flagrant" chemical weapons attack it says killed more ...

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International Weapons Experts Leave Syria, U.S. Prepares Attack

Beirut - U.N. experts left Syria on Saturday after investigating a poison gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians, and the United States said it was planning a limited response to punish Syria's President Bashar al-Assad for the "brutal and flagrant" assault. U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States, which has five cruise-missile equipped destroyers in the region, was in the planning process ...

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Iranian MPs Head to Syria to Meet Assad

Tehran - A member of Iran's Majlis says an Iranian parliamentary delegation has left Tehran for Damascus to hold talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the latest developments in the Arab country. Mansour Haqiqatpour, who sits on the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Majlis said “During the visit, the latest developments in Syria and solutions to the current situation in the c ...

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Iran Warns Against Strike on Syria after Gas Attack

Tehran - Iran warned on Tuesday against foreign military intervention in Syria, saying the resulting conflict would engulf the region. The United States said on Monday it believed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for a chemical weapons attack against civilians last week, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said President Barack Obama was consulting with allies before deciding how to respo ...

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British PM Says World Must Act on Syria, Weighs Response

London - British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday that a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria was "absolutely abhorrent" and necessitated action from the international community with Britain considering a "proportionate response". A spokesman for Cameron said the prime minister was aware of the need to "make a clear case" if he did take a decision to use force, saying Britain's armed force ...

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Washington - The United States put Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on notice on Monday that it believes he was responsible for using chemical weapons against civilians last week in what Secretary of State John Kerry called a "moral obscenity." "President (Barack) Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people," ...

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Leader: Zionist Regime, Permanent Menace for the Region

Tehran - Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the intervention of the foreigners is the main cause of problems in the region. According to IRIB World Service, describing the region susceptible of crisis, Ayatollah Khamenei said to the visiting Omani King Sultan Qabus ben Said and the accompanying delegation "The main reason for the present condition is the interference of fore ...

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China Supports U.N. Investigation in Syria, Urges Caution

Beijing - China supports an independent and objective investigation by U.N. experts into allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, China's foreign minister said on Monday, while urging a cautious response and political resolution to the crisis. "China has paid close attention to the reports of the use of chemical weapons inside Syria, and China resolutely opposes the use of chemical weapons no ma ...

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Thousands of Bahrainis March Peacefully for Democratic Reforms

Manama - Thousands of Bahrainis were allowed to march peacefully outside Manama calling for democratic reforms on Friday, 10 days after police cracked down on scattered protests organized by an online group inspired by recent demonstrations in Egypt. Waving Bahrain's red and white flag and carrying pictures of political prisoners, the protesters denounced King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa and Prime Minister Sh ...

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U.N. Experts in Syria Head to Site of Poison Gas Attack

Beirut - U.N. inspectors left central Damascus on Monday to investigate sites of an alleged chemical weapons strike on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, a Reuters witness said, after calls from Western powers for military action to punish what may be the world's worst chemical attack in 25 years. Syria agreed on Sunday to allow the inspectors to visit the site. But the United States and its allies say ev ...

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Israeli Troops Kill Three Palestinians in Predawn Raid: Hospital

Ramallah - Israeli troops shot dead three Palestinians and wounded about a dozen in an early morning raid on Monday to arrest a suspected militant in a refugee camp near Jerusalem, Palestinian medical sources told Reuters. Witnesses said Israeli armored jeeps entered the Qalandiya camp at around 3 a.m. (0000 GMT) and were met by stone-throwing local residents. The Israeli forces responded with gunfire and l ...

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William Hague: Mid-East Turmoil ‘to Last Decades’

London - It will take "years or maybe decades" for the turmoil in the Middle East to "play itself out," UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has told BBC News. Mr Hague said the situation in Egypt was "very bleak" and there was only a limited amount Western powers like Britain could do to help resolve it. "We have to do our best to support democratic institutions" without taking sides, he added. He is to meet ...

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Gunmen Kill 24 Egyptian Police in Sinai Ambush

Cairo - Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 24 Egyptian policemen on Monday in the Sinai peninsula, where attacks on security forces have multiplied since the army overthrew President Mohamed Mursi on July 3. Three policemen were also wounded in the grenade and machinegun attack near the north Sinai town of Rafah on the border with Israel, medical and security sources said. The attack underlined th ...

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President Rohani: Iran, Land of Stability

Tehran - According to IRNA, making the remarks during inauguration ceremony of his Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, he referred to the inherent task of the Interior Ministry as providing security. He regretted that enemies are hatching numerous plots. Outlining the most urgent issues in the country which have to be addressed soon, he referred to many topics in economic, social, cultural and enviro ...

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Hagel, NATO Ministers Talk Syria Chemical Weapons

Brussels - New reports that the French confirmed the use of sarin gas in Syria triggered discussions here on the sidelines of the meeting of NATO defense ministers, but the alliance is still refusing to make any contingency plans for operations in the embattled country. Unwilling to get drawn collectively in to a protracted civil war, NATO nations instead are making individual decisions on how best to aid t ...

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