Morsi cuts Egypt’s Syria ties, backs no-fly zone

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said he had cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus on Saturday and called for a no-fly zone over Syria, pitching the most populous Arab state firmly against President Bashar al-Assad.

Addressing a rally called by Sunni Muslim clerics in Cairo, the Sunni Islamist head of state said: “We decided today to entirely break off relations with Syria and with the current Syrian regime.” Continue reading

NATO backs Patriot anti-missile system for Turkey

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO announced Tuesday that it will deploy Patriot anti-missile systems near Turkey’s southern border, shoring up defenses against the threat of cross-border attacks and bringing the United States and its allies closer to the civil war raging between Syrian rebels and President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The alliance’s 28 members decided to limit use of Patriots solely for the defensive purpose of warding off the mortar rounds and shells from Syria that have killed five Turks. But the announcement also appeared to be a message to the Assad regime at a time when Washington and other governments fear it may be readying its chemical weapons stockpiles for possible use. Continue reading