Jordan wargames: Patriot batteries, F-16s and 4,500 US troops near Syrian border

Multinational military exercise ‘Eager Lion’ has been launched in Jordan amid condemnation from neighboring Syria and its ally Russia. The US brings Patriot missile batteries to the Syrian border, which could remain deployed afterwards.

The exercises will last for 12 days, bringing together about 8,000 personnel from 19 countries, mostly Arabic, but also including the US and Europe. The maneuvers will also involve some 3,000 Jordanian and 500 British troops.  Continue reading

France’s Le Monde says chemical weapons used in Syria

Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have repeatedly used chemical weapons against rebel fighters in Damascus, according to first-hand accounts in France’s Le Monde newspaper.

The newspaper, in a report issued on its website on Monday, said one of its photographers had suffered blurred vision and respiratory difficulties for four days after an attack on April 13 on the Jobar front, just inside central Damascus. Continue reading