Obama brushes off Congress on Russian helicopters for Afghan military

WASHINGTON — The administration of President Barack Obama has
dismissed congressional objections to purchase military helicopters from Russia.

The Defense Department said it would proceed with the procurement of Mi-17 utility helicopters from Russia. The Pentagon said the helicopters would be transferred to the Afghanistan military. Continue reading

Russian official says U.S. now directing ‘Libyan scenario’ in Syria

A leading Russian official provided details of purported U.S. support of the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Alexei Pushkov, chairman of parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said Washington was directing and organizing supplies of weapons and other equipment to Sunni rebels.

“The political maneuver phase has come to an end, and the West is
starting to implement a modified Libyan scenario in Syria, which is to ouster Assad by supporting rebels and providing them with weapons,” Pushkov said. Continue reading

‘Russian ships gathering off Syria to deter West’

Russia has concentrated five landing ships in the eastern Mediterranean in a show of force  meant to deter Western nations from intervening militarily in Syria, The Sunday Times quoted a Russian diplomat as saying.

According to the report, the ships are carrying military vehicles and hundreds of Russian marines, and are being accompanied by combat vessels. Continue reading

US, Israel, Turkey, Jordan primed to strike if Assad activates chemical weapons

US forces in the region, Israel, Turkey and Jordan were all braced  Monday night, Dec. 3 for action against Syria in case Syrian President Bashar Assad ordered his army’s chemical warfare units to go into action against rebel and civilian targets his own country. None of the Middle East capitals are talking openly about this eventuality to avoiding causing panic.

However, oblique references to the peril and preparations for action came from US officials during Monday. White House spokesman Jay Carney said: “We have an increased concern about the possibility of the regime taking the desperate act of using its chemical weapons.”  Such a move “would cross a red line for the United States.” Continue reading

Israel might intervene to prevent Syria’s chemical weapons from falling into wrong hands, PM says

Erdoğan holds surprise meeting with Ahmadinejad to ‘bridge differences’ over Assad crisis

Israel would consider a military option against Syria to ensure that the country’s chemical weapons do not reach the hands of extremists, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday. Continue reading