The U.S. military says American airstrikes likely killed two civilians near the Islamic State group’s defacto capital of Raqqa, Syria, last July. That’s on top of eight other civilian deaths the military acknowledged last week.
The State Department says Iranian weapons are turning up in the Islamic Republic’s former arch foe Iraq,so there should be an investigation. Photos of Iraqi soldiers bearing Iranian-made rifles and scopes as they battle Al Qaeda-linked Islamic extremists in western Iraq have surfaced on the Internet. The images have raised suspicions that Iraq, which already gets large amounts of arms from the U.S., is buying the weapons from the neighboring nation with whom it fought a bloody and bitter war throughout the 1980s. Such transfers would violate United Nations sanctions, and raise concerns about Iran’s ever-increasing reach throughout the Middle East..
Sen. John McCain hotly disputed a study claiming that at least half of Syria’s rebels are radical jihadis, repeatedly exclaiming “Not true, not true!” McCain told the Council on Foreign Relations audience, that he disagreed with the findings, and challenged the contention by defense consultancy IHS Jane’s that “the insurgency is now dominated by groups with at least an Islamist viewpoint of the conflict.”
The UN has released its report on the chemical weapons attack in Syria last month, but Russia is denouncing the findings, saying they are all one sided. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also said Wednesday that Syria has provided new evidence revealing that rebels were the ones who carried out the deadly attack last month outside Damascus.
The remarks came after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also questioned the U.N. report, saying there are “serious grounds to believe” the incident was a provocation carried out by the rebel side.