extra extra newspaperWhite House defends decision not to arm Syrian rebels
Washington (AFP) Feb 8, 2013 – The White House Friday said it had been motivated by shielding Syrian civilians, Israelis and its own security, when President Barack Obama nixed an administration plan to arm Syrian rebels. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said during a congressional hearing Thursday that he backed plans to arm and train vetted rebel groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, in an initiative also su … more

Dunford takes charge of NATO in Afghanistan
Kabul (AFP) Feb 10, 2013 – US General Joseph Dunford assumed command of NATO forces in Afghanistan on Sunday, taking over from General John Allen as the coalition prepares to withdraw the bulk of its combat troops by next year. Dunford will likely be the last commander of the United States’ longest war, tasked with bringing forces home after more than 11 years and overseeing the transfer of Afghan security duties to l … more