World News Brief, Tuesday August 27

British and US militaries prepare for strikes on Syria; tens of thousands protest corruption in the Philippines; US to sell eight Apache helicopters to Indonesia; Karzai asks Pakistan for help in peace process; CIA helped Saddam Hussein in chemical attacks on Iran; and more

Top of the Agenda: U.S., British Militaries Prep for Strikes on Syria

Britain's Royal Navy is preparing to join U.S. forces in a possible campaign of cruise missile strikes on Syrian military and government targets (Telegraph) in response to alleged chemical weapons use by the Assad regime last week that killed hundreds of civilians. U.S. president Barack Obama spoke to his counterparts in the UK and France over the weekend about addressing the use of the taboo weapon, and Washington rebuffed Syria's agreement to allow a UN team to inspect the site where chemical weapons were reportedly used, saying it was "too late to be credible" (WSJ). Syrian president Bashar al-Assad said that the accusations were an "insult to common sense" and warned the United States that if it were to intervene in Syria, it would fail just as it had in wars from "Vietnam and up to the present day" (NYT).


"Maintaining a stalemate [in Syria] should be America's objective. And the only possible method for achieving this is to arm the rebels when it seems that Mr. Assad's forces are ascendant and to stop supplying the rebels if they actually seem to be winning," writes Edward N. Luttwak in the New York Times.

"After last week—described by Mr. Obama as 'a big event of grave concern'—the world will be watching to see if it is indeed true there are no limits. Because, if there are none for Mr. Assad, then there will be none for tyrants elsewhere who learn this lesson of international impunity and emulate his depravity," writes David Gartner in the Financial Times.

"Whatever the case, the alleged use of WMDs in Syria must not be made a pretext for illegal intervention. There is no basis in international law for drawing 'red lines'—as U.S. President Barack Obama has done—the crossing of which would permit the unilateral use of force without U.N. Security Council authorization," writes the Hindu in an editorial.



Philippines Protests Corruption

Tens of thousands of Filipinos protested in Manila on Monday against corruption, targeting a development fund (AP) that allows lawmakers to allocate government money for projects in their districts. A government audit found that $141 million had been released to questionable aid groups and ghost projects.

INDONESIA: The United States agreed to sell a fleet (Bloomberg) of eight Apache helicopters to the Indonesian Army in a deal valued at as much as $500 million. Washington will provide training for operations in Southeast Asia.


Karzai asks Pakistan for help in peace process

CIA helped Saddam Hussein in chemical attacks on Iran

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