Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat accused the Syrian regime of conducting new chemical strikes that he called a test of “international will,” Reuters reports.
“These continuous violations by the Damascus regime require the international community to take firm action against the continuous defiance of international, Arab and Islamic will,” Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal told journalists in Riyadh on Tuesday.
His statement came in reaction to reports of several chemical strikes conducted on Friday and Saturday in Syria’s three-year-old civil war. Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and its opposition have blamed one another for the attacks, which allegedly involved releases of chlorine gas in the rebel-held town of Kfar Zeita.
The Saudi foreign minister said the new allegations constitute an affront to the U.N. Security Council’s 2013 call for Assad’s regime to eliminate its chemical arms. The government joined an international chemical-arms ban and agreed to eliminate its stockpiled warfare substances after a sarin gas assault in August prompted threats of international military intervention in the conflict.
The regime’s disarmament pledge does not extend to chlorine, which has peaceful applications. Still, the Chemical Weapons Convention prohibits use of the substance in combat, according to former British military officer Hamish de Bretton-Gordon.
The issue expert said chlorine is easy to obtain in Syria, but added that the material reportedly fell from aircraft in the recent alleged attacks.
“As far as I am aware, the opposition does not have helicopters,” de Bretton-Gordon said.
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"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."
Today in bad news for Donald Trump:
- Newsweek found that a company he controlled did business with Cuba under Fidel Castro "despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings." In 1998, he spent at least $68,000 there, which was funneled through a consluting company "to make it appear legal."
- The Los Angeles Times reports that at a golf club he owns in California, Trump ordered that unattractive female staff be fired and replaced with prettier women.