Rise of Islamists in Syria upends U.S. strategy
December 12th, 2013
06:58 PM ET

Rise of Islamists in Syria upends U.S. strategy

CNN Foreign Affairs Reporter Elise Labott

The seizure Friday by Islamists of warehouses of American aid for the moderate opposition in Syria - and the American decision to suspend further shipments - is less a loss of critical supplies than a huge wake-up call for the Obama administration that its policy to oust President Bashar al-Assad is falling apart at the seams.

 
The warehouses belonged to the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian army, the military wing of the moderate opposition led by Gen. Salim Idriss.

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Islamic Front in Syria deals another blow to rebel alliance
December 12th, 2013
04:48 PM ET

Islamic Front in Syria deals another blow to rebel alliance

CNN's Tim Lister

Influencing events in Syria just got a lot harder for the Obama administration and its allies. Despite receiving months of training, diplomatic support and aid from the West, the Free Syrian Army's command has lost control of its headquarters and supply depots in northern Syria to the recently formed Islamic Front - another sign that the balance among rebel forces is tipping toward militant groups away from more secular brigades.

 
The warehouses - belonging to the FSA's Supreme Military Command (SMC) - are at Bab al Hawa, a border crossing into Turkey. There are conflicting reports about just how they were taken over and what they held. The head of the SMC, Gen. Salim Idris, told CNN that only food and other humanitarian supplies were taken; other FSA officials say guns and two tons of ammunition were removed.

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Filed under: Syria
First on CNN: Memo: Iranians may have exploited visa program
December 12th, 2013
03:12 PM ET

First on CNN: Memo: Iranians may have exploited visa program

Updated 8:51 p.m., 12/12/2013

By Evan Perez

The Homeland Security Department has investigated whether Iranian operatives exploited a controversial U.S. visa program for immigrant investors, according to a DHS memo revealed on Thursday.

 
The EB-5 program has existed since 1990 but has exploded in popularity in recent years. It allows foreigners to obtain residency status, or a green card, for a $1 million investment in the United States.

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December 12th, 2013
01:54 PM ET

Wife of U.S. pastor held in Iran pleads for his freedom

CNN's Ashley Frantz

The wife of an American pastor imprisoned in Iran pleaded with a House subcommittee on foreign affairs Thursday to do something to free her husband.

Naghmeh Abedini said that her husband, Saeed Abedini, went to Iran to build an orphanage but was imprisoned unjustly because of his Christian beliefs.

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Filed under: Iran
December 12th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

U.S. seeks spy edge with stealth drone

CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr

It looks like a bat, sweeping, turning. But it’s actually the new super-secret Air Force stealth drone.

CNN has learned this unmanned spy plane is designed to fly for up to 24 hours behind enemy lines in countries like North Korea, Iran, and Syria.

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