The spiraling scandal that took down David Petraeus has apparently claimed another powerful general, as authorities announced that Gen. John Allen is under investigation for allegedly sending inappropriate messages to Jill Kelley, a woman who has been linked to the Petraeus scandal.
Allen, who is the commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force, has disputed that he has committed any wrongdoing, a senior defense official said.
Details of the latest angle of the scandal that has shaken the highest level of the military were sketchy early Tuesday morning.
Some details about Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, came from a terse overnight statement by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
"On Sunday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation referred to the Department of Defense a matter involving General John Allen, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (or ISAF) in Afghanistan," part of the statement said. "Today, the secretary directed that the matter be referred to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense for investigation."
A defense official told CNN that there is a"distinct possibility" that the investigation into Allen is connected to the investigation that led to the resignation of Petraeus.
Allen will still retain his position as the commander of ISAF as the investigation continues, the Pentagon said.
But Panetta asked that Allen's nomination to become NATO's supreme allied commander be put on hold, the statement said.
The confirmation hearing to see if Allen would get that lofty military post was scheduled for Thursday.
The investigation was in its early stages but authorities were looking into some 20,000 to 30,000 pages of documents, the defense official said.
The war in Syria has prompted another war of words internationally, with Russia slamming a report that accuses the Syrian air force used Russian-made cluster bombs on rebels.
"There is no confirmation to this. ... There are loads of weapons in this region, including in Syria and other countries of the region, and arms are supplied there in large quantities and illegally," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, according to Russia's RIA Novosti news agency.
Citing witnesses and videos, Human Rights Watch released a report Sunday saying Syrian government forces were using cluster bombs - explosives that can kill or disfigure anyone hit by its fragments.
The report says the cluster bombs are Soviet-made, though it does not state how or when Syria allegedly acquired them.FULL STORY
President Obama is "deeply concerned" about the growing number of deadly attacks on U.S. forces by Afghan security forces, and plans to contact the Afghan president to discuss taking tougher actions, he said Monday.
"I'll be reaching out to President (Hamid) Karzai," Obama told reporters at the White House, adding, "We've got to make sure that we're on top of this."
By Wires Staff
The Afghan Taliban announced Thursday they have suspended a diplomatic office in Qatar intended for talks with the United States. The group cited what it described as the Americans' "alternating and ever-changing position" for the decision.
The Taliban had opened the office on January 3 "for the purposes of reaching an understanding with the international community and for addressing some specific issues with the American invaders after arriving at an agreement with the government of Qatar," the group said in a statement.
Thursday's announcement came shortly after U.S. officials said they had moved a U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 civilians out of Afghanistan and on the day that U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was meeting in Kabul with President Hamid Karzai.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused U.S. drones and special forces of involvement in the death of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in comments Thursday.
He also attacked U.S. Sen. John McCain over a warning that Russia might follow the same path as Libya, suggesting McCain was not of sound mind following his time as a prisoner during the Vietnam War.
Putin's comments were prompted by a question during his traditional year-end question-and-answer program, broadcast live by state media.
Responding to a question about McCain purportedly predicting Putin would meet the same fate as Libya's leader, the Russian prime minister described the televised images of Gadhafi's final moments as "horrible, disgusting scenes" and pointed to U.S. involvement in his death.
"Is that democracy? Who did this? Drones, including those of the U.S., struck his motorcade and then commandos, who were not supposed to be there, called for the so-called opposition and militants by the radio, and he was killed without an investigation or trial," Putin said.
The U.S. Army private who admitted he was planning to bomb a restaurant popular with soldiers from Fort Hood should be held without bond, a federal magistrate ordered Friday.
Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo was ordered held on one federal count of possession of a destructive device. It was unclear whether additional charges were pending against him.
Abdo, who refused to stand when Judge Jeffrey C. Manske entered the courtroom, shouted an apparent reference to the 2006 rape of an Iraqi girl by U.S. soldiers and the 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood by Army Maj. Nidal Hasan before being hustled out of the courtroom by U.S. marshals.
He was being held Friday in federal custody at an undisclosed location.