May 5th, 2013
10:53 AM ET

Syria: Attack on military facility was a 'declaration of war' by Israel

By Frederik Pleitgen and Sara Sidner

A Syrian official called an attack Sunday on the nation's military research facility a "declaration of war" by Israel.

In an interview with CNN, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al Mekdad said the attack represented an alliance between Islamic terrorists and Israel.

He added that Syria would retaliate against Israel in its own time and way.

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Filed under: Israel • Syria
Weapons movement in Syria an issue as Obama visits Israel
President Obama talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office at the White House Monday, May 18, 2009
March 18th, 2013
01:06 PM ET

Weapons movement in Syria an issue as Obama visits Israel

By Sara Sidner, reporting from Jerusalem

The issue of how to deal with the movement or transfer of sophisticated weapons in Syria to groups such as Hezbollah or al Qaeda will come up in Israeli discussions with U.S. President Barack Obama this week.

Israeli officials will not publicly confirm or deny a report in Britain's Guardian newspaper that Israel's leadership will try to persuade Obama - who is traveling to Israel and the Palestinian territories - to have U.S. forces carry out airstrikes against Syria if evidence shows sophisticated missiles are being handed over to groups both have deemed terrorist organizations.

But a senior Israeli official said, "Syria has weapons not even Iran has. We know where their weapons are and we are watching very closely. In prior discussion I have been in I have not heard a specific request to the United States in those terms. However, these sorts of issues have come up in discussions with America."

Syria "is fragmenting and no one wants to see chemical weapons or state of the art weaponry that Syria has fall into the hands of al Qaeda or Hezbollah in Lebanon," the source said, ending with, "We reserve the right to act in such a crisis. But if someone else would act we wouldn't have to."
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Filed under: Israel • Obama • Syria
Karzai urges American pullback after massacre
US Defense Secy Leon Panetta meets with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai
March 15th, 2012
11:34 AM ET

Karzai urges American pullback after massacre

By Sara Sidner

American troops should pull out of outposts in Afghan villages to their main bases, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday, Karzai's office said, days after an American soldier was accused of leaving his outpost and killing 16 Afghan men, women and children in their villages.

Karzai called the shootings in Kandahar province a cruel act against the people of Afghanistan, and told Panetta that Afghans have lost trust in international forces, the presidential palace said in a statement.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Karzai • Military • NATO • Panetta • Pentagon • Taliban
March 14th, 2012
03:25 PM ET

Afghan shooting suspect flown out of country

Update:

The U.S. soldier alleged to have killed 16 Afghans in a weekend shooting rampage has been flown to Kuwait, a defense official tells Barbara Starr.

Earlier, Chris Lawrence reported that one reason the soldier was flown out of Afghanistan was because U.S. military did not have the proper facility to hold the soldier for "longer than he is being held."

Kuwait has the military legal infrastructure and personnel to deal with the soldier, Barbara Starr reports.

By Sara Sidner and Chris Lawrence

The U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 civilians in a weekend rampage has been transferred out of Afghanistan, the NATO command in Kabul said Wednesday.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby said the decision by General Allen to move the suspect out of the country was based on "legal recommendation by advisers."  In addition, the U.S. military did not have a "proper facility" in Afghanistan to hold the soldier for "longer than he is being held," Kirby explained. FULL POST

U.S. soldier kills Afghan civilians, officials say
March 11th, 2012
09:43 AM ET

U.S. soldier kills Afghan civilians, officials say

By Sara Sidner

KABUL, Afghanistan(CNN) - An American soldier left his base in Afghanistan and went from house to house in two villages, killing 16 people in their homes, a provincial official told CNN Sunday.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force confirmed that a soldier had gone off base and fired on civilians before turning himself in, but did not say how many victims there had been.

There has been confusion about the number of casualties since the shooting in Kandahar province, eastern Afghanistan, with different sources offering different numbers.

Regardless of the number of victims, the incident looks likely to inflame tensions still further between foreign troops and Afghan civilians, many of whom were enraged by the burning of Qurans by American troops last month.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • ISAF