Chuck Hagel: U.S. Ready To Strike Syria

Chuck Hagel U.S. Ready To Strike SyriaAmerican forces are “ready” to launch strikes on Syria if President Barack Obama chooses to order an attack, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel says.

‘Must be held accountable’

The White House said the US would release intelligence on last week’s suspected attack in the next few days. Prime Minister David Cameron said the world could “not stand idly by” after seeing “appalling scenes of death and suffering” caused by suspected chemical weapons attacks.

The crisis follows last Wednesday’s suspected chemical attack near the Syrian capital, Damascus, which reportedly killed more than 300 people.

US Vice President Joe Biden said there was “no doubt who was responsible for this heinous use of chemical weapons in Syria: The Syrian regime”. In a speech to a veterans’ group in Houston, Mr Biden said that “those who use chemical weapons against defenceless men, women, and children… must be held accountable”.


‘Western intervention’

French President Francois Hollande said France was “ready to punish” whoever was behind the attack, and had decided to increase military support for Syria’s main opposition. Meanwhile the Arab League said it held Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responsible for the attacks and called for UN action. Syrian opposition sources have said they have been told to expect a Western intervention in the conflict imminently.

Russia and China, allies of the Syrian government, have stepped up their warnings against military intervention, with Moscow saying any such action would have “catastrophic consequences” for the region.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has said he rejects “utterly and completely” claims that Syrian forces used chemical weapons, and his government has blamed rebel fighters.

Do you believe the Syrian regime itself is responsible for the said chemical attacks that killed over 300 citizens? Do we see a war with western countries looming over Syria?

Source: BBC News

Image: 23 ABC

North Korea: ‘Moment Of Explosion’ Approaching Fast

North Korea 'Moment Of Explosion' Approaching FastNorth Korea stirred up fresh unease in Northeast Asia early Thursday, threatening attacks by a “smaller, lighter and diversified” nuclear force and warning, “The moment of explosion is approaching fast.”

‘War will break out’

The new threat came after the North Koreans locked South Korean workers out of a joint factory complex and announced plans to restart a nuclear reactor it shut down five years ago. Meanwhile, the United States announced it was sending ballistic missile defenses to Guam, a Pacific territory that’s home to U.S. naval and air bases.

“The moment of explosion is approaching fast. No one can say a war will break out in Korea or not and whether it will break out today or tomorrow,” North Korea’s state news agency KCNA declared in its latest broadside. “The responsibility for this grave situation entirely rests with the U.S. administration and military warmongers keen to encroach upon the DPRK’s sovereignty and bring down its dignified social system with brigandish logic.”

DPRK is short for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name for North Korea.


‘Path to peace’

Most observers say the North is still years away from having the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead on a missile. But U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday that the North Korean threats to Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. mainland have to be taken seriously. But Hagel also said there was still a “responsible” path for the North to take.

“I hope the North will ratchet this very dangerous rhetoric down,” Hagel said. “There is a pathway that is responsible for the North to get on a path to peace working with their neighbors. There are many, many benefits to their people that could come. But they have got to be a responsible member of the world community, and you don’t achieve that responsibility and peace and prosperity by making nuclear threats and taking very provocative actions.”

Do you think a war will really break out? What will it take for North Korea to forsake its nuclear ambitions?

Source: Matt Smith, CNN

Image: NY Daily News