The UN Security Council on Wednesday moved to formally urge all sides in Syria’s civil war to let humanitarian aid flow freely into the country. International relief for Syria has been sparse, and Western nations say the Assad regime has deliberately blocked it.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif held a brief yet historic bilateral meeting at the UN Thursday as the Security Council met to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. All sides predict future talks will be ‘substantive’ and ‘ambitious.’
Addressing the UN General Assembly, Obama defended America’s leading role in the world, including its readiness to use force, and indicated the Mideast will remain the focus of US diplomacy for the rest of his term.
President Obama’s address to the nation was nearly upstaged by a Russian plan to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles. But threat of a military strike prompted Russia and Assad to act – and is needed if diplomacy fails, he says.
The US has joined other countries in demanding that a UN team investigate Wednesday’s suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria. But experts are quick to list reasons why a major US intervention is unlikely.
Yemen appeared to back away from claims it had foiled a grandiose plot, and some terror experts wondered if the US, which launched three more drone strikes, had been duped by Al Qaeda into closing its embassies.