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Old 09-15-2013, 08:01 AM   #1
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Default Obama Says Deal on Chemical Weapons a Plus For All

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Israelis cautiously hopeful on Syria weapons deal - USA Today
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Obama Hails Syria Arms Deal While Keeping Force as Fallback - Washington Post
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Obama Says Deal on Chemical Weapons a Plus For All
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Old 04-14-2016, 02:30 AM   #2
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Russia an' China prob'ly sold `em the chemical weapons...

Russia, China Warn of Chemical Weapons Threat for Europe
April 13, 2016 - Russia and China want countries neighboring Syria to inform the U.N. if they find any extremist group trying to get chemical weapons, warning that they may be used in Europe.
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Both countries sent a draft resolution through the Security Council Wednesday, saying terrorists are a "clear and present threat" to the continent. "We know that there is a strong concern, with reports that thousands of them have moved to Europe," Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters in New York. "Could some of them have brought with them the components of chemical weapons? Could some of them have brought to a European city or European country their knowledge of how to build chemical weapons?" he asked.


Containers marked as "Toxic" carrying Syria's chemical weapons materials are seen on board a Danish ship transporting the cargo out of the strife-torn country as part of an international initiative, in Cyprus coastal waters

The resolution would call on such countries as Turkey and Iraq to monitor extremists for any moves toward building or acquiring chemical weapons. Some Western diplomats call the resolution a distraction from a U.N. investigation into the use of chemical weapons on civilians outside Damascus in 2013. Hundreds of people died as a result of the attack, even though an exact casualty number has never been established.

Both the Assad government - a major Russian ally - and the opposition blame each other for the attack which violated international law. The United States has said chemical weapons were released from helicopters and stresses that only the Syrian army has such aircraft, not the opposition.

Russia, China Warn of Chemical Weapons Threat for Europe
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IS Leaves Deadly Trail of Mines in Syria, Iraq
April 13, 2016 - More than a year after their liberation from the Islamic State (IS) group, residents in the Syrian town of Kobani are suffering from the deadly fallout of a four-month occupation.
Quote:
Since IS was expelled from Kobani in January 2015, at least 100 civilians have been killed and 200 wounded by landmines that IS planted throughout the town and surrounding villages, according to local officials. The trail of IS mines runs through towns and cities across Iraq and Syria. Mines and projectiles left behind make it difficult for liberating military forces to enter and bring stability. Tens of thousands of refugees remain in camps in Turkey, Jordan and elsewhere. They are too afraid to return home because of the mines. Since IS was driven out of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra in late March, Russian engineers have defused approximately 3,000 bombs that IS planted, Russia's ministry of defense said Tuesday in a statement.


Russian serviceman checks for mines in Palmyra, Syria

In the Iraqi cities of Sinjar and Ramadi, Kurdish and Iraqi authorities have reported that thousands of mines and booby traps were set by IS fighters. Efforts are underway to clear the areas in order to allow civilians to return to their homes. A U.S. de-mining company has been hired to clear Ramadi and train Iraqi troops to dismantle the mines, U.S. officials said this week. Norway will allocate $5 million for de-mining, a U.S. official told Reuters news agency. And the United Nations says it is working on a program to help clear mines from areas formerly held by IS. "We are still in the early-implementation phase and do not presently have comprehensive information to share," said Lee Woodyear, an official at the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

Extensive and deadly

Analysts say the mines left behind by IS are different from those found in war-torn lands such as Afghanistan and the Balkans. "What makes mine cleanup difficult in this case is that IS is very sophisticated in developing many types of IEDs, booby traps and mines," said Bastian Winkler, a German de-mining expert. "They put bombs almost everywhere after they leave. So it's very dangerous to detect them in the old, traditional way." Winkler told VOA that mines are so numerous and their paths so extensive that residents will be dealing with the fallout for many years. "The best thing to do in areas that were formerly held by IS is to start a mine risk-awareness program among locals," he said.

Riddled with explosives

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