SEPT. 11-13: ISIS, SYRIA

IS Making and Using Chemical Weapons in Syria and Iraq-BBC

The U.S. government has recognized at least four occasions where the Islamic State has used chemical weapons consisting of a mustard agent in Iraq and Syria. The mustard agentis in a powder form and placed into explosives. A U.S. official believes ISIS has a specific cell focused on creating this chemical weapon. “We assess that they have an active chemical weapons little research cell that they’re working on to try and get better at it,” the U.S. official said. 

U.S. Warns Russia on Military Buildup in Syria-CNN

The U.S. government has been monitoring Russia’s movement of troops and supplies into and around Syria. The government is concerned that Russia’s troops may be supporting Syrian President Bashir-al-Assad’s forces which the United States is trying to overthrow with moderate rebel forces. Russia has not provided the United States with a clear reason for their placement of troops and transfer of military gear to Syria. Secretary of State JohnKerry has also called Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to explain that Russian forces in Syria will cause more violence and instability. In regards to continued Russian military involvement, “It not only would cause potential conflicts in the sky between (U.S.-led) coalition air forces going after ISIS targets that are in the area, but it would risk a confrontation between Russian forces and the coalition forces,” retired Air Force Col. CedricLeighton said. 

Obama Wants 10,00 Syrian Refugees Allowed into U.S.-Time

The United States is planning to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees starting on Oct. 1 to help combat the migration crisis in Europe. The government has transferred $4 billion to relief agencies, but President Obama believes allowing more Syrian refugees to settle in the United States would better resolve the crisis. State Department spokesman John Kirby has explained that the 10,000 refugees will be chosen from a pool of 17,000 people that theU.N. agency has provided research on. “We are looking at the number that we can specifically manage with respect to the crisis in Syria and Europe,” Secretary of State, John Kerry said.