Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Syria’s government has provided Russia with new materials pointing to rebels’ involvement in a chemical attack that occurred outside Damascus on August 21.
Hundreds of South Korean supervisory workers once again crossed the border between the two Koreas on September 16, to resume work at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a joint venture located just six miles north of the Demilitarized Zone.
On September 12, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem sent a letter to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) — which describes itself as “the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention” (CWC) — informing the international body that it intends to join the CWC and that Syria is in the process of transmitting its “legislative decrees to the UN Secretary General.
Chileans observe their own anniversary on September 11, as today marks the 40th anniversary of the military coup that removed the revolutionary Marxist President Salvador Allende from office and replaced him with General Augusto Pinochet.
During his Sunday Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis made an appeal for peace in Syria and across the entire Middle East. Speaking after the traditional noontime prayer, the Pope thanked those who had joined in the Vigil of Prayer and Fasting Saturday evening and expressed his “gratitude to the civil authorities, as well as to the members of other Christian communities and of other religions, and to men and women of good will who have undertaken, on this occasion, periods of prayer, fasting and reflection.”
Following a 20-minute discussion on the sidelines of the eighth Group of Twenty (G20) summit at St. Petersburg, Russia, on September 6, President Obama remains committed to a military strike against Syria, while Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains that such a strike would be “illegal.”
As the crisis in Syria heats up amidst allegations that the government has used chemical weapons against civilians, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel — speaking on August 26 at a news conference in Jakarta, Indonesia — said that the United States is “looking at all options” concerning a possible U.S. response.
President Obama — when asked about allegations made by anti-government activists in Syria that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons in an attack said to have killed more than 1,300 people — said that officials are “right now gathering information” and “what we’ve seen indicates that this is clearly a big event of grave concern.”
At least 24 Egyptian policemen riding on two buses near the town of Rafah — a city in the Sinai Peninsula on the Egyptian-Gaza border — were killed in an attack by unknown terrorists on August 19. BBC News reported that there were conflicting reports about the details of the attack.
Protests by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi continued across Egypt on August 16, as the Muslim Brotherhood staged a “Day of Rage.” The protests were often violent, and witnesses reported four protest-related deaths in central Cairo, four in the Mediterranean town of Damietta, and four more in the northeastern city of Ismailia.