MV Cape Ray (T-AKR-9679) — the U.S. ship equipped to chemical weapons turned over by the Syrian regime — left Virginia Monday bound for the Mediterranean, according to the Pentagon. Read More
The following is from the Jan. 14, 2014 Congressional Research Service report: Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response.
Fighting continues across Syria, pitting government forces and their foreign allies against a range of anti-government insurgents, some of whom also are fighting amongst themselves. Since March 2011, the conflict has driven more than 2.3 million Syrians into neighboring countries as refugees (out of a total population of more than 22 million). Read More
Syrian government forces have reportedly launched a new round of chemical attacks against rebel forces outside Damascus, leaving scores dead and wounded. Read More
The first batch of Syrian chemical weapons have been moved out of the war-ravaged country in order to be destroyed, United Nations officials announced on Tuesday. Read More
The Pentagon is preparing a ship-borne facility to neutralize of Syrian chemical weapons at sea, a defense official told USNI News on Monday. Read More
The American aircraft carrier that has been on standby in case of a flare up in Syria has left the Red Sea for a brief stint in the Mediterranean Sea, Navy officials told USNI News on Monday. Read More
The Navy identified the two sailors who were lost at sea and presumed dead following the crash of a MH-60S Knighthawk operating in the Red Sea on Sunday, according to a late night Tuesday release from the service. Read More
The eastern Mediterranean, off the Syrian coast, presently is saturated with U.S. and Russian warships. The United States has deployed the destroyers USS Stout, Mahan, Ramage, Barry and Gravely, each armed with large numbers of Tomahawk land-attack missiles. The Russian navy announced that it has seven warships in the eastern Mediterranean and that it is sending three more warships—the cruiser Moskva, the destroyer Smetlivy, and the assault ship Nikolai Filchenkov. All of those warships are sailing relatively close to the Syrian civil war’s combat zone. Read More
The Navy has suspended the search for two crewmembers lost following the crash of a MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter on Sunday in the Red Sea, according to a Monday release from U.S. 5th Fleet.
“Navy officials have concluded that given the time elapsed since the incident, aircrew survivability was extremely unlikely,” according to the statement. “The location of the crash site is known, and an extensive area has been searched multiple times by various ships and aircraft.” Read More
After a major chemical attack in the Ghouta area of Damascus, Syria, the United States and many of its allies struggled to find a response. Attempting to enforce its “red line”, America sought to conduct a series of limited strikes against the Syrian regime to deter future chemical warfare and degrade its capability to conduct it.
Yet steadfast allies such as Britain balked at attack, while the domestic outcry at home force the administration of President Barack Obama into requesting a vote on an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF)—which stood little chance of passing in Congress. Read More