Top news: U.S. President Barack Obama again ruled out unilateral U.S. military action in Syria at a press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. "It's not going to be something that the United States does by itself.
And I don't think anybody in the region would think that U.S. unilateral
actions … would bring about a better outcome," the president said, promising to "keep increasing the pressure on the Assad regime and working with the Syrian opposition.”
Erdogan's visit is aimed at convincing the U.S. to escalate it's involvement in toppling Bashar al-Assad's government. The prime minister favors the creation of a no-fly zone to shield civilians and rebel fighters in Northern Syria.
U.S. officials also said on Thursday that Russia has shipped advanced anti-ship cruise missiles to Assad's government. The radar-equipped missiles could theoretically be used by the Syrian government to counter an internationally imposed naval embargo or no-fly zone.
The number of refugees fleeing the conflict has now likely exceeded 1.5 million with more than 80,000 killed.
War on terror: A senior Pentagon official told Congress that the U.S. may be fighting al Qaeda for the next 15 to 20 years and had the authority to target terrorists anywhere.
- At least 16 people including 6 Americans were killed in a car bombing in Kabul.
- Myanmar's government freed 23 political prisoners ahead of President Thein Sein's visit to the United States.
- Two bombings hit mosques in Northwest Pakistan.
- Egyptian police closed the border crossing into Gaza following the kidnapping of security forces in Sinai.
- Turkey has detained a suspect in last week's bombings near the Syrian border.
- Bahraini security forces raided the house of a top Shiite cleric.
- A Chilean judge upheld manslaughter charges against four officials involved in the 2010 tsunami disaster.
- An Uzbek man was arrested in Idaho in connection with a bombing plot.
- Brazilian police claim to have identified a gang that was trafficking Bangladeshi nationals into the country.
- Nigerian forces used jets to bombard Boko Haram strongholds.
- The head of South Africa's largest mining union threatened to bring the country "to a standstill."
- At least 32 people were killed in clashes between militia and Congolese soldiers.