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US Ready To Strike Syria As Forces Wait For President’s Nod

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Barack Obama

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said the American military is already prepared to act if President Barack Obama gives the order – though White House aides said no final decision had been taken.

Warplanes and military transporters have been spotted at a British air base on Cyprus, less than 160km from the Syrian coast, The Guardian reported.

Analysts expect to see cruise missiles launched from US and allied submarines, ships and possibly planes, firing into Syria from outside its waters and airspace.

The White House said that any US action would be to defend the principle that chemical weapons should not be used – and would not aim to topple Assad, despite previous calls for him to go.

The Syrian opposition has alleged that the Syrian Army’s Fourth Armoured Division, commanded by the president’s brother Maher al-Assad, was behind last week’s alleged massacre.

The violent and hot-headed military leader has not been seen in more than a year, The Daily Mail reports.

Maher has been at the centre of some of the bloodiest incidents of the conflict so far. It was reported during the uprising in 2011, Maher was spotted shooting at unarmed civilians.

Joshua Landis from the Centre for the Middle Eastern Studies at Oklahoma University said it would be unlikely a command for an attack did not come from the president.

“It’s inconceivable to me,” Landis told Bloomberg. “There has been nothing to indicate that Bashar is just a figurehead.”

Britain and France also moved to back the use of force in Syria, while the White House promised to provide declassified evidence this week to prove that last Wednesday’s chemical attack was the work of regime forces.

Syria has also challenged the United States to prove the attack was perpetrated by regime forces, even as it warned the US it would defend itself against any Western forces.

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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