US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel acknowledged the ongoing threat from Iran in a speech Saturday to Gulf leaders. Hagel outlined a plan to allow sales of US radars, sensors and early warning missile defense systems to the Gulf Cooperation Council.
If the US offer to help destroy Syria's chemical weapons is accepted, a ship being retrofitted with portable decontamination units in Virginia will be sent to do the job. 'Nothing will be dumped at sea,' a Pentagon official said.
Preparing the invitation list to next month's peace conference on Syria is a ticklish matter for the UN's special envoy. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are influential, on opposite sides, in Syria's civil war. But the US has conditions for including Tehran.
Syrian government airstrikes on rebel-held areas in the north on Saturday killed at least 44 people. And Al Qaeda-linked fighters ousted government troops from the al-Omar oil field during an overnight battle.