UK releases Chilcot Iraq war inquiry: A decision to accompany the United States to war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 2003 based on flawed intelligence, a nonexistent threat of weapons of mass destruction and a failure to carefully examine all diplomatic options to avoid conflict prior to ousting Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein are among the paramount conclusions drawn by Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq war report delivered to British Parliament on Wednesday.
Chilcot’s analysis also determined Hussein posed “no imminent threat” despite former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s repeated claims of the dangers imposed by the late Iraqi dictator when the U.S.-led invasion began in 2003.
Putin, Obama agree on closer ties over Syria: Following a phone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama, the Kremlin has announced the two nations have agreed to harmonize airstrikes against Islamist groups in Syria.
Mr. Putin also stressed the importance of relying on the United Nations to manage negotiations to resolve the conflict in Syria.
The two countries appear to be closing on an agreement which would see joint attacks against the al-Qaeda-linked group, the al-Nusra Front, which Mr. Putin has described as outside the truce agreement negotiated in February.
Turkey arrests 17 over airport terror attack: Turkey has jailed an additional 17 persons over the June 28 terror attack at Ataturk airport. The arrests bring the number of people suspected of involvement in the attack to 30.
The bombing killed 45 and injured several hundred.
The Turkish government is blaming the attack on ISIS and told has stated those involved are suspected Islamist militants from former Soviet states.
Obama: 8,400 troops to remain in Afghanistan: Declaring the military situation unstable, President Obama has ordered troop levels in Afghanistan to remain consistent until he leaves office.
Obama’s original plan was to draw down from 9,800 troops to under 6,000 by the end of the year, but after weighing recommendations from the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Army General John Nicholson, and intelligence reports which indicate a stronger presence of ISIS and the growing strength of the Taliban, Mr. Obama determined troop levels will not drop below 8,400.
U.S. hits North Korea’s Kim with sanctions: The Treasury Department announced Wednesday it has imposed sanctions on North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un for “notorious abuses of human rights.”
Targeting 10 others and several government ministries besides Kim, it is the first time the United States has slapped a North Korean with sanctions.
The sanctions are aimed at all assets and property within the domain of the United States.
[RT News] [Reuters] [Vice News]