— The U.S. military has reportedly sent a task force of more than 150 planners and other specialists to Jordan to help handle a flood of Syrian refugees, prepare for the possibility that Syria will lose control of its chemical weapons and be positioned should the turmoil in Syria expand into a wider conflict.
— U.S. officials say Iran is helping Syria track the opposition through the internet and other forms of electronic surveillance. Meanwhile, the FT reports that Iraq “is quietly shipping vital supplies of fuel oil to Syria.”
— NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance is ready to defend Turkey from Syrian aggression if necessary. “Obviously Turkey can rely on NATO solidarity,” he said. The Turkish government was warned that it may use “greater force” against Syria if attacks into Turkey continue.
— Reuters reports: Up to 335,000 Syrian refugees have registered with the United Nations, ten times more than in March, but the real figure could be as high as 500,000.
— The AP reports that al-Qaeda in Iraq is regaining a foothold, setting “training camps for insurgents in the nation’s western deserts as the extremist group seizes on regional instability and government security failures to regain strength.”
— The Wall Street Journal reports: Afghanistan’s demands to curtail immunity for U.S. forces will be a main stumbling block in negotiations over the long-term American military presence here, Afghan National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta said, highlighting the issue that derailed similar U.S. talks with Iraq a year ago.
(Photo: Muhammad Hamed/Reuters)