World View: Syria Missile Strike Kills 80 Students Taking Exams

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  • Syria: Missile strike kills 80 students taking exams at University of Aleppo
  • Report: State Dept. believes Syria used chemical weapons
  • New Kashmir clash kills Pakistani soldier

Syria: Missile strike kills 80 students taking exams at University of Aleppo

A missile strike, presumably from warplanes sent by the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad, struck a building at University of Aleppo where hundreds of students were taking exams, killing 82 and injuring 150 more. In a familiar refrain, the al-Assad regime said that the university students were killed not by warplanes but by "the terrorists," its terms for the rebels. Over 60,000 people, almost all civilians, have been killed in the Syrian conflict, mostly through intentional slaughter by the al-Assad regime. BBC

Report: State Dept. believes Syria used chemical weapons

According to a report in Foreign Policy magazine, there is a "compelling case' to believe that al-Assad's military forces used the deadly poison gas Agent 15 in the city of Homs on December 23. Activist and doctors on the ground in Homs have been circulating evidence of the Dec. 23 incident over the past three weeks in an attempt to convince the international community of its veracity. The reports said that the chemical agent was delivered by a tank shell and that the range of symptoms varied based on the victim's proximity to the poison. However, shortly after the report appeared, the White House issued a statement saying that the report "has not been consistent with what we believe to be true about the Syrian chemical weapons program." At one point, the Administration indicated that Syrian use of chemical weapons would bring a military response, but later seemed to back off from the threat, and now merely says that "the regime will be held accountable." Foreign Policy and Reuters

New Kashmir clash kills Pakistani soldier

On Wednesday, for the third time in two weeks, there have been military clashes between Pakistani and Indian forces across the Line of Control (LoC) separating the two forces in Kashmir. (See "9-Jan-13 World View -- New fighting between India and Pakistan in Kashmir") This time, a Pakistani soldier was killed, and a Pakistani army statement says that "Indian troops again resorted to ceasefire violation and carried out unprovoked firing this evening at LoC." Concern is rising that tensions are escalating, and some act may trigger a new Kashmir war between India and Pakistan. Dawn (Pakistan) / AFP

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