Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appointed Muhammad Khalid Rahmun as his new interior minister. Known as the “executioner of Ghouta,” Rahmun was sanctioned by U.S. in 2017.
Rahmun was directly responsible for the massacres of those protesting the regime in Ghouta and adjacent Damascus neighborhoods beginning in 2011. Other massacres followed of which he was responsible. He is also known as the “chemical weapons official” and the “director of the death branch” division of the Syrian regime government.
The Pentagon warned Russia not to interfere and block access to the site of a chemical attack in Aleppo and let the internationally-designated inspectors do their jobs. The attack, which happened in mid-November, injured 100 people. The Syrian regime and Russia blamed the opposition for the attack.
State Department Spokeswomen Heather Ann Nauert lambasted Russia and Iran for prolonging the Syrian conflict by allowing Assad not to participate in the political process to end the civil war. Due to the lack of participation by Assad, recent discussions in Kazakhstan between Russia, Turkey and Iran failed to designate members of a committee to write new constitution for Syria.
The U.S. warned U.N. members to approve America’s resolution condemning Hamas and other armed groups in the Palestinian areas in Israel or be shut out of the peace process. The U.S., with support of the European Union, put forth the resolution to encourage Palestinian factions to reconcile and respect human rights.
On December 1, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned Iran for a recent ballistic missile test. Pompeo tweeted: “The Iranian regime has just test-fired a medium range ballistic missile that’s capable of carrying multiple warheads. This test violates UNSCR 2231. Iran’s missile testing & missile proliferation is growing. We condemn this act and call upon Iran to cease these activities.”
Iran’s navy launched what they claimed was a domestically made destroyer that has radar-evading stealth properties. Featured on live TV, the Sahand was said to be able to sustain voyages lasting five months without resupply.
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