Western officials and the Obama administration continue to insist, albeit without offering any proof thus far, that a chemical weapons attack near Damascus last month was perpetrated by the Assad regime. Officials from Syria and Russia, meanwhile, have claimed all along the deployment was probably the work of jihadist rebels — a “false-flag” attack meant to draw in foreign intervention on behalf of the opposition. Amid the confusion, however, evidence pointing to opposition forces as the culprits continues to mount.
On Tuesday the U.S. government's secret surveillance court declassified and released a decision defending the practice of the National Security Agency in collecting billions of phone call records every day.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Syria’s government has provided Russia with new materials pointing to rebels’ involvement in a chemical attack that occurred outside Damascus on August 21.