The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution on the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons. “Today’s historic resolution is the first hopeful news on Syria in a long time,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sept. 27 following the Security Council’s vote. “For many months, I have said that the confirmed use of chemical weapons in Syria would require a firm, united response. Tonight, the international community has delivered,” said Ban. Resolution 2018 calls for “the expeditious destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic’s chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof,” according to a UN release. It underscores that “no party in Syria should use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile, retain, or transfer chemical weapons.” In the event of non-compliance by any party in Syria, the UN could take action, including sanctions or stronger coercive measures, states the release. UN-led weapons inspections are slated to begin in Syria not later than Oct. 1, states a Security Council release. The resolution also endorsed the plan for a Syrian-led diplomatic process to end the Syria conflict. Ban said an international peace conference could convene in November toward that end. (See also Obama Asks Congress to Delay Syria Vote.)
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."