The international air traffic control agency Eurocontrol has warned airlines to exercise caution in the eastern Mediterranean due to the possible launch of air strikes into Syria in the next 72 hours. Eurocontrol said that air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles could be used within that period and there was a possibility of intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment. US President Donald Trump and Western allies are discussing possible military action after they blamed Syria's President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected poison gas attack on Saturday on a rebel-held town that long had held out against government forces. Trump on Tuesday cancelled a planned trip to Latin America later this week to focus instead on responding to the Syria incident, the White House said. Trump had on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility for the Syria attack was established.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Friday (Sept. AI development "raises colossal opportunities and threats that are difficult to predict now," Putin said in a lecture to students, warning that "it would be strongly undesirable if someone wins a monopolist position." Future wars will be fought by autonomous drones, Putin suggested, and "when one party's drones are destroyed by drones of another, it will have no other choice but to surrender." U.N. urged to address lethal autonomous weapons AI experts worldwide are also concerned. On August 20, 116 founders of robotics and artificial intelligence companies from 26 countries, including Elon Musk and Google DeepMind's Mustafa Suleyman, signed an open letter asking the United Nations to "urgently address the challenge of lethal autonomous weapons (often called'killer robots') and ban their use internationally."
WASHINGTON - U.S. military cyberforces launched a strike against Iranian military computer systems on Thursday as President Donald Trump backed away from plans for a more conventional military strike in response to Iran's downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, U.S. officials said Saturday. Two officials told The Associated Press that the strikes were conducted with approval from Trump. A third official confirmed the broad outlines of the strike. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the operation. The cyberattacks -- a contingency plan developed over weeks amid escalating tensions -- disabled Iranian computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers, the officials said.
Tech giant Huawei's president has denied the firm has any links to Chinese spying operations. In a letter to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, the firm's president Ryan Ding insisted the firm was not involved with such practices. But a 2012 US House Intelligence Committee report outlined Huawei's links to the Chinese state, has since been picked up by other western governments, including Australia, Germany and the UK. FBI Director Christopher Wray has also suggested that the company's smartphones could be used to "maliciously modify or steal information." But Mr Ding insisted that Huawei had never and would never assist any country in gathering intelligence on other countries.
For the second time in months, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said "we will fight on to liberate every inch of our land". The last time Assad made a similar statement, he was scolded by the Russian ambassador to the UN who said this was not in line with the Kremlin's policies. At the time, it wasn't - Russia was pushing for a political settlement and was involved in efforts with the United States to bring about a cessation of hostilities to create a conducive atmosphere for peace talks. This time around, however, Assad has so far not been told off. Instead, Russia sent its defence minister to Iran's capital Tehran to take part in talks with his Syrian and Iranian counterparts.