Good morning. These are some of the stories we’re watching today as the post-holiday tryptophan wears off.
HELLFIRE TO IRAQ
The U.S. is “quietly” sending dozens of Hellfire missiles and surveillance drones to Iraq, in hopes the government can quell an al-Qaeda insurgency.
Warren Weinstein, a 72-year-old development expert from Rockville, Md. who has been been held by al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan since he was kidnapped in 2011, has recorded a video message pleading for help from the Obama administration, saying he feels “totally abandoned and forgotten.”
Free Syrian Army leaders and Syrian government officials have agreed to a 48-hour truce in fighting, which may result in food being allowed in for besieged residents threatened with starvation. The government has been trying to win back the opposition-held Damascus suburb Mouadamiya since 2012 by effectively choking off food, medicine and fuel. Reuters reports that thousands face starvation and children have died from malnutrition. Some have resorted to eating leaves to survive.
Stay with us.