US military leaders send memo before inauguration

The US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff have issued a message to all service members, calling on them to unite under incoming President Joe Biden. The move comes at a time when confusion continues over the country's transfer of power.

The memorandum from the eight members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including its chair Army General Mark Milley, came on Tuesday.

The message harshly condemned last Wednesday's storming of the Capitol building by supporters of President Donald Trump, saying the riot was "a direct assault on the US Congress."

It said, "As Service Members, we must embody the values and ideals of the Nation. We support and defend the Constitution."

The military leaders added that Biden will be inaugurated on January 20 in accordance with the Constitution and become their 46th commander in chief.

Local media say it is rare for US military leaders to weigh in on politics.

Some military veterans were reportedly among the attackers on the Capitol.