As the United States moves warships closer to Syria a report from the UK newspaper, The Telegraph, claims that British and American forces are preparing for a first strike in response to reports that the Assad Regime used chemical weapons. The strikes would weaken if not destroy the Assad regime currently in a civil war with Al-Qaeda linked rebels.
Royal Navy vessels are being readied to take part in a possible series of cruise missile strikes, alongside the United States, as military commanders finalise a list of potential targets. Government sources said talks between the Prime Minister and international leaders, including Barack Obama, would continue, but that any military action that was agreed could begin within the next week…
The escalation comes as a direct response to what the Government is convinced was a gas attack perpetrated by Syrian forces on a civilian district of Damascus last Wednesday.
Whether or not there was a gas attack and who perpetrated it has become a matter of controversy. The Assad government has claimed to not be responsible for the attack and has authorized UN chemical weapons experts to enter Syria to visit the site of the poison gas attack.
U.N. weapons experts are due on Monday to inspect a site where poison gas killed many hundreds of people in Damascus suburbs, amid calls from Western capitals for military action to punish the world’s worst apparent chemical weapons attack in 25 years.
Syria agreed on Sunday to allow the inspectors to visit the site. The United States and its allies say evidence has been destroyed by government shelling of the area over the past five days, and the Syrian offer to allow inspectors came too late.
An adventure in Syria to support the rebels is highly problematic for the Obama Administration. First due to the utter lack of support by the public as a recent poll shows, only 9% of Americans support intervention in Syria. The public has seen the news reports, heard the statements, and wants nothing to do with it.
Another important problem is the fact that the rebel forces in Syria, which the Obama administration would be helping with military strikes against the Assad regime, are strongly connected to Al-Qaeda. Hasn’t Obama justified extra-judicial executions against American citizens such as Anwar al-Awlaki on the grounds that the United States is in a state of war against Al-Qaeda? Isn’t that also the justification for the legally dubious drone strike program and giving a free hand given to JSOC to turn the world into a battlefield? Now America is going to strengthen Al-Qaeda in Syria?
America could be heading to another war in the Middle East with even less public support and clarity of objectives than Iraq.