DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Momentum appears to be building for Western military action against Syria, with both the U.S. and France saying they are in position for a strike. But the government in Damascus is vowing to use all possible measures to repel an attack.
The prospect of a U.S.-led attack stems from the assertion by the West that President Bashar Assad's government was responsible for an alleged chemical attack on civilians outside Damascus last week. That assertion still isn't endorsed by U.N. inspectors, and Syria's government denies the claim. The group Doctors Without Borders says the attack killed 355 people
Among those calling for punitive action against Syria is the Arab League, which is blaming Syria's government for the attack.
British Prime Minister David Cameron today recalled Parliament to hold an emergency vote Thursday on a British response. It's unlikely that any international military action would begin before then.
President Barack Obama is considering a response that would be focused narrowly on punishing Assad for violating international agreements that ban the use of chemical weapons. The White House says the goal wouldn't be to drive Assad from power.
Syria's foreign minister is comparing the allegations of a chemical weapons attack to the false American charges in 2003 that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. The Syrian says the U.S. has "a history of lies."
207-a-15-(Michael Rubin, foreign policy expert at the American Enteprise Institute and a former Pentagon official, in AP interview)-"cross international borders"-Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official, says the worst-case fear is that Syria would retaliate for a U.S. strike by launching chemical weapons at Israel, Jordan or another nation. (27 Aug 2013)
<<CUT *207 (08/27/13)££ 00:15 "cross international borders"
205-a-08-(Michael Rubin, foreign policy expert at the American Enteprise Institute and a former Pentagon official, in AP interview)-"the situation warrant"-Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official, says he'd expect the U.S. to carry out limited and targeted strikes, not focusing on general Syrian military targets. (27 Aug 2013)
<<CUT *205 (08/27/13)££ 00:08 "the situation warrant"
198-a-11-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, in daily briefing)-"about regime change"-White House press secretary Jay Carney says the administration response will not have the goal of overthrowing Syria's leader. (27 Aug 2013)
<<CUT *198 (08/27/13)££ 00:11 "about regime change"