Tuesday, August 27, 2013

World News: Could U.S. and allies go to war with Syria?

Allies of the United States were drafting plans for air strikes and other military action against Syria this week, as enemies of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad vowed a poison gas attack, according to news outlets.

President Barack Obama had little doubt that Assad's forces were to blame, but Syria's neighbor Turkey called it a "crime against humanity" that demanded international reaction, Reuters reported. A French diplomatic source said Assad's forces are behind the chemical attack. 

The Syrian government denies using poisonous gas but it would continue fighting the rebels. Western leaders haven't taken immediate action, but top generals from the U.S., Europe and the Middle East met in Jordan for what could be a council of war, according to Reuters.

The Washington Post earlier reported U.S. officials as saying Obama is weighing a limited military strike, making sure the United States stays far away from being involved in Syria's civil war. Such an attack would probably last no more than two days and see cruise missiles launched from ships or long-range aircraft striking military targets not directly related to Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, the Post reported.

Opposition activists said at least 500 people and possibly twice that many were killed when rockets laden with poison landed in areas around Damascus where rebels are holding out heavy bombardments by government forces. If that's so, it would be the worst chemical weapons attack since Saddam Hussein gassed thousands of Iraqi Kurds in 1988.

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