Aug 30, 2013
By Michael Kramer
U-S President Barack Obama says he has yet to make a final decision about a military strike against Syria. But under consideration is a limited and narrow action in response to a chemical weapons attack that he says Syria’s government carried out last week.
The U-S has released an intelligence assessment that found with “high confidence” that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government carried out a chemical weapons attack.
In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released a four-page unclassified intelligence assessment that said an August 21st chemical weapons attack outside Damascus killed at least 1,429 civilians, including 426 children – and was one of multiple attacks.
Kerry said “History would judge us all extraordinarily harshly if we turned a blind eye to a dictator’s wanton use of weapons of mass destruction.”
Obama administration officials said the president was willing to go it alone, if necessary, after the British parliament voted yesterday against a military strike intended to punish the Syrian government. Canada has said it will not participate in a military strike and that is echoed by NATO.
France said today it is still backing action in Syria.
Any military strike appears to be delayed at least until U.N. investigators report back after leaving Syria.
The timing is also complicated by Obama’s departure for Sweden and a G20 summit in Russia on Tuesday. He was not expected to order the strikes while in Sweden or Russia.