Last Updated:December 1 @ 12:13 pm

U.S., British forces said poised for Syria attack

By United Press International

U.S. and British armed forces prepared Monday to attack Syria within days as a U.N. team was to inspect sites allegedly hit in a deadly chemical weapons attack.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said U.S. forces were "prepared to exercise whatever option" President Barack Obama ordered.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said London, Washington and their allies were militarily poised to deliver a harsh military message to Syrian President Bashar Assad after Wednesday's alleged nerve gas attack on a Damascus suburb that the Syrian opposition says killed more than 1,100 civilians.

"We cannot in the 21st century allow the idea that chemical weapons can be used with impunity, that people can be killed in this way and that there are no consequences for it," he said.

The Assad regime denies using chemical weapons.

Syrian ally Russia has accused the rebels of staging the attack, which the Syrian opposition says began shortly after 2 a.m. when Russian-type Grad rockets, similar to those the Palestinian Sunni Islamic group Hamas has fired into Israel, were launched.

Obama spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the weekend. All the leaders agreed on the need for a "serious response" to the alleged attack, officials said.

Obama and Hollande expressed "grave concern" about the reported chemical-weapons use, the White House said Sunday.

It was not immediately clear whether France and Germany would participate in any military action against Syria.

Syria warned against any outside intervention, saying it would create "a ball of fire" that would "inflame the Middle East."

Russia cautioned against military action without U.N. approval, saying countries wouldn't want to repeat the 2003 U.S.-British-led coalition "mistakes" in the invasion of Iraq, whose justification was to remove weapons of mass destruction that were never found.

U.S. officials told The New York Times they would hold consultations at the United Nations, but made clear the world body was only one avenue for taking action against Syria.

Iran predicted "harsh consequences" if the United States intervened against the Iranian ally.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Jerusalem would strike back if Damascus turned its weapons on Israel, while President Shimon Peres called for an international effort to "take out" Syrian chemical weapons.

No final military decision was made, U.S. officials said Sunday night.

British newspapers The Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times said Western military action could take place as early as this week.

The Western allies did not plan a sustained military intervention, the Financial Times and The New York Times said.

A senior Obama administration official said in a statement Sunday Washington and the allies had "very little doubt" Assad's military forces used chemical weapons against civilians and said Syria's promise Sunday to give U.N. inspectors access to the sites was "too late to be credible ... because the evidence available has been significantly corrupted as a result of the regime's persistent shelling and other intentional actions" since the alleged gas attack.

Hollande told Obama "everything was consistent with naming the Damascus regime as the author" of the alleged chemical attack, a statement from the French government said Sunday.

The most likely military option involves long-range cruise-missile strikes from a U.S. destroyer and other military watercraft in the Mediterranean Sea because the Syrian air force is widely considered strong enough to shoot down enemy jets, officials told several news organizations.

A British nuclear-powered submarine is in the region and a number of British warships are traveling to the Mediterranean for exercises, the Telegraph said.

Targets discussed include missile or artillery batteries that launch chemical munitions, along with symbols of Assad's power, such as government headquarters and offices, officials told The New York Times.

Obama warned a year ago a Syrian use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line."

The White House conclusion in June Assad forces used chemical weapons on a small scale a number of times in the past year did not bring about a noticeable shift in U.S. engagement.

Obama, who came into office the United States was prosecuting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is reported extremely reluctant to commit U.S. military forces, even in the form of missile strikes, to another Middle East conflict.

U.N. inspectors already in Syria looking into earlier claims of chemical-weapons use planned "to conduct on-site fact-finding activities" Monday in the Damascus suburb allegedly attacked, a U.N. statement said.

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  1. JDZComment by JDZ
    August 26, 2013 @ 9:10 am

    Here we go again. The Middleeast just goes from one fight to another and they keep drawing us into them when, other then Israel, none of them really want us there except for the money and arms which they love. These people have been at each other for thousands of years and never seem to find a way to work it out for any length of time. They are such religious zealots with unbending philosophies and they refuse to embrace our western culture and democracies. Most of them see us as infidels and human waste that needs to be eliminated. To me, it is a lost cause.

    Other then protecting Israel, which does embrace western ways of governing and culture, we have little of interest there except for oil, which we could actually do without if we had to as we have plenty of sources outside of the Middleeast including our own reserves. Why aren’t we just getting out of there and letting the chips fall where they may?

    We can focus on finding and destroying terrorist cells without actually committing any significant resources and take a much more “arms length” approach to the Middleeast at large. Strategic strikes using drones to eliminate terrorist leaders should continue, and something significant needs to be done to shutdown Iran’s nuclear weapons program, but other then sticking by Israel, we should get out of the region.

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  2. usar4meComment by usar4me
    August 26, 2013 @ 9:12 am

    If President Obama commits US forces to invading Syria without Congressional approval he is violating the law again… neither NATO or the UN has the Constitutional Authority to commit US forces.

    If Congress let’s this pass again… it is time to take to the streets as we no longer have a Constitutional Government. Where is the outrage over this. Syria would not be stupid enough or need to use chemical weapons against a relatively small faction of foreign insurgents in Syria. It appears that the use of weapons of mass destruction will be used as the pretense to invade Syria,,, without any Congressional authority as required by law.

    It is time that we demand Congress to act. Send E-mails, call, write and go to the local offices of those in Congress and demand that this IMPERIAL PRESIDENT be impeached if he commits US forces in any manner to invading Syria.

    Syria is not a clear and present danger to the US… nor does it have large oil reserves that can be used to wage economic war against the world. However Syria is a secular state, with a large Shea Muslim population. The Shea Muslims are the enemies of the Sunni and Sufi Muslims. it should be noted that Obama was raised in Indonesia which is primarily a Sufi Islamic State. It should also be noted that the Muslim brotherhood is also heavily influenced by the Sufi Muslims, and that Egypt and North Africa are primarily Sufi Muslims.

    It appears that Obama’s Arab Spring was more of a front for the establishment of a Sufi Caliphate in North Africa and now Syria, than any expansion of democracy. It is time to act before this Administration unilaterally and illegally invades Syria.

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    • jimsbsComment by jimsbs
      August 26, 2013 @ 10:34 am

      This smells a lot like weapons of mass destruction.

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    • gimmesometruthComment by gimmesometruth
      August 26, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

      Our Nobel Peace Prize recipient is showing why he received this coveted international icon.

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  3. middlegroundComment by middleground
    August 26, 2013 @ 10:15 am

    When Obama illegally appointed an auto czar who by-passed the normal bankruptcy court proceedings to take over GM and Chrysler and award them to Obama’s supporters, he acted not only unconstitutionally, but illegally and no one acted to impeach him, thus endorsing him as a dictator. Why would he not imagine the Constitution doesn’t constrain his actions nor that he needs to obey any US laws? Just issue a royal edict giving voting rights to illegals and win an election from their votes.

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  4. lwessonComment by lwesson
    August 26, 2013 @ 10:17 am

    Striking Syria is an ACT OF WAR and an act of MADNESS on our part. The Dynamic Dunce Duo of John McCain and gay sidekick, Lyndsey Graham are calling for missile strikes from the Obama Regime. If the Obama Regime follows through, violating the Constitution, yet again, as usar4me pointed out, The Fraud Occupying the Oval Office should be hauled out and put in a padded cell because this is indeed an act of insanity. Find Johnny Boy & Lyndsey Baby, and toss them in as well. Obama might find such Napoleon wannabes, good company. Give them all Napoleon hats too.

    We likely have little to fear from Syria, though it would be in Syria’s full right to strike anyway that it could at us. No, any action by the Obama Regime will have to way the cost per what Russia might do, and Russia can do a great deal.

    We are at the anniversary of the First World War. That little-biddy war started off with much less ignition. Are we overdue for a World War?! Must check the schedule book. I am sure that Lyndsey Graham, McCain, the Obama Regime… all have some nice bunkers to huddle down in. Royalty seldom has to endure the consequences of their actions.

    Oh, and all the tearing of hair over chemical weapons, what is this about? Europe played with such weapons in WW 1. Churchill wanted to use them against the Germans in WW2. (sounder minds stopped this) The Iran Iraq War, was a miniature WW 1 complete with chemical weapons. I do not recall a global outcry with rattling nuclear sabers.

    And per Civil Wars? Syria could learn from us. In 4 short years, over 700,000 Americans were killed with relatively primitive weapons in the 1860′s. Assad is simply not trying hard enough.

    I will note, that the expansion of democracy would NEVER have been brought up by The Founding Fathers, save for the fact that democracy is the quickest road to mob rule, and tyranny. Egypt is a prime example! The Obama Regime knows this, and this is why THEY have been promoting this metastasizing cancer in the Middle East, and here at home. Assad knows this too. Despite The Obama Regime helping the Muslim Terrorists in Syria, Team Assad has held together. Good!

    Get the padded cell ready, “Royalty” awaits proper lodging. We will leave the light on.

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    • usar4meComment by usar4me
      August 26, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

      Iwesson… well said. Obama’s Imperial court has convened and decided that Assad must go… isn’t that democratic? However the Baathist party in Syria is not likely to relinquish their power without a real struggle. Obama underestimated Syria, believing he could do to it what he did in Libya… hire a few out of state tugs and send them in to overthrow Assad.

      Well Obama got a rude awakening as their insurgents have made little progress and they are now resorting to cries of foul by alleging that Syria is using chemical weapons. The facts, however don’t support such claims and may well point to the insurgents using such weapons as a way to invite international intervention.

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  5. freedixieComment by freedixie
    August 26, 2013 @ 10:29 am

    We have absolutely no business in that mess. We need to bring ALL our troops home from everywhere and take take of our own messes.

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  6. davebnmComment by davebnm
    August 26, 2013 @ 10:50 am

    Nostradamus predicted that some little pee-ant country in the Middle East would destroy the world this millenium. I thought it was Iraq, but it turns out that he might have been talking about Syria?

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    • JDZComment by JDZ
      August 26, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

      He may be right, but my guess is that Iran will be the cause of a series of nuclear weapons beng used that will initiate a chain reaction leading to mass destruction of much of the industrialized parts of our world. The extent of the destruction will encompass both the direct blast areas and then the massive nuclear fallout that will be carried worldwide and create never before collateral damage.

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  7. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    August 26, 2013 @ 10:54 am

    Will any US action be under the auspices of the UN? Would there be any other ‘manufactured’ justification?

    Putin, show your friendship to America. Exercise your veto power in the UN Security Council. Apparently our Congress has shown a propensity for inaction.

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  8. sacheveraljames42Comment by sacheveraljames42
    August 26, 2013 @ 11:04 am

    We should continue to arm Israel to the max. They are more in tune with Western culture and democracy than any other Middle Eastern country. And they know the temperature of the region better than any Obama administration official, including the Boy King! Besides, who fostered the Arab Spring anyway? As I recall, our magnificent leader and know it all encouraged and promoted the idea. The blood is on his hands. Let him go to Syria and fix it. I guess old Hillary couldn’t cut it, not even with her last name of Clinton.
    I say not one drop of American blood for this sh**hole of a country. And Republicans better start getting their minds right and start pushing for our own oil independence!

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  9. chamuielComment by chamuiel
    August 26, 2013 @ 11:21 am

    “We cannot in the 21st century allow the idea that chemical weapons can be used with impunity, that people can be killed in this way and that there are no consequences for it,” he said.”

    We, We, We!

    the boy must be Communist.

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    • usar4meComment by usar4me
      August 26, 2013 @ 11:33 am

      There is a constitutional and lawful way to commit US forces… which requires the President to get the consent of congress. Presidents Bush.. both… acted constitutionally when committing US forces in Iraq. The Congress debated and voted on using force before committing troops.

      We don’t have an IMPERIAL PRESIDENT… NATO and the UN do not have the authority to authorize deployment of US Forces anywhere. Syria is not a clear of present danger to the US and has not engaged an ally of NATO or a US protectorate. There is no lawful or constitutional authority for the President to commit US forces against Syria.

      In addition… there is credible evidence to believe that the use of chemical weapons in the region were not instigated by Syria and in fact may be a ploy being used by the insurgents to get outside help to depose Assad. The current insurgency in Syria is primarily the result of ‘external’ forces being supplied by the Obama Adminsitration… illegally.

      It is time that Congress acts to stop this Administrations use of US forces and power to destabilize the Mid-East. The Arab Spring was not Arab induced… it is the product of the White Houses Mid-East policy to destabilize the moderate Arab states and replace them with radical Islamic States. The President appears to be a ‘closet’ Muslim and Congress needs to act to investigate the motives and purpose behind the Administrations war by proxy against Syria , Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and the Sudan.

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  10. Antiquityart.comComment by
    August 26, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

    I don’t pretend to know all the Churches Teachings on ‘End Times’ or the all the biblical prophecies on ‘End Times’ or even much about the many ‘private revelations’ on the subject: But even with my limited understanding, it all seems pretty obvious. If the world were a chess board, and an on looker to the the present board were a master chess player, the coming ‘check-mate’ would have been seen as in-alterable from many moves back. Me? I’m going to hunker down in prayer, fasting, availing myself of the sacraments, and trying to be as Catholic as I know how! Please notify me when they start falling at Armageddon.

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  11. BillzillaComment by Billzilla
    August 26, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

    “Russia cautioned against military action without U.N. approval, saying countries wouldn’t want to repeat the 2003 U.S.-British-led coalition “mistakes” in the invasion of Iraq, whose justification was to remove weapons of mass destruction that were never found.”

    The Iraq WMDs were all moved to Syria, where Assad is putting them to use killing Al Queda.

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    • crunchemComment by crunchem
      August 26, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

      …but remnants of WMDs were found, as well as many laboratories for their manufacture, as well as witnessed movements of the weapons to Syria. C’mon UPI, get it right. sigh

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