Obama Weighing Strike on Syria
President calls alleged chemical strike 'a big event of grave concern'
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Aug 23, 2013 7:25 AM CDT
Several bodies are buried in a suburb of Damascus, Syria during a funeral on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Shaam News Network)

(Newser) – Top Obama administration officials met yesterday to discuss potential military responses to what may have been the worst chemical weapons attack in decades. Officials were "sharply divided" and emerged from three-and-a-half hours of discussions about Syria without reaching a decision, the New York Times reports; options on the table reportedly include cruise missile strikes and a sustained air campaign. The Pentagon, meanwhile, updated its list of possible "regime targets," the Wall Street Journal reports. More:

  • When asked if the government intended to move faster now in Syria, President Obama gave CNN a one-word reply: "Yes." He said the US is still "gathering information," but noted that "what we've seen indicates that this is clearly a big event of grave concern."
  • Of course, the Times points out that gathering information on Syria's last round of chemical attacks proved time-consuming and difficult. Obama has also previously announced action in the form of arming the rebels, which still hasn't happened.
  • Not that there isn't ample evidence suggesting a chemical attack. The latest: First responders at the scene have been dying, with symptoms similar to the victims they were tending to, USA Today reports.
  • Any US action would be designed not to end Syria's civil war, but simply to punish Assad, officials tell the Journal. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has publicly warned of the risks of prolonged military intervention in Syria.
  • Meanwhile, in another sign of how bad things have gotten for Syria, UN officials have announced that the conflict has now produced a million child refugees, the BBC reports.

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Aug 24, 2013 9:32 PM CDT
It's time for the U. S. to stop playing world policeman and ignore these tribal wars and let the savages of the world kill each other.
Aug 24, 2013 9:20 AM CDT
This is a part of the world where neither side wants our help. This is a "Muslim issue" and no place for the US they all hate America. It's time for America to stand down on spending on the military and wars. We have enough important issues to solve right here like jobs, the endangered "middle class", infrastructure and debt. Let's take care of America first instead of people who will hate us no matter what we do. They look pathetic now crying for US help but when it's over those same people we rescued will be burning our flag in their streets.
Aug 24, 2013 8:44 AM CDT
The military will not do anything but try to take out mobile launchers and they can do that with a shit load of drones. I don't think the president will arm any of them cause there are too many terrorist fighting the war and you can bet THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD is the largest of all the terrorist. So I don't care how many people die in the war but if we arm the brotherhood than Syria will be another country run by terrorist. Egypt's military was smart and did the right thing cause the terrorist want to play games with Democracy when in fact they are just terrorist turning people against their military and police cause a terrorist is a terrorist and their not going to change what they want in the middle east. TOTAL DOMINATION and a large military. The Brotherhood will find a place.