With the recent chemical weapons attack in Syria, analysts continue to raise serious doubts about who was responsible for the attack.
U.S. military preparations are underway for a limited, two-day surgical strike aimed at “punishing” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons — nerve gas — in last Wednesday’s attack on civilians in nine towns in the Ghouta region east of Damascus that killed an estimated 1,300 people.
As the crisis in Syria heats up amidst allegations that the government has used chemical weapons against civilians, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel — speaking on August 26 at a news conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, with Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro — said that the United States is “looking at all options” concerning a possible U.S. response.
Reports suggest U.S.-led rebel forces were sent into Syria in mid-August, before the reported chemical-weapon attack said to have killed hundreds of civilians.
Following reports of chemical attacks in Syria on August 21, war hawks are urging, and the Pentagon is developing, plans to remove Syria President Assad's chemical weapons facilities.
In an interview with CNN’s New Day anchor Chris Cuomo broadcast on August 23, President Obama — when asked about allegations made by anti-government activists in Syria that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons in an attack said to have killed more than 1,300 people — said that officials are “right now gathering information” and that “what we’ve seen indicates that this is clearly a big event of grave concern.”
President Assad’s regime is being accused of launching a chemical attack on the Syrian opposition, but impartial experts are casting doubt on the veracity of those claims.
Conflicting reports indicate that the Obama administration may have suspended military aid to Egypt.
Joe DiGenova, a former U.S. attorney, said that hundreds of surface-to-air missiles presumably meant for Syrian rebels were stolen by some “very ugly people.”