OPCW Director General Ahmet Üzümcü speaks on Oct. 11 during a press conference in The Hague. He reportedly said Syria has declared having 23 chemical-weapons sites at a total of 41 facilities — a detail that could explain discrepancies in measurements of the country’s chemical arsenal (Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images).
The Syrian government has admitted to having 41 chemical-weapons facilities at 23 sites, according to a Associated Press report on Monday that might resolve questions over the country’s disclosure about its chemical arsenal.
Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime submitted a “formal initial declaration” of its chemical-weapons program to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons last Thursday. However, it was not immediately clear if the confidential document stated that the country has more than the 23 chemical sites it identified in a September preliminary declaration.
U.S. officials believe the Assad regime has at least 45 chemical-arms sites, and questioned if the new Syrian declaration — announced on Sunday by the Hague-based oversight body — was incomplete, or if the government had consolidated its chemical-arms stocks.
A report from OPCW Director General Ahmet Üzümcü — described by news outlets including AP, the New York Times and the London Telegraph — could explain the discrepancy.
Syria declared having 23 chemical-weapons sites at a total of 41 facilities — made up of 18 structures for producing chemical arms and 12 for storing them, along with eight mobile units for filling chemical weapons and three related facilities, Üzümcü reportedly said in the document he submitted to the U.N. Security Council. The Middle Eastern country admitted to having roughly 1,000 metric tons of “Category 1” chemical weapons, which are mainly precursors rarely used for peaceful purposes, along with approximately 290 tons of “Category 2” chemicals that are still considered toxic and dangerous. Syria also acknowledged possession of 1,230 unfilled munitions that could be used to deliver the poison, Üzümcü wrote.
“In addition, the Syrian authorities have reported finding two cylinders not belonging to them, which are believed to contain chemical weapons,” Üzümcü said.
Despite the disclosure of this report, U.S. officials have not ruled out the possibility that Syria has not fully disclosed all of its chemical development, storage and testing locations, according to the Times.
Assad acknowledged that he possessed chemical weapons and agreed to their destruction in September, shortly after a nerve-gas attack on civilians just outside Damascus spurred international condemnation and the threat of a U.S. military strike. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons then launched an ambitious effort to inventory and eliminate the Syrian chemical arsenal by mid-2014.
The organization announced on Monday that international chemical-arms inspectors completed their first round of verification activities in Syria, but were not able to visit two of the 23 sites because of security concerns in the war-battered nation.
Chinese diplomats in Syria as well as Beijing’s embassy are under regular threat from rebel attacks, China’s ambassador to Syria has confided to local media outlets.
In an interview with the Global Times, Zhang Xun, China’s ambassador to Syria said that Beijing’s embassy in Damascus has increasingly been caught in the cross-hairs of fighting between rebel and government forces in recent months.
In one notable instance, shrapnel and shell fragments from a mortar attack deflected off a nearby building and landed inside the Chinese embassy.
“A shell hit the ceiling of a building some 60 meters away and the fragments bounced into our building,” Zhang told reporters from the Global Times, showing them the actual shells, which he kept in an envelope in his office.
Zhang said that in another attack last month, Syrian rebels fired mortar shells at President Bashar al-Assad’s motorcade. They missed the Syrian leader but hit a building that was located just 10 meters from the Chinese embassy. The shock from the attack damaged the nearby embassy, however.
“Several windows in our corridor were shattered. Some of the shrapnel fell onto my balcony,” Zhang said of the attack, which took place on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
According to the report, the Chinese embassy is located in the heart of Damascus near the Bashar al-Assad’s presidential palace and key military buildings, which unsurprisingly are often the targets of rebel attacks.
Another diplomat from the embassy told the Global Times that Chinese personnel have been targeted directly by rebel forces, particularly when they are meeting with Syrian officials. Indeed, according to a Want China Times report, Zhang was nearly killed in a sniper attack during a meeting he held with Syria’s foreign minister.
The Global Times article says that Zhang now keeps a bullet-proof vest, gas mask and pistol in his office.
There are also reports that the rebels are actively plotting attacks against the Chinese embassy, presumably in retaliation for China’s continued support for the Assad regime. The Want China Times report said that a brigade commander in the Free Syrian Army, one of the rebel forces fighting the Syrian government, has vowed to launch a “full-scale attack” on the Chinese embassy.
Meanwhile, the Global Times claims that a local driver the embassy had employed was arrested earlier this year by Syrian authorities for allegedly planning to place bombs under the embassy car. The article, which said the driver had confessed to the crime, added that he had been recruited by Syrian rebel forces during a trip to Jordan in February.
Following the incident Beijing assigned eight armed Chinese police officers to protect the embassy and its personnel. The only other Chinese embassies to have such protection are those in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ambassador Zhang admitted that he has been frightened by the uptick in violence.
“To be honest, it would be a lie if I said I’m not a little bit scared,” Zhang was quoted as saying in the report.
This was a dramatic admission given Zhang’s past statements on the issue of safety in the country. Soon after taking over the ambassadorship in 2011, Zhang dismissed concerns that Chinese nationals in Syria were in any danger.
“Their lives are guaranteed and their properties as well,” Zhang told state media at the time, referring to Chinese nationals. “”There is no need for extra worries.”
The Chinese nationals themselves apparently disagreed, judging from the exodus away from the war-torn nation in the nearly two years since then. According to Chinese media reports, there were around 1,200 Chinese nationals inside Syria when Zhang took over as ambassador. Today there are just 20, not counting the embassy staff itself. Eight of those remaining are reporters.
Nonetheless, China has remained defiant on maintaining a diplomatic presence in Syria. According to the Global Times report, China is one of just a dozen or so countries that haven’t closed down their embassies during the past two and a half years of fighting. Some of the other countries that have maintained their diplomatic presence in Syria include Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba.
Chinese diplomats in Syria say they intend to continue to hold out in Syria.
“”Diplomats must stick to their positions until the last Chinese national willing to leave Syria is pulled out,” GT quoted one person at the embassy as saying.
Putin: Syria chem arms handover will work only if US calls off strike
Published time: September 10, 2013 17:00
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Syria’s chemical arms handover will only work if the US and its allies renounce the use of force against Damascus.
“Certainly, this is all reasonable, it will function and will work out, only if the US and those who support it on this issue pledge to renounce the use of force, because it is difficult to make any country – Syria or any other country in the world – to unilaterally disarm if there is military action against it under consideration,” President Putin said on Tuesday.
Putin said the disarmament of Syria’s chemical weapons had been extensively discussed by experts and politicians.
The Russian president said that he and President Barack Obama had “indeed discussed” such a possibility on the sidelines of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg last week.
It was agreed, Putin said, “to instruct Secretary of State [John Kerry] and Foreign Minister [Sergey Lavrov] to get in touch” and “try to move this idea forward.”
President Putin’s comments came shortly after the Syrian government said it would agree to place its chemical weapons arsenal under international control.
Despite voicing “some serious skepticism,” Western countries supported the move, stressing the importance of Assad fulfilling the agreement and surrendering the weapons stockpiles.
Britain said it would like Russia and Syria to show that the proposal to President Bashar Assad is “serious and genuine.”
In Washington, the White House echoed the UK statement, saying it wanted to verify that Syria was serious in its intentions.
WASHINGTON — President Obama will address the nation Tuesday night on chemical weapons in Syria, as he and aides pursue a diplomatic proposal at the United Nations that has put military and congressional action on hold.
Obama spoke Tuesday with the leaders of France and the United Kingdom, and agreed to explore whether a Russian proposal to put Syria’s weapons under international weapons is workable, senior White House officials said.
The U.S. and allies discussed the proposal Tuesday at the United Nations, said officials who requested anonymity because negotiations are ongoing.
Russia — ally of Syria and opponent of U.S. military strikes — said Monday it would ask Bashar Assad’s government to put chemical weapons under international control and have them dismantled; Syria announced Tuesday it would accept Russia’s offer.
Some believe he means “Russia”. Others believe “asymmetrical attacks on America”.
I think we should expect anything, up to and including direct attacks in America by terror cells that are obviously here (they crossed a porous border), and perhaps the unknown like a nuclear bomb in a harbor someplace, a direct attack by Russians on our military in the region or naval vessels in the Med.
We don’t know with any surety that Assad used weapons on the Syrians, or whether the Muslim Brotherhood did it. We don’t know who provided the weapons (we believe it was Saddam). We don’t know why the President suddenly wants to do this thing without the approval of the American people and Congress.
There is no strategic plan, there is no politic plan to fuse the military action with fixing the problem and there is no real threat to America – at the moment. If we attack them and Iran, Hezbollah, Russia and God-Knows-Who-Else jumps in and piles on – well, all bets are off.
JPOST BREAKING: US official to ‘Post’: Russia proposal to put Syria chemical arms under global control will go ignored RAGreeneCNN@RAGreeneCNN3m
US official calls Kerry remark on #Syria chemical weapons “a major goof,” says he “went off script,” CNN’s @jimsciuttoCNN reports
Syrian President Bashar Assad, during an interview that aired Monday morning, threatened “repercussions” from any American attack on Syria.
The Syrian leader, speaking with CBS News, said the U.S. can expect “every action” if America strikes. He suggested retaliation could come from the opposition, as well as his own government and its allies.
“You should expect everything,” Assad said. Asked to elaborate, he added: “You should expect everything. Not necessarily from the government. … You have different parties, you have different factions, you have different ideology.”
Asked specifically if the attack could trigger more chemical warfare, Assad suggested the rebels would be the ones who would use them. He said that outcome depends on whether “terrorist” rebels possess those weapons, adding: “It could happen.”
Assad used the interview to challenge the Obama administration’s claims that his regime used chemical weapons in an attack that killed hundreds on Aug. 21. He said his soldiers were “in another area” at the time of the attack.
It comes as President Obama prepares to deliver a national address on Tuesday making his case for a military strike on Syria. The matter is currently before Congress, which will begin a set of votes this week on a resolution authorizing the use of force.
Obama on Monday also planned to make his case, in a string of interviews, for punishing Assad.
Top administration officials are heading to Capitol Hill for more classified briefings. And White House national security adviser Susan Rice is scheduled for a speech at a Washington think tank timed to the public relations blitz aimed at ensuring people the administration isn’t contemplating another commitment like Iraq and Afghanistan.
For the past week I’ve been seeing articles that keep going back to Infowars.com about this. Today Lindsey Graham is now saying it.
I don’t usually listen to, or believe ANYTHING that comes out of Alex Jones’ mouth, and less the Infowars “reporters” most of the time.
But, I’m posting this article, intact just because it’s important. Go to the link to read the original copy.
Lindsey Graham: Attack Syria Or Iran Will Nuke Charleston
There’s a reason U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (RINO-S.C.) refuses to show up for public meetings unless they are attended by his hand-picked supporters: He knows only a pre-selected group of ”sheeple” will sit in silence and swallow his increasingly shameless fear-mongering.
At an invitation-only breakfast for establishment Republican types in Mount Pleasant, S.C. this week, Graham said that if America doesn’t take military action against the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon by the end of 2014.
“I believe that if we get Syria wrong, within six months – and you can quote me on this – there will be a war between Iran and Israel over their nuclear program,” Graham said, according to U.S. News and World Report.
But the fear-mongering didn’t stop there. Graham says this conflict will come home to – of all places – Charleston, S.C.
“It won’t come to America on top of a missile, it’ll come in the belly of a ship in the Charleston or New York harbor,” he said.
Wait … what?
We’ve heard some over-the-top excuses in support of American military intervention in the Syrian civil war, but this one takes the cake.
More to the point, there is no compelling national interest served by getting involved.
“The national defense is a core function of government outlined in our constitution,” we wrote recently. “But in no universe is intervening in this conflict – on the side of terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, no less – acting in defense of those interests. Intervening would, however, encroach on the sovereignty of another nation, incite anti-American fervor in the Middle East and fundamentally make our people less safe.”
President Obama is on the verge of plunging America into another war.
Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, however, bombing Syria would trigger a regional conflagration — one that potentially could lead to a global war. World War I began in Sarajevo. World War III may start in Syria.
Hyperbole? In 1914, Europe became engulfed in a bloodbath. The spark was a conflict in a far-off corner of the Balkans. Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Turkey, Russia and eventually, America — all were propelled into a larger war, resulting in the deaths of millions. By issuing reckless ultimatums, arrogant leaders were sleepwalking their nations into disaster.
Syria is a modern-day powder keg. For over two years, it has been torn apart by a vicious, sectarian civil war. Over 100,000 Syrians have died. Nearly one-third of the population has fled into exile. Iran, Hizbullah and Russia support Syria’s strongman Bashar Assad. The Islamist rebels have the backing of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Al Qaida. Foreign jihadists have poured in to bolster the ranks of the anti-Assad opposition.
The conflict pits Shi’ite Alawites against Sunni Wahhabites, Muslims against Christians, and Islamic fundamentalists versus Arab secularists. In short, U.S. military intervention risks dragging in almost every major regional power — including Israel — because Assad’s allies have a vested interest in his survival. Hizbullah has vowed to attack Israeli and U.S. targets in the wake of American military action. Iran has also threatened to rain missiles upon Tel Aviv. Moscow has vowed to increase weapon shipments to Damascus. Bombing Syria will light the fuse that could set-off the Mideast tinderbox.
Obama is pushing the United States toward a disastrous war for one reason: to salvage his ego. In August 2012, he publicly drew a “red line” in Syria over the use of poison gas.
The administration claims that Assad’s forces recently launched a chemical weapons attack upon civilians in rebel-held territory, murdering hundreds. To redeem his ultimatum, the president is asking Congress to authorize military force. The House and Senate should vote no.
Obama risks becoming the 21st century equivalent of Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef — a bungling buffoon, whose reckless military aggression triggers calamitous consequences.
The only justification to go to war is to protect America’s vital national security interests. Assad’s regime is brutal and ruthless.
But it has not attacked or threatened us. Hence, Obama seeks to wage an illegitimate war. There is no moral or strategic basis to bomb Syria. It is bellicose imperialism masquerading as humanitarian interventionism. The Syrian civil war is none of our business.
In fact, Obama wants the United States to do the unthinkable: side with Al Qaida — the very group responsible for the mass murder of 3,000 Americans and the worst terrorist atrocity on U.S. soil. Contrary to the claims of Secretary of State John Kerry, the Syrian rebels are not dominated by “moderates”; rather, their ranks are filled with Muslim extremists, who have committed numerous atrocities.
Below is some information collected by some good people on our web site. Tweets, and various pieces of information will appear here.
More: Russia’s foreign minister urges US not to take military action, says President Obama is backing terrorists – @Reuters
59 mins ago by editor
John Kerry says Assad could prevent attack by turning over all chemical weapons to the international community within next week – @Reuters
6 mins ago by editor
More: Kerry says evidence is compelling that Assad launched chemical weapons attack – @AP
11 mins ago by editor
John Kerry says rebels do not have scientific capacity to carry out chemical attack, despite regime claims – live video
18 mins ago by editor
John Kerry says he had productive and informative talks with Palestinian President Abbas on Sunday – @Reuters
29 mins ago by editor
US Secretary of State Kerry says relationship with Britain is special despite the vote in UK parliament on Syria intervention – @Reuters
33 mins ago by editor
Britain’s foreign minister says we must defer further chemical attacks during conference with Secretary of State Kerry – @BBCNews
40 mins ago by editor
Russia’s foreign minister says Russia, Syria urge United States to focus on convening peace talks, not military action – @Reuters
1 hour ago by editor
Russian FM Lavrov says the investigation into Syrian chemical weapons must be professional, results must be submitted to UN Security Council – @AlArabiya_Eng
1 hour ago by editor
Update: Control of chemical weapons in Syria restricted to President Assad, his brother Maher and an unnamed general, Kerry says – @Reuters
14 mins ago by editor
When asked if there will be attacks on American interests in the region, Assad says ‘you should expect everything’ – @CBSThisMorning
2 mins ago by editor
President Assad calls on Obama to ‘present what you have as evidence to the public, be transparent’ on chemical attack – @CBSThisMorning
4 mins ago by editor
Syria’s Assad denies his forces were responsible for chemical attack, says his own forces came under chemical attack – @CBSThisMorning
5 mins ago by editor
‘He presented his confidence, he presented his convictions… he didn’t present any evidence, nothing so far, not a shred of evidence’ Assad says when asked about evidence John Kerry says he has – @CBSThisMorning
7 mins ago by editor
‘Our soldiers in another area, were attacked chemically’ President Assad of Syria says in interview – @CBSThisMorning
9 mins ago by editor
Updated Just now:
Some points from a statement from Lavrov, Russia’s FM
Russian Foreign Min Lavrov: Russia will urge Syria to put chemical weapons under international control if it helps avoid military strikes
Lavrov has just urged Syria to hand over its chemical weapons. Hopes for a positive response from Syria @lrozen
AFP: Russia calls on Syria to hand over and then destroy chemical weapons: Lavrov
did I get that right Lavrov said ‘we do not know’ if Syria will accept what Kerry said? but propose to find out? @tggrove
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Says Moscow Does Not Know Whether Syria Will Accept Proposal
Surprise: #Russia ready to help convince #Syria to hand over Chemical Weapons to IC: Lavrov
Lavrov says he likes John Kerry’s offer of handing over Syrian chemical weapons to avoid strike on Syria.
Russian FM Sergei Lavrov calls for Syrian govt to hand over chemical weapons
Per @AnyaArda Lavrov has just urged Syria to hand over its chemical weapons.
#Russia wants to bargain on #Syria’s strategic defense and national security. No way Mr. GasPutin and Mr. Lavrov.. Play another game.
The US President is emphasising that he only plans limited strikes on Syria to deter future chemical weapons attacks.
President Barack Obama urged Americans on Saturday to back him in launching an attack on Syria, as diplomatic pressure grew on the United States to wait for a U.N. report expected in a week’s time before beginning military action.
Fresh from a European trip in which he failed to forge a consensus among global leaders, Obama plunged into a campaign on radio and television to try to convince a skeptical U.S. public and Congress of the need for a military strike on Syria.
In Europe, pressure increased for delay. European Union foreign ministers meeting in Lithuania on Saturday blamed the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria on President Bashar al-Assad’s government. But they did not endorse military action and made clear the bloc wanted the United Nations to have a role in agreeing on an international response.
Pope Francis, who two days ago branded a military solution in Syria “a futile pursuit,” led the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in a global day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria, the Middle East and the world.
Obama, clearly still the reluctant warrior who rose to political prominence on his opposition to the Iraq war, emphasised he favored limited strikes on Syria to deter future chemical weapons attacks – not another costly and protracted conflict.
“This would not be another Iraq or Afghanistan,” Obama declared in his weekly radio address, previewing arguments he will make in a nationally televised address on Tuesday.
“I know that the American people are weary after a decade of war, even as the war in Iraq has ended, and the war in Afghanistan is winding down. That’s why we’re not putting our troops in the middle of somebody else’s war,” Obama said.
Obama will give interviews on Monday to the three network news anchors, as well as PBS, CNN and Fox News, more evidence of a “full-court press” strategy before pivotal congressional votes on military strikes in Syria.
The interviews will air during each network’s Monday evening news broadcast, the White House said.
Lawmakers returning to Washington after a summer break say many of their constituents have told them they do not think the United States should respond militarily to the August chemical weapons attack that Washington blames on Assad’s government.
The Obama administration says over 1,400 people were killed by the poison gas, hundreds of them children. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll said 56 per cent of Americans believed the United States should not intervene in Syria; 19 per cent backed action.
Obama is seeking congressional approval for a strike, but early vote-count estimates do not look encouraging for the president, with scores of lawmakers still undecided. The Senate is expected to take action next week. The House of Representatives will vote later, but the time is not set.
As the White House cranked up its campaign, CNN showed excerpts on Saturday from the gruesome aftermath of the attack taken from a DVD shown to lawmakers and compiled from publicly available videos on YouTube and other internet sites.
PRESSURE RISES FOR DELAY IN EUROPE
Many EU governments have expressed reservations about using military force to punish Assad, now fighting a 2-1/2-year battle against rebels in which more than 100,000 people have died.
In a carefully worded message, the foreign ministers of 28 EU governments stopped short of endorsing possible U.S. and French military action against Syria ahead of the U.N. report.
French President Francois Hollande said the report could be made public at the end of next week and he suggested that France might then wish to take the matter to the U.N. Security Council, a step that could further delay any action.
“When the (U.S.) Congress will have voted on Thursday or Friday and when we will have the inspectors’ report, likely at the end of the week, a decision will have to be made, including after possibly referring the matter to the United Nations (Security Council),” Hollande said, speaking from the southeastern city of Nice after a meeting with his Lebanese counterpart.
An iFop poll published in Le Figaro on Saturday found that 64 percent of the French opposed any kind of international military intervention in Syria, up 19 percentage points in just one week, with even more – 68 percent – opposing a French intervention in the war-torn country.
A senior Obama administration official suggested on Friday that the White House could wait for a U.N. inspectors’ report on chemical arms use in Syria before ordering U.S. naval forces gathered in the Mediterranean to hit Syria.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was also in Lithuania, said later that Obama had made no decisions about waiting for the U.N. inspectors and was keeping options open.
Apart from anything else, delay in attacking Syria might help the White House gather more support in Congress and among public opinion.
The senior official told reporters that during Obama’s discussions with other G20 leaders in Russia on Friday on the timing of any military response to the Syrian crisis, it was apparent that “a number of countries feel it’s important that the U.N. inspectors have time to report back their findings first.
“That’s entirely consistent with our timetable,” the official said. Final votes in Congress could come after the U.N. report is announced.
SCRAMBLING FOR VOTES
Supporters of military action scrambled for votes in Congress. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Saturday sent her fifth letter to Democratic lawmakers urging them to back Obama, noting that Congress had voted overwhelmingly to condemn Syria’s acquisition of weapons of mass destruction a decade ago.
The influential pro-Israel group AIPAC said it planned a major lobbying effort next week to try to round up support for military action, with about 250 activists in Washington to meet senators and representatives.
But it was unclear whether the effort was working.
UN agencies have drawn up emergency plans for a military strike on Syria but are determined to keep delivering aid in the stricken country, a top UN official said Friday. “We continue to update and look at our contingency planning” in case the numbers of refugees fleeing Syria rises, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said after a trip to Damascus. The United Nations has concerns about the safety of its 4,500 staff in Syria, she added. But Amos said: “We have a commitment to continue our humanitarian operations.” Amos said the mainly Syrian staff “want to continue to work for the good of Syrians” but “at the same time they are mindful of the impact that any possible military action might have on themselves and their families.” UN agencies and private aid groups already have problems reaching many areas in Syria because of fallout from the 29-month-old conflict which the UN says has left more than 100,000 dead. Eleven UN workers have been killed in the war. Amos, speaking by video conference from Beirut, said she had discussed lifting obstacles to getting approval for aid deliveries, convoys and visas for aid workers with officials in President Bashar al-Assad’s government. More than 4.25 million people have fled their homes in Syria and two million are registered as refugees in countries around Syria, according to UN figures. Amos highlighted the case of Lebanon. The UN humanitarian coordinator in Lebanon, Robert Watkins, said there are now 726,000 Syrians registered with UN agencies and the figure is expected to rise above one million by the end of year. The UN said this week that it would have to cut aid to more than a quarter of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon because of funding shortages. The world body has launched its biggest ever annual appeal, $4.4 billion, for Syria. Less than half has been raised so far.
The article at the bottom of my comments is a couple of days old, it’s from Debka – so it’s not the best source but is probably accurate. Basically we’re looking at the following states being involved in this as things heat up:
Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, Russia, China
Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America
France is “waiting” for more information from the UN.
UK is really “just waiting”.
Russia has moved about 8 ships total toward the Med. The US has moved a few subs, some destroyers into the Med and the Nimitz Carrier group to the Gulf.
Obama is preparing the country for an attack, “limited in scope and duration”, promising “no boots on the ground”. Anyone who has been in the military KNOWS this isn’t true, isn’t going to be true and can’t possibly work. Anyone with even a limited sense of tactics understands you don’t telegraph your moves to the “enemy”. Anyone with even a rudimentary grasp of strategy knows you don’t put all your eggs in one basket when planning any sort of an attack. And anyone with a clue about life understands you don’t go to war for no good reason and you certainly don’t do it if you can’t PROVE you have a good reason. Obama has not proved anything.
The Senate committee just delivered the Resolution to go into Syria to the full Senate. Congress, both houses will debate and vote likely next week on this.
We’re standing on the verge of World War III – without a “draft”, without American support, without support of the majority of Congress – and we’re less than a week away from September 11. Rumors are rampant on the Internet that there’s more than meets the eye here, and the country is “confused” according to our so-called “leader” Obama.
First he sets a “Red Line” then when the bad guys cross it a month ago, it takes time to verify this, and now he’s ready to go into a limited in scope and duration “war” against the Assad regime, to apparently punish the regime, but to give a leg up to verified enemies of America – Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood and other Muslim lunatics. Iran is saying how they will “bring it” to the US. Russia is backing Syria. Syria is claiming their own allies now. The Chinese are going to back the Russians. Obama has castrated our military in recent months through the shut down of units, bases, equipment, and firing of men smarter than himself.
The United States is being set up for failure big time by this man. Americans, whom for the most part are opposed to this “action” in Syria are caught in the middle of all of the forces massing on the horizon.
America is, from intelligence, full of leaderless Islamic cells – from Iranian Revolutionary Guard to Hezbollah, to Al Qaeda. Americans are being disarmed in some states including my own, in an attemp(?) to make us more vulnerable to outside forces.
It is time to stand up and be heard. It’s time to remove this asshat from the White House. It’s time for his Impeachment to begin. Get on the phone and start making the case with your members of Congress. We have to stop this guy from bringing the nukes down on our heads for his own ego.
Syria’s Muqdad threatens World War III for US strike DEBKAfile September 4, 2013, 5:22 PM (GMT+02:00)
Syria’s deputy foreign minister Faisal Muqdad said Wednesday his regime would not give in to threats of a US-led military strike, even if a third world war erupts. In an interview with AFP, Faisal Muqdad said his government had taken “every measure” to counter a potential intervention aimed at punishing the regime of Bashar al-Assad over a suspected deadly poison gas strike, was mobilizing its allies and would take every measure “to retaliate against… aggression.”
Press Trust of India | Washington September 5, 2013 Last Updated at 21:56 IST
Anticipating a military strike against Syria, the Pentagon has deployed a series of naval assets, including four destroyers and one amphibious ship in the Middle East, to accomplish a “robust and agile” attack.
The deployment came after US President Barack Obama last week announced his decision to go for a military strike against Syria to hold the Assad regime accountable for allegedly using chemical weapons that killed more than 1,400 people. Obama is seeking authorisation from the Congress, which has begun deliberations on the issue and is expected to vote on it early next week.
A Pentagon official said that four destroyers and one amphibious ship remain in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The preparations for the military strike is mainly restricted to moving warships towards the region, he said.
Three additional Russian warships – SSV-201 intelligence ship Priazovye and two landing ships Minsk and Novocherkassk crossed Bosphorus strait, France Press agency reported from Istanbul.
Russian warships are on their way to the Syrian coast, says the Agency.
Russia is strongly opposing any military intervention against the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad; blamed for the use of chemical weapon on the outskirts of Damascus, which allegedly killed more than 1000 people. Russia is the biggest supporter of the regime and its biggest arm supplier.
In an exclusive interview NBC’s Brian Williams sits down with National Security Advisor Susan Rice to discuss what a possible strike in Syria entails.
By Daniel Arkin, Staff Writer, NBC News
National Security Advisor Susan Rice told NBC News on Tuesday the Obama administration has “no expectation of losing the vote in Congress” on whether to authorize U.S. military action against Syria.
In an exclusive interview with Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News, Rice said the White House is “quite confident” that Congress will approve Obama’s plan to launch punitive cruise missile strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.
“We think that the Congress of the United States and the American people understand that we have compelling national interests at stake here,” said Rice, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
Rice touted crucial endorsements from “key leaders,” including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who announced Tuesday that he would back Obama’s call for military action against Assad for allegedly using chemical weapons against his people Aug. 21 in a mass murder the administration says killed 1,426 people.
Obama also said Tuesday he feels assured that lawmakers will OK military strikes. He said he would be prepared to rewrite his draft resolution to Congress “so long as we are accomplishing what needs to be accomplished, which is to degrade Assad.”
‘We have our plans’: Vladimir Putin warns US against Syria military action
Russian president says it is too early to say what Russia will do but does not exclude supporting a UN resolution
Vladimir Putin said Russia may approve military operation in Syria if Damascus is proven to have carried out chemical weapons attacks and UN authorises it. Photograph: Ria Novosti/Reuters
Vladimir Putin has warned the US against launching military action in Syria, stating that Russia has “plans” on how it would react if such a scenario unfolded.
The Russian president’s comments came as Barack Obama for the first time portrayed his plans for US military action as part of a broader strategy to topple Bashar al-Assad, as the White House’s campaign to win over sceptics in Congress gained momentum.
At the same time he said Russia did not exclude supporting a UN resolution on punitive military strikes if it were proved that Damascus used poison gas on its own people. But he described the idea that Syrian government forces would use chemical weapons at a time when he said they were in the ascendancy and knowing the potential repercussions as absurd. Given his comments, and the fact that Russia has protected Syria from punitive action at the UN security council before, his suggestion that Russia might support a resolution on strikes is unlikely to be given much credence in the US.
Chuck Hagel listens as John Kerry speaks to the Senate foreign relations committee. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Russia later dispatched a missile cruiser to the eastern Mediterranean, which will arrive in about 10 days. The ship, Moskva, will take over operations from a naval unit in the region that Moscow says is needed to protect national interests. It will be joined by a destroyer from Russia’s Baltic Fleet and a frigate from the Black Sea Fleet.
In the US, senators will begin a series of votes on Wednesday to authorise a 90-day window for US military action against Syria.
A new draft resolution was agreed by leaders of the Senate foreign relations committee after the secretary of state, John Kerry, pressed a forceful case for striking against the Assad regime. Earlier, Obama secured the backing of the Republican leadership at a key White House meeting.
In regards to this Syria crisis, one of the Senators on the Foreign Relations committee (I didn’t catch who) mentioned Russia, asking specific and pointed questions of Kerry, after pointing out that the Russians had been providing money, aid, military defense equipment.
Kerry sputtered about an answer, and then stepped around the answer to basically ignore the Russian question.
Essentially, they (Kerry) doesn’t want the American Public to be confused or concerned about the Russians. Only chemical weapons.