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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Syria Expects U.S. Military Attack ‘At Any Moment’

DAMASCUS (AFP) – Syria expects a military attack “at any moment” and is ready to retaliate, an official said Saturday, hours after UN experts probing a suspected gas attack blamed on the regime quit the country.

The departure of the inspectors has opened a window for a possible U.S.-led strike after President Barack Obama on Friday gave his clearest indication yet that a military intervention was imminent.

“We are expecting an attack at any moment. We are ready to retaliate attack at any moment,” the security official told AFP, asking not to be named.

The 13 UN inspectors, led by Ake Sellstrom, left their Damascus hotel in a convoy before dawn and crossed into Lebanon a few hours later, AFP reporters said.

They are due to report straight back to United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon and detail their conclusions on whether a poison gas attack actually did take place in Damascus suburbs on August 21, based on samples collected on site.

Obama’s administration says it has no need to wait for the results of the probe, claiming its intelligence gives firm evidence the regime launched a chemical onslaught that killed 1,429 people, including at least 426 children.

That brought a contemptuous response from Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country is a close ally of Syria, saying claims the regime had used chemical weapons were “utter nonsense” and demanding proof.

Obama said on Friday: “We cannot accept a world where women and children and innocent civilians are gassed on a terrible scale.”

“The world has an obligation to make sure we maintain the norm against the use of chemical weapons,” the president said, slamming the failure of the UN Security Council to agree on action.

Obama said he was looking at a “wide range of options” but had ruled out “boots on the ground” or a “long-term campaign.”

“We are looking at the possibility of a limited, narrow act,” he said, while stressing no final decision had been taken on unleashing military strikes against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Syria has denied responsibility for the alleged incident and has pointed the finger of blame at “terrorists” — its term for rebels ranged against Assad’s forces.

In Damascus, the mood was heavy with fear, and security forces were making preparations for possible air strikes, pulling soldiers back from potential targets.

The capital’s streets were largely empty on Saturday with few cars or pedestrians, although this is normal for the second day of the Syrian weekend.

Residents were seen stocking up with fuel for generators in case utilities are knocked out in any military strike.

The sound of bombardments in the distant suburbs could be heard, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reporting shelling near Beit Sahem, on the way to the international airport; Al-Nabak in the north and in East Ghouta, one of the sites of the suspected poison gas attacks.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo

    well you guys were wrong again (OBAMA) is not a muslim,if bush was in office we would have went to war a LONG time ago……….OH I’M SORRY IF THE COWBOY WAS IN OFFICE.

  • howa4x

    This is all because war hawks like McCain and Graham have been beating the drum along with Limbaugh and other right wing talking heads about doing something in Syria and yelling Obama has no courage to do anything. We have time to do something with Assad. If we get the report and Chemicals were used than Russia has nothing to say. No need to hurry this. Also let the House and Senate vote on this . If they say no then all the right wing can just shut up

    • aftermidnight

      The right wing should shut up anyway.

  • Pamby50

    The American people have been lied into 2 wars already. We are tired of war. It will not just be a targeted strike. There are always more consequences. So let the congress come back. Present them with the evidence. Let the UN inspectors file there findings. Then make a decision.

  • Angel Perea

    THE INCONVENINET TRUHT: Let’s Stop the stupidity
    by the so-called political news experts pundits during the TV discussions that
    this is political issue! There needs to be a thoughtful process! This situation
    is not time sensitive to rushes into action, yet! We are not the policeman for
    the world. That is the responsibility of United Nations! However, all nations
    including the United States do have a MORAL responsibility to act! So unless
    the nations agree to unify for responsible action on Assad, the ruthless coward
    for its crimes against humanity, then we must take thoughtful calculations for
    a limited but powerful strategic strike to destroy Syria’s rockets and
    airplanes to eliminate delivery capabilities to gas women and children in the
    future. In addition, we must file with International Criminal Tribunal the
    evidence to prosecute Assad and his gang for crimes against humanity like we
    brought to Justice Sadam Hussein as well as Serb president Slobodan Milosevic
    and Karadzic and .their thugs! And, finally, listening to the Chicken Hawks
    with their previous dishonest political game playing and negative vote in
    British Parliament are the consequences of why the past War in Iraq was so
    irresponsible and stupid. We are sick and tired about War and resulting wasted
    resources, but America and France must take a stand to not tolerate another
    repeat of extermination of woman and children and shame on those countries that
    apparently forgotten history “of Never Again” to remain silent now!

  • dpaano

    I have a silly question…..why isn’t Turkey, Israel, and a few other countries anticipating a strike against Syria? Why is it always the Americans that have to go in and handle these problems? I’m all for our country doing their job to defend against these ridiculous chemical attacks, but I just keep wondering why other countries in the Middle East sit back and let us do all their dirty work. Am I being uninformed or does anyone else agree with me on this? Whatever our President decides, I know he’ll have thought it out diligently, but it just annoys me that we have to do all the work. After all, how much money do we give these other countries each year and they now just sit there and do nothing?