August 29, 2013
In a PBS interview, President Obama claimed he has “no interest in any kind of open-ended conflict in Syria”; however he still maintains that the Syrian government used chemical weapons and this has affected US national interests.
Obama said that his administration has concluded that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons and believe that there is “a prospect that chemical weapons could be directed at us – and we want to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Obama has suggested that a limited strike against Syria would teach them a lesson and send a clear message. He said that this action has “international consequences”.
The president said that the Syrian government “better not do it again.”
Senator Rand Paul is asking for an “open debate” in Congress and predicting that the US has “no clear national security connection” to the pending strike.
Paul said: “We should ascertain who used the weapons and we should have an open debate in Congress over whether the situation warrants U.S. involvement. The Constitution grants the power to declare war to Congress not the President. The war in Syria has no clear national security connection to the United States and victory by either side will not necessarily bring in to power people friendly to the United States.”
Jay Carney, press secretary to the Obama administration, made an interesting comment. Carney said that “the options we are considering are not about regime change.”
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stated that 200 soldiers from the 1st Armored Division who have been stationed in Jordan are being alerted that they may be needed for an imminent strike on Syria.
These troops include specialists in intelligence and logistics; as well as expert planners.
Patriot batteries, 400 soldiers who have been part of a NATO mission, have been sent in lieu of the necessity of protection in the region.
Until the UN Security Council (UNSC) completes their resolution, the British government said that they will not participate in military action against Syria.
In a statement, British officials said: “The United Nations Secretary General should ensure a briefing to the United Nations Security Council immediately upon the completion of the team’s initial mission. Before any direct British involvement in such action a further vote of the House of Commons will take place.”
The Russian Federation has given humanitarian aid to the Syrian people and has begun the process of evacuation to keep citizens safe from pending strikes expected by the US.
The Syrian government maintains that the chemical weapons were used by the US and British government-funded Free Syrian Army (FSA, as well as “foreign mercenaries”.