In early August, CIA Deputy Leader Michael Morrell declared Syria to be the “top current threat to US national security,” a spot usually reserved for someplace the US is directly militarily involved in. Jason Ditz of Antiwar.com wrote, “The declaration is even more significant the deeper you get into Morrell’s comments, as he makes clear exactly what about Syria the CIA sees as a threat, saying the risk is that the Assad government ‘collapses and the country becomes al-Qaeda’s new haven.’”
After a chemical weapons attack on August 21, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reportedly treated 3600 patients displaying neurotoxic symptoms in less than three hours, 355 patients reportedly died. MSF general director Christopher Stokes said, “MSF hopes that independent investigators will be given immediate access to shed light on what happened.”
There are conflicting reports on who was responsible for the attack. The Syrian state media accused the rebels of the attack, while other reports put the blame on the Syrian military.
The Russian government has urged the Syrian government to cooperate with UN investigations into the attack. That chemical weapons attack is now being used as justification for a possible attack by the US military.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel suggested the Pentagon is moving naval forces closer to Syria in preparation for a possible decision by President Barack Obama to order military strikes. Hagel said “the Defense Department has a responsibility to provide the president with options for contingencies, and that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets, to be able to carry out different options — whatever options the president might choose.”
The Associated Press reports that defense officials said the Navy had sent a fourth warship armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea but without immediate orders for any missile launch into Syria.
Jason Ditz of Antiwar.com writes, “any military intervention that seriously changes the situation on the ground will run into the same problem that has repeatedly been pointed to, that of the rebels’ dominance by al-Qaeda allies. This means that any attack that harms the Assad government too much risks bringing a jihadist faction into power that will be even more hostile toward the US.”
Which means that Syria, much like Iraq & Afghanistan, would be another endless battle in the never ending War on Terror.