Obama asks justification for Syria war

Obama asks justification for Syria war
Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:28:30

US President Barack Obama has urged his national security team to prepare a report to be published to the public laying out the legal justifications for a military action against Syria, a report says.

Obama ordered a declassified report be prepared for public release before any military strike commences. That report is due to be released in a day or two, CBS News reported on Monday.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper led off the three-hour White House meeting with detailed analysis of the evidence about the chemical weapons attack, the disposition of victims and what the administration now claims is a near air-tight circumstantial case that Syria was behind it.

There was no debate at the Saturday meeting that a military response is necessary. Obama ordered up legal justifications for a military strike, should he order one, outside of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). That process is well underway, and particular emphasis is being placed on alleged violations of the Geneva Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday the evidence "is screaming at us" that chemical weapons were used in Syria, and he said President Obama believes "there must be accountability" -- the latest sign that the administration is getting ready for a possible military strike against Syria.

Kerry said he had looked again at the pictures we all saw last week of the victims of the attack -- many of them children -- and can't get them out of his head.

The words Kerry used and the force with which he delivered them left little doubt the US will soon strike Syria.

"President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who used the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people," he said.

Four US Navy warships are already in position in the eastern Mediterranean, ready to launch cruise missiles within hours of receiving the order from Obama. A British submarine is also reported to be in position.

 Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi, however, has warned that Syria will respond to any Western military intervention if attacked.

The unrest in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.


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