The U.S. President Barack Obama, in a Rose Garden speech Saturday, presented a ‘powerful case’ that the Syrian government was behind a chemical weapons attack and, adding that he will seek approval from Congress to act against Syria.
Obama acknowledged that Americans are weary of war, but warned that there are costs to doing nothing in this case.
“We are prepared to strike whenever we choose,” he said.
IDF sources have told Kol Israel that they expect the American attack on Syria will start in the next few days. But that’s not going to happen, since Congress is not yet in session.
Congress is scheduled to reconvene Monday, Sept. 9, but media reports say they are considering returning early to debate action against Syria.
The same sources emphasize that Syria will not retaliate with an attack on Israel. Let’s hope their information is better on this one.
IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said on Thursday that should Israel be attacked, it is clear to all the world leaders that the cost to the Syrians would be heavy and the enemy losses would be painful and severe.
According to Lt. Gen. Gantz, Israeli citizens should feel free to continue safely with their daily routines and engage in preparation for the High Holidays.
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon spoke on Friday with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel who had just returned to Washington from a visit to Asia. Hagel has also spoken with France’s defense minister.
Fox News cites sources saying the U.S. attack in Syria will extend beyond Damascus, targeting and destroying President Bashar al-Assad’s delivery systems for his arsenal of chemical weapons.
The U.S. strike will spare the Assad presidential palace and Syrian government buildings, according to those sources. One of the reasons is that those facilities have long since been evacuated.
On Friday, President Barack Obama said he had not yet made a decision. But he said not reacting forcefully to a massive use of chemical weapons would be a danger to U.S. national security and a sign that the world was “paralyzed” in the face of mass killing.
“A lot of people think something should be done, but nobody wants to do it,” Obama said. He acknowledged, as he did again Saturday, that the world feels about a new war a “certain weariness, given Afghanistan,” but failed to mention Thursday’s parliamentary vote in Britain, which took that country’s army out of the equation.
And, to seal the deal, on Friday the White House released a four-page report saying U.S. intelligence had concluded with “high confidence,” based on intercepted communications, overhead surveillance, videos and witness statements, that Assad’s government had planned, authorized and carried out the August 21 nerve-gas attack near Damascus.
In a speech Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry said the gas attack killed at least 1,429 Syrians, 426 of them children.