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US Determined to Strike in Syria – the Question is When

US source says Syria strike will happen, but the timing has not yet been decided; Russian. Chinese diplomats stage UN "walkout."
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 8/28/2013, 9:28 PM

US President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama
Flash 90

The United States is determined to carry out a military strike in Syria in response to last week’s chemical attack near Damascus, a source in the Obama administration has said.

The source said that the American government has reached the “point of no return” regarding the strike. However, he said, the timing has not yet been decided.

U.S. sources indicated earlier this week that a strike could take place as early as Thursday; however, the United Nations is pushing to delay military action until after its inspectors have finished investigating the site of the chemical weapons attack.

On Wednesday evening members of the United Nations Security Council will conclude an emergency meeting regarding a British proposal for military action against Syria.

Russian and Chinese representatives left the meeting before it ended in protest of the plan to target President Bashar Assad’s government in Syria. Both countries have expressed skepticism regarding reports that Assad’s regime was behind the chemical attack.

They have warned that a Western military strike could have serious implications.

Meanwhile, Syria and its neighbors continue to prepare for a possible attack. The Syrian military is evacuating installations that could be targeted in an airstrike campaign, while Israelis scramble to obtain gas masks in case the Syrian regime follows through on its threats to attack Israel in response to western military intervention.

Turkey, too, has upped its level of alert.

While the IDF is preparing for a possible escalation with a limited reserves call-up and new Iron Dome installations in northern Israel, sources in Israel’s defense establishment have said they do not believe Israel will come under attack if the international community strikes Syria.