Syria: Obama weighs limited 'surgical' strikes

Two days at the most; military objectives to be targeted

27 August, 19:22

    US weighing military strike against Syria US weighing military strike against Syria

    (ANSAmed) - NEW YORK, AUGUST 27 - A series of 'surgical strikes' on strategic objectives and those holding symbolic significance seems to be the course of action US president Barack Obama is weighing after Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad crossed the 'red line' of using chemical weapons on rebels and civilians. The intervention, however, would not be one able to change the course of the war tearing the country apart for the past two years, one in which over 100,000 people have lost their lives. Information continues to leak out on the intervention that President Obama and his closest allies are preparing in response to the mass killings in Syria. US officials have told NBC that strikes may begin on Thursday and last for three days, attacks which would be limited in scope and aim to send a clear message to the Syrian regime. A punitive intervention limited in scope and duration that would serve as a deterrent for President Assad, writes the Washington Post, which quotes high-ranking administration officials as saying that the strikes would last two days. Press leaks and speculation on possible objectives are making the rounds as well. In addition to intelligence information gathered by the secret services of several nations, a detailed list is said to have been provided by the Syrian opposition to Western nations. The plan being weighed does not take ground troops or the imposition of a no-fly zone into consideration, much less striking directly at President Al-Assad, an administration source told Bloomberg. High-value regime objectives of air, naval and ground defenses, as well as logistics support and the Armed Forces Command centres would be the aim: targets not directly connected with the regime's chemical arsenals. The Pentagon is undoubtedly ready: for months it has been drawing up a series of options for President and Commander in Chief Obama to intervene in Syria, while at the same time staying out of the conflict as much as possible. This is why air strikes are under consideration, which would be conducted with fighter jets outside of Syrian air space and especially with the warships in the Mediterranean, where the US has bolstered its destroyers able to launch Cruise missiles. On August 18, the USS Harry Truman aircraft carrier had moved away from the area through the Suez Canal, but may still be in the range of action. British units are also part of the operations, including an attack submarine, as are French ones, including the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. The Washington Post reports that the timetable is likely to depend on three factors: the completion of an intelligence report determining that Assad's regime is to blame for the recent chemical weapons attack, consultation with allies and Congress and justification for intervention on the basis of international law. In any case, the countdown seems to have started. (ANSAmed).

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