Sometime in the next day or two, the Obama administration will release a declassified report justifying a U.S. military strike in Syria, according to CBS News. The news comes just hours after Secretary of State John Kerry held a press conference in which he described last week's chemical attacks in Syria as an "obscenity” that “defy any code of morality."
The CBS News report describes a meeting of Obama's national security team that took place on Saturday. The meeting reportedly included “detailed analysis” of evidence about the chemical attacks that provides “a near air-tight circumstantial case that the Syrian regime 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. That process is well underway, and particular emphasis is being placed on alleged violations of the Geneva Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention.
And if/when Obama launches an attack, the U.S. is already well-positioned; there are four Navy warships stationed in the eastern Mediterranean, on-call to launch cruise missiles within hours of receiving Obama's orders, and a British submarine is reportedly stationed nearby. Any strike would likely be limited in scope, according to a report in the New York Times
Administration officials said that although President Obama had not made a final decision on military action, he was likely to order a limited military operation — cruise missiles launched from American destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea at military targets in Syria, for example — and not a sustained air campaign intended to topple Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, or to fundamentally alter the nature of the conflict on the ground.
[Image via AP]
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