Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian nationals evacuated from Syria have been streaming through Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on Tuesday as the Middle Eastern country edges closer to being on the receiving end of a military intervention.
On Wednesday morning, the UK announced it had drafted a UN resolution on Syria that would be put before the Security Council later in the day. Prime Minister David Cameron said the resolution “condemned the chemical weapons attack” and “authorises necessary measures to protect civilians.”
The United States and its allies have been gearing up for a probable strike against Syria for the chemical weapons attack in Damascus last week, which they blame on the government of Bashar al-Assad.
US Vice-President, Joe Biden said: “At President Obama’s direction, all of us and his National Security team have been in close touch with our foreign counterparts. The president believes, and I believe, that those who use chemical weapons against defenceless men, women, and children should and must be held accountable.”
According to reports in the United States the attack on Syria would only last two to three days. The precise timing is still unclear, however the US government is expected to wait for an official intelligence report that will most likely blame Assad’s government for the chemical attack. The findings, considered merely a formality at this point, will be released this week, US officials are reported to have said.
Foreign policy expert Michael Robin explained that if the United States has the intelligence information, it “will go after the unit, which used the chemical weapons.” He added that if the country is simply “looking to have a one-off symbolic strike then maybe they will “hit some palaces.” However warned that if they targeted “air defences or enemy air fields” it was a warning that there “could be much more to come should the situation warrant it.”
Syria’s government, backed by Iran, has denied gassing its own people and has made it clear that the country will defend itself.
Speaking in Damascus, the Syrian Foreign Minister, Walid Mouallem, has said that “if any aggression were to take place” Syria has “two options: to surrender, or to defend itself using the options available, using all possible means.”
On Tuesday a group that supports the government of Bashar al-Assad known as the Syrian Electronic Army has claimed they hacked the websites of the New York Times and Twitter. They have also warned of an attack on other international websites.
2/2 Britain has drafted a resolution condemning the chemical weapons attack by Assad & authorising necessary measures to protect civilians.— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) August 28, 2013