8/23 Outline of Failed Attempts to Defeat Syria, p.1

Part 1: Background highlights - Note the dates

Part 2: Israel's role, other major players, and US 'options' including
Air War in Kosovo Seen as Precedent in Possible Response to Syria Chemical Attack

In In 1978, Zbigniew Brzezinski, major US imperialist architect and strategist, and Carter's National Security Advisor, now Obama 'counselor', wrote : “An arc of crisis nations stretch across the southern flank of the Soviet Union from the Indian subcontinent to Turkey, and southward through the Arabian Peninsula to the Horn of Africa... the center of gravity of this arc is Iran...a region of vital importance to us...could well be filled by elements hostile to our values and sympathetic to our adversaries.” Brzezinski mobilized an 'arc of Islam' to defeat the Soviet Union, then US #1 geopolitical rival. To 'give the Soviet Union its Vietnam', with help of Pakistan's Intelligence (ISI) he organized, armed and trained Mujahedeen, (now 'al-qaeda') in Afghanistan under Bin Laden, creating an 'Arc of Crisis' for US, with the 'AQ' military-intelligence assets database, still serving the USNATO failing imperialist global domination agenda.

In 1997 Brzezinski wrote: “Eurasia is the world’s axial supercontinent. A power that dominates Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world’s three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia. A glance at the map also suggests that a country dominant in Eurasia would almost automatically control the Middle East and Africa. With Eurasia now serving as the decisive geopolitical chessboard...the distribution of power on the Eurasian landmass will be of decisive importance to America’s global primacy and historical legacy.” Zbigniew Brzezinski, “A Geostrategy for Eurasia,” Foreign Affairs, September/October 1997.

“A new brain for Barack Obama! It’s 78 years old and it still works perfectly. It belongs to Zbigniew Brzezinski, the peppery ex-national security adviser to Jimmy Carter.”
The "arc of crisis" has been defined as the area stretching from the Indian subcontinent in the east to the Horn of Africa in the west. The Middle East constitutes its central core. Its strategic position is unequalled: it is the last major region of the Free World directly adjacent to the Soviet Union, it holds in its subsoil about three-fourths of the proven and estimated world oil reserves, and it is the locus of one of the most intractable conflicts of the twentieth century: Zionism versus Arab nationalism. Moreover, national, economic and territorial conflicts are aggravated by the intrusion of religious passions in an area which was the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and by the exposure, in the twentieth century, to two competing appeals of secular modernization: Western and communist....

Counselor Brzezinski disses protege Prez
As Assad Makes Gains, Will New U.S. Strategy for Syria Change the Dynamics?
6/14/13 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june13/syria2_06-14.html
JEFFREY BROWN: we return to Syria and the options on the table for the U.S. We invited an Obama administration member to discuss the change in Syria strategy. Our request was declined. But with us to assess the White House decision, Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Adviser to President Carter, now Counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies...Dr. Brzezinski, many questions still about how much, timing, et cetera, but what's your initial reaction to this announcement the U.S. will be providing some arms?
BRZEZINSKI: It's kind of baffling because there's no pattern of consistency...we started helping the rebels, whatever they are, they're certainly not fighting for democracy, given their sponsorship, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as far back as early spring of 2012, without saying it publicly. I assume there was a presidential finding approving it, but we're doing that. Since then, I'm not at all clear as to what our policy actually is.
BROWN: So it didn't -- it wasn't clarified by yesterday's announcement?
BRZEZINSKI: I think that was even more baffling because it refers to a very small number of casualties allegedly inflicted by chemical warfare...why should that be the issue?...
BROWN: Is there an alternative? Because, if the U.S. does little or nothing, and the Syrian government wins, as now the battlefield perhaps looks like it's turned, doesn't that affect our interests in the region and the world as well?
BRZEZINSKI: Well, of course, it doesn't affect them positively. But we have to think of the alternative consequences. If we get involved in a protracted war again in the region... this hurts us also in Afghanistan.. if that war produces a collision between America and Iranians supporting Assad, is that better than an outcome in which Assad stays in power?
Better still, an international Geneva conference...with the French and the British, the two countries most hated in the region, former colonial powers?... Turkey ought to be there...what about China...Japan...India, all of which are dependent on a stable flow of oil from the region? They have stakes in that region. They might prefer some sort of a compromise solution and might be prepared to give the political support for it. They might also be able to influence the Russians. But to simply go in on the hope that, somehow, by doing something, which is not precisely described, for groups which are not very friendly to us or powerful -- the one that favors us is the weakest -- is not a strategy. It's an evasion of strategy...a lack of clarity which has defined our posture there for the last two years....there are a great many factions competing for power on the ground in Syria, most not very friendly to us. So, weapons for whom? It so happens, unfortunately, those factions which we consider allegedly to be democratic are the weakest. So what are we going to accomplish by infusing a few more arms for groups that are the weakest? If we're going to engage in political warfare with a strategic outcome, and we insist on a victory for those who allegedly are with us, and a victory particularly for us, we have to do it whole hog, not just from the air, not just by supplying some arms to some not particularly strong groups, but we have to do it by, in effect, invading the country. If we invade the country, will it just stop with fighting in Syria? Might we collide with Iranian forces? Do we really want that at this stage of history in the Middle East...?

No US Boots on Ground in Syria, But They’re Training in Jordan
8/23 http://blogs.defensenews.com/intercepts/2013/08/no-us-boots-on-ground-in...
Wednesday, the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius blustered “there would have to be a reaction with force from the international community” if there is conclusive proof the Bashir Assad regime gassed his own people, “but there is no question of sending troops on the ground.” In an analysis posted online Wednesday, Jeffrey White, a defense fellow at The Washington Institute wrote “if the regime has indeed ignored repeated U.S. warnings that systematic [chemical weapons] use is a redline, then it will likely ignore anything less than a clear threat to its ability to conduct the war. Diplomatic and other measures may be useful in a supporting role, especially in pressuring the regime’s allies, but they cannot be counted on to have any real effect on the regime’s calculus.”...Even though chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey recently warned any US action “would also escalate and potentially further commit the United States to the conflict,” US forces have nonetheless made some interesting moves in the region. Earlier this year, the Army deployed 110 soldiers from the 1st Armored Division to Jordan for a year-long mission to help the military deal with Syria..tacked with providing assistance “in everything from humanitarian assistance to stability to other things in support of Jordan,” Army Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard told reporters in April. And as we reported in June: The group was sent to bolster an even smaller US military team that has been in Jordan since 2012 working on a variety of chemical weapons and other security issues. In an April statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel revealed that the Pentagon is also spending more than $70 million to help train and equip the Jordanians “to detect and stop any chemical weapons transfers along its border with Syria, and developing Jordanian capacity to identify and secure chemical weapons assets.”

War on Syria would threaten entire Mideast security: Iran Official
8/24/13 http://www.presstv.ir/section/3510202.html http://cached.newslookup.com/cached.php
Chairman of Iran's Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi said the US and its regional allies have so far made use of their utmost potential and utilized all levers that run counter to human rights, including full support for the terrorists in Syria, to defeat the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. “If the West launches a war on Syria, an all-out and uncontrollable war will undoubtedly begin in the region, which will pose a serious threat to the security of the Middle East and its final outcome will be harmful to the US and the Zionist regime (Israel).” Boroujerdi said d a war on Syria would be a repeat of the West’s past mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan....
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Friday the Pentagon was positioning military forces as part of providing “contingency options” to US President Barack Obama regarding Syria.
“And that requires positioning our forces, positioning our assets to be able to carry out different options - whatever the president might choose.” The remarks have been interpreted as a tacit suggestion the US may be preparing for a military attack on Syria.

SANA: Syrian rebels use toxic chemicals against govt troops near Damascus
8/24/13 http://rt.com/news/rebel-tunnel-damascus-chemical-940

Syrian government: rebels using chemical weapons
8/24/13 http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/08/24/uk-syria-crisis-idUKBRE97K0AJ20...
Photos released by Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows gas masks allegedly found in Jobar on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, alongside what the Syrian government claims are materials used to make chemical weapons. The Syrian government said rebel fighters used chemical weapons in a north-eastern district of the capital.
Syrian State television also ran footage of "barrels filled with highly dangerous toxic and chemical agents" as well as gas masks found in rebel tunnels. The report said this was only a small sample of what had been unearthed overrunning rebel positions. The state broadcast said Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which both support the 29-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, supplied rebels with gas masks and medication. In Jobar, "the army found barrels marked 'made in Saudi Arabia' and gas masks, " a correspondent reported, and medicine for poison gas inhalation was also found, with the brand of an unnamed German-Qatari firm. Rebels "resorted to chemical weapons after the successes of the Syrian army" charged the television broadcast. US and European security sources said US and allied intelligence agencies had made a preliminary assessment chemical weapons had been used by pro-Assad forces this week....

Syrian victims of alleged gas attack smuggled to Jordan for blood tests
8/23 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/23/syria-gas-attack-blood-test...
Rebel groups received contact from investigators identifying themselves as UN team members asking for co-operation providing samples. The investigators apparently asked for biological samples...The Guardian has been unable to verify the contact was from the UN. Sources inside rebel-held districts said an active network...was helping smuggle biological samples from the attack scenes to Jordan. At least three more suffering mild effects of gassing will be transferred to Jordan in the next few days...

Russia calls for UN inquiry into chemical weapons claim
8/23 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/23/syria-crisis-un-pressure-ga...
Russia's foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Syria's position on sending UN inspectors to the site of the reported attack should be respected and dismissed suggestions Russia objected to such an investigation. "The group of observers are in place. Such a position was agreed upon in the UN security council. How can we object? We, quite the opposite, have an interest in an investigation into what happened happen objectively.[The UN and Syria] have agreed on co-operation in three areas. If there is a need to achieve clarification in this case – and judging by everything, there is – then they need to agree," he told a news conference.

Obama: Time Frame For Possible Action On Syria Has Shortened
8/23/13 http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/08/23/214747582/obam-time-frame...
PObama tells CNN in an interview broadcast Friday...while the U.S. and its allies cannot move militarily against Syrian President Assad's regime "without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence", Assad's forces have used chemical weapons, the time within which a decision about such action must be made has been shortened... "core US national interests" are now at stake, "in terms of us making sure weapons of mass destruction are not proliferating, as well as needing to protect our allies, our bases in the region." But the president — who has said the use of chemical weapons would be a "red line" Assad should not cross — added "if the U.S. goes in and attacks another country without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it. Do we have the coalition to make it work? You know, those are considerations that we have to take into account."

U.S.unable to conclusively determine chemical weapons in Syria
8/22 http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/22/us-syria-crisis-usa-state
Obama, acknowledging many around the world are looking to the U.S. to take action, said, "the notion the U.S. can somehow solve what is a sectarian, complex problem inside of Syria sometimes is overstated."

US Carrier Passes Through Suez Canal, Despite Tensions (SIC)
8/19 http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130819/DEFREG04/308190008/US-Carrie...
Owned by Egypt, the canal is governed by an international treaty that gives US military special privileges due to its alliance with Egypt...at a tumultuous moment in Egypt as military rulers unleashed a brutal crackdown...US aircraft carrier and accompanying warships passed through the Suez Canal en route to the Arabian Sea... The Harry Truman, along with two guided-missile destroyers and two cruisers, transited the strategic canal on Sunday for a mission designed to promote “stability” in the region and provide air support for NATO-led forces in Afghanistan Rear Admiral Kevin Sweeney, commander of the Truman strike group, said in the statement...the Suez canal is a vital link between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea for US forces. About 35 to 45 US naval ships, including aircraft carriers, pass through the canal every year, according to the US Fifth Fleet.

Assad forces gaining ground in Syria
5/11/13 http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/assad-forces-gaining-ground-in-syria...
“If things continue as they are, the government will be the party that has the major advantage. If we press pause where we are today, it is clear the insurgency does not pose an existential threat to the regime” said Charles Lister of the London-based IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center.

Video of Syrian rebel cutting out and biting the heart of dead Syrian army soldier highlights challenges for West
5/13/13 BEIRUT graphic video http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ead_1372329728
This video shows Syrian rebels slaughtering three people including François Murad for the charge of dealing with the Syrian government and Army saying they are applying the law of God.
Sunday, June 23 the Syrian priest François Murad was killed...confirmed by a Custos of the Holy Land statement sent to Fides News Agency...circumstances of the death are not fully understood. According to local sources, the monastery where Fr. Murad was staying was attacked by militants linked to the jihadi Jabhat al-Nusra.
Vatican News Agency Fides http://www.news.va/en/news/asiasyria-a-catholic-priest-killed-bishop-hin...

"used on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities”
UN's Del Ponte says there is evidence rebels 'may have used sarin' in Syria
5/6/13 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/uns-carla-del-ponte-...
UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria member Carla Del Ponte, said testimony gathered from casualties and medical staff indicated the nerve agent sarin...“ was used on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities” Ms Del Ponte said the inquiry has yet to see any direct evidence suggesting government forces have used chemical weapons, but further investigation was required before this possibility could be ruled out....
White House spokesman Jay Carney said “We find it highly likely that chemical weapons, if they were in fact used in Syria - and there is certainly evidence that they were - that the Assad regime was responsible,” ...The UN commission later released a statement distancing itself from the allegations...President Obama declared last year that the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, would cross a “red line” and change US calculations on whether or not it should intervene in the conflict. Calls for the US to launch military action against the regime have grown stronger since claims it used chemical weapons first emerged...

Turkish Police find Chemical Weapons in the Possession of Al Nusra Headed to Syria
5/31/13 http://www.globalresearch.ca/turkish-police-find-chemical-weapons-in-the...
According to a report in Turkey's state media agency Zaman, Turkish General Directorate of Security agents (Emniyet Genel Müdürlüğü) seized 2 kg of sarin gas in Adana early yesterday morning in the possession of Al Nosra terrorists apparently heading for Syria. The Syrian National Coalition abroad persists in accusing the Syrian government of using chemical weapons.
EGM identified 12 AL Nosra terrorist cell members and also seized fire arms and digital equipment. This is the second major official confirmation of the use of chemical weapons by Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria after UN inspector Carla Del Ponte’s recent statement confirming the use of chemical weapons by the Western-backed terrorists in Syria.

Thursday, June 13, 2013 5:21:27 PM
Russia questions rebel claims Syrian government launched toxic gas attack
8/21 13 http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/russia-questions-claims-...
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich issued a statement saying Russia’s information indicates the rocket was launched from rebel-held positions in a Damascus suburb. He called for an “objective and professional” investigation because the accusations appear an effort to “create a pretext at any cost for demanding the U.N. Security Council stand on the side of the opponents of the government and thus undermine the chances of convening the Geneva conference.”

U.S. concludes Syrian regime used chemical weapons against rebels
6/13/13 http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/us-officials-conclude-assad-used-...
Officials say the Obama administration concluded President Assad's regime used chemical weapons against the opposition seeking to overthrow him, crossing what President Obama called a "red line."

CIA and US Special Ops training Syrian rebels in Turkey and Jordan since 2012
6/21/13 http://rt.com/news/usa-cia-train-syria-rebels-087/
CIA and US special operational troops and have been secretly training Syrian rebels at bases in Jordan and Turkey since November 2012. The training reportedly started months before President Obama approved sending arms to anti-Assad rebels in mid-June. The secret courses have involved fighters from the Free Syrian Army, selected when US military set up to provide nonlethal assistance to rebels... "This detachment that participated in the exercise and remains in Jordan includes Patriot missile systems, fighter aircraft, and related support, command, control, and communications personnel and systems," Obama was quoted as saying by Reuters. The deployment increases the number of US troops stationed in the country to 1,000, according to an AFP defense source. Jordan and Turkey appeared in another recent report by the Washington Post citing US officials that CIA will deliver arms to rebel groups in Syria through its bases in these two countries....

Syrian rebel activists claim deadly 'toxic gas' attack
8/22/13 AP
The attack coincided with the visit by a 20-member U.N. chemical weapons team to Syria to investigate three sites where attacks allegedly occurred during the past year. Their presence raises questions about why the regime — which called the claims of the attack Wednesday "absolutely baseless" — would use chemical agents at this time.... Amateur videos posted online showed images of rooms full of lifeless bodies ..There was no visible blood or wounds on their skin."...The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor Rami Abdul-Rahman, cited activists in the area who said "poisonous gas" was fired in rockets as well as from the air in the attack...the Observatory called on the U.N. team in Syria and all international organizations "to visit the stricken areas as soon as possible"...The major U.S.-backed exile Syrian opposition group, The Syrian National Coalition put the number at 1,300 basing its claim on activist accounts and photographs....An opposition activist and pharmacist, using the pseudonym Abu Ahmad, who said he attended to dozens of injured people in a field hospital after the shelling Wednesday, said 63 of the dead had indications of chemical weapons but could not confirm this... White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the US does not have independent confirmation that chemical weapons were used.... "These reports are uncorroborated...if they are verified it would mark a shocking escalation in the use of chemical weapons in Syria" British Foreign Minister William Hague said in a statement.
The official Syrian news agency called the reports untrue and designed to derail the U.N. inquiry...a desperate opposition attempt to make up for rebel defeats on the ground... pro-Assad forces have held the momentum for much of this year around Damascus and several other parts of the country....Moscow backed the Syrian government's contention that antigovernment rebels, not the military, have used toxic gas... a Russian investigation indicated rebels produced chemical arms in a "cottage industry" Moscow said.

8/22 Foreignpolicy.com
If confirmed, the attack could dramatically alter the international response to Syria's ongoing civil war... the number of casualties and cause of their deaths remains uncertain...The Obama administration blamed the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad for Wednesday's deadly attack, chemical or otherwise as the French Foreign Minister said the international community must respond "with force" if evidence of chemical warfare is confirmed by UN team. The Russian government suggested the "pre-planned provocation" was orchestrated by the opposition. Syrian government officials deny allegations of any chemical weapons attack, while opposition forces are deliberating a response...

'US hotspot & Boston Bombing" Brothers
Chechen President: Foreign Services Recruit Young People to Fight in Syria
Chechen President Kadyrov said exactly that these “young people from Chechnya” are “recruited by foreign special services to fight with the Syrian opposition”....“No one even tries to hide it. Naturally, young people coming to Syria from Russia are a delicacy for them... clearly planned by external forces to overthrow the regime, destroy the country and liquidate its armed forces...and one cannot be sure that such kind of recruiting will not be then directed against Russia” Kadyrov said that about 5-6 people from his country already died within Syria while they fought on the side of the jihadists and thus, under the led [sic] of foreign nations and religious radicals...

Jihadists Receiving Most Arms Sent to Syrian Rebels
10/15/12 https://www.nytimes.com/ 2012/ 10/ 15/ world/ middleeast/ jihadists-receiving-most-arms-sent-to-syrian-rebels.html

Syrian Paradox: Regime Gets Stronger as It Loses Its Grip
...Of all the changes, perhaps the most significant and least appreciated is what, over time, has survived the spectacular killing of top officials in the heart of its traditional stronghold; street combat in Damascus, Aleppo and a string of other towns; the loss of important border crossings with Turkey and Iraq, all amid near-total economic devastation and diplomatic opprobrium. That, a year and a half later, its new incarnation not only withstood those blows but vigorously counterpunched sends a message worthy of reflection...

MARCH 2013
Jihadists, not Assad, apparently behind reported chemical attack in Syria
3/24/13 http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/jihadists-not-assad-apparently-b...
Intelligence reports suggest jihadists among Syria rebels have technical know-how to produce chemical warheads. Was the first use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war carried out by rebel forces fighting against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad?

APRIL 2013
Syria's Assad 'using chemical weapons': Israeli army
President Bashar al-Assad is using chemical weapons, most likely sarin gas, against rebel forces in Syria, Brigadier General Itai Brun, head of research and analysis in the army's military intelligence division, said in remarks to the INSS security conference in Tel Aviv, quoted on the army's official Twitter feed.

MAY 2013
"Exclusive: Obama Asks Pentagon for Syria No-Fly Zone Plan"
May 28, 2013 FP Situation Report Daily Beast, *Josh Rogin
Along with no-fly zone plans, the White House is considering arming parts of the Syrian opposition and formally recognizing the Syrian opposition council....Obama’s dual-track strategy continuing to pursue a political solution while also preparing for more direct U.S. military involvement includes authorizing the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the first time to plan for multilateral military actions...no decisions on using force have been made...Pentagon Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Dave Lapan sent the following statement to The Daily Beast after this story posted: “There is no new planning effort underway. The Joint Staff, along with the relevant combatant commanders, continue to conduct prudent planning for a range of possible military options”...
*senior correspondent for national security and politics for Newsweek andThe Daily Beast, previously worked at Foreign Policy magazine, Congressional Quarterly, Federal Computer Week magazine and Japan’s leading daily newspaper The Asahi Shimbun.

JUNE 2013
Syrian War: Israel and U.S. Coordinating How to Target Assad’s Arsenal
6/14/13 Karl Vick, TIME Jerusalem bureau chief and Aaron J. Klein from Tel Aviv, http://world.time.com/2013/06/14/the-syrian-war-israel-and-u-s-coordinat...
52 days after Israeli general Yigal Palmor declared Syria had used chemical weapons against the rebels, the Obama administration reached the same conclusion, using the finding to justify announcing the decision to arm the victims...of course Israel is closely involved already, in more ways than acknowledged publicly... “We are sharing. We have had our cards on the table with the US for a long time. They had all this information.”... cooperation between the two countries has been exceptionally close — and growing closer as Washington publicly ramps up its military involvement in the Syrian conflict.“Things are happening behind the scenes. Things are really happening” an Israeli intelligence official said... Israel has already struck inside Syria three times by air this year...“The main arms of concern to us are the arms already in Syria — anti-aircraft weapons, chemical weapons and other very dangerous weapons that could be game changers,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the BBC in April, in remarks the Israeli foreign ministry said remain operative in the wake of Obama’s decision to arm the rebels. “They will change the conditions, the balance of power in the Middle East..."the Pentagon announced this month it was sending F-16s and Patriot missile batteries to Jordan, ostensibly for the "Eager Lion" exercise, which will remain afterward. “It’s a clear, purposeful, presence of a strike force near the Syrian border of Syria...a clear message” the Israeli official noted. The message is also intended to be legible to Iran and Lebanese militia Hizballah, as well as testing the resolve of Western powers who threaten to strike its nuclear program. “It’s only a short leap to the Gulf,” the official said. Patriot batteries went into Turkey last year, under the NATO banner. And the chief of Mossad, Israel’s overseas intelligence agency, traveled to Ankara this week to meet with Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, known by its Turkish initials MIT. As opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad organize to assist the rebels opposing him, Israel feels obliged to lay low. Though closely aligned with the US and maintaining diplomatic relations with Jerusalem, countries like Jordan and Turkey have majority Muslim populations who do not welcome cooperation with Israel. “If this is to hold water, this cannot involve Israel,” the Israeli official said....

Data on chemical arms use by Syria's Assad fabricated: Russian MP
6/14/13, Reuters –http://news.yahoo.com/data-chemical-arms-syrias-assad-fabricated-russian-mp-060432035.html
A US official said President Obama has authorized sending US weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time, after saying it has proof the Syrian government used chemical weapons against opposition forces. "Information about the use by Assad of chemical weapons has been fabricated in the same place as the lies about (Saddam) Hussein's weapons of mass destruction," Alexei Pushkov, Russian parliament head of the foreign policy committee, said on Twitter. "Obama is taking the same path as George Bush

Decision to Arm Syrian Rebels Was Reached Weeks Ago
6/14/13 http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/decision-to-arm-sy...
As Syrian government forces began to turn the war in its favor... Obama ordered officials to...plan what weaponry to send and how to deliver it...the chemical weapons finding provided fresh justification to act...The administration continued to deflect questions about what equipment it will provide...the shifting balance in the war has made the peace talks proposed last month untenable with the opposition in a position of weakness, and little immediate incentive for Assad to agree to any deal requiring him to give up power ...U.S. diplomats and officials said Putin is unlikely to soften his support for Assad at the G8 summit next week...Any use of the U.S. military “would be things we could discuss in great detail,” said Benjamin Rhodes, Obama’s deputy National Security Adviser for strategic communications...

Egypt: Thousands of Islamists call for Jihad against Syria
6/15/13 by: M K http://www.syrianews.cc/egypt-thousands-islamists-jihad-syria/
“very well educated” protesters

Sarin Gas Use Doubted, Experts See No Evidence
6/15/13 By Matthew Schofield 6/15/13 McClatchy Washington Bureau
Chemical weapons experts voiced skepticism about U.S. claims the Syrian President Assad government used the nerve agent sarin against rebels on at least four occasions this spring, saying that while the use of such a weapons is possible, they've seen no telltale signs of a sarin gas attack, despite months of scrutiny."It's not unlike Sherlock Holmes and the dog that didn't bark" ...In a passionate argument for U.S. involvement in Syria, Anthony Cordesman, a security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, wrote "the 'discovery' that Syria used chemical weapons may be a political ploy"...

Dempsey says US considering use of force in Syria -
7/18/13 AP www.usnews.com/ news/ world/ articles/ 2013/ 07/ 18/ dempsey-says-us-considering-use-of-force-in-syria
WASHINGTON (AP) The nation's top military officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey, told a Senate panel the Obama administration is deliberating whether to use military power in Syria ...The use of kinetic strikes, a military term that typically refers to missiles and bombs, "is under deliberation...".Dempsey's testimony last week to the Senate Armed Services Committee indicated "the tide" in Syria seems to have shifted in Assad's favor...he detailed five options in a letter to Congress... likely to help the opposition and place more pressure on Assad government. However, unintended results could include empowering extremists and "unleashing the chemical weapons"..the option of establishing a no-fly zone over Syria...would require hundreds of aircraft and cost as much as a billion dollars per month. He said the impact may be limited because Syrian forces could still attack with mortars and missiles... "buffer zones," most likely in neighboring Turkey and Jordan to provide humanitarian assistance and give opposition forces a place to train...would also require a no-fly zone for protection, as well as thousands of U.S. ground forces at a cost of more than $1 billion per month...air strikes to weaken the Syrian army would need hundreds of U.S. aircraft and ships - billions of dollars. He cautioned that once military action is taken, US should be prepared "deeper involvement is hard to avoid."

Momentum in Syria Bolstering Assad Position
7/22/13 NYT Though his country is in shambles, President Bashar al-Assad now seems better positioned to hang on to power than he has been for most of Syria's two-year civil war.

*Syrian Opposition Coalition leader shows U.S., Saudi influence
7/23/13 VOA http://www.voanews.com/content/top-us-officer-outlines-options-for-syria...
pub. July 7, 2013 modified July 8, 2013 McClatchy http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2021351038_syrianoppositionxml....
The new Syrian Opposition Coalition, designated by the US as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people, elected a leader with close ties to Saudi Arabia.