US sends fifth destroyer to eastern Med: official
UN orders its inspectors out of Syria in anticipation of strikes.
The US Navy has deployed a fifth destroyer to the eastern Mediterranean, a defense official told AFP on Thursday, as expectations grow of an imminent strike on Syria.
The USS Stout, a guided missile destroyer, is “in the Mediterranean, heading and moving east” to relieve the Mahan, said the official, who said both ships might remain in place for the time being.
Other destroyers in the region — the Ramage, the Barry and the Gravely — criss-cross the Mediterranean and could launch their Tomahawk missiles toward Syria if so directed by US President Barack Obama.
The defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not say how long the Mahan would stay in the area before returning to its home port of Norfolk, Virginia, which it left in December 2012.
Report: US Attack On Syria to Begin Saturday
UN weapons inspectors have been ordered to leave Syria early amid mounting anticipation of US-led military strikes.
As the five permanent members of the security council held a second emergency meeting on Syria in two days on Thursday evening, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, instructed the 20-strong inspection team in Damascus to leave on Saturday, a day ahead of schedule. Ban also announced that the team would report to him immediately on departure, raising the possibility that the UN could issue an interim report on the 21 August chemical attacks that left hundreds of people dead.
The inspectors had not been due to deliver their findings for a week at least, with the analysis of samples a painstaking task. The demand for a rushed early assessment reflects the fraught atmosphere at the UN triggered by US threats to launch punitive air strikes within days.
In Washington US intelligence officials were on Thursday seeking to persuade congressman of the evidence that the Syrian government was responsible for chemical weapons attacks, as the Obama administration resisted comparisons with the run-up to the Iraq war. http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-syria-strikes
Onslaught to begin when UN inspectors leave.
A reporter with Israel’s most widely read newspaper has been told by defense establishment officials that a US-led attack on Syria will begin on Saturday and end when Barack Obama meets Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
Despite an apparent softening in rhetoric as British Prime Minister David Cameron faces a parliamentary revolt over military intervention, in addition to reports that the intelligence against Assad’s regime is by no means a “slam dunk,” Israel Hayom reporter Amir Mizroch tweets that the attack will begin on Saturday immediately after UN inspectors have left the country.
Inspectors had initially planned to leave on Sunday after concluding their investigation but their departure a day early has increased speculation that air strikes are imminent.
British and American military might is now fully in place and prepared for strikes which experts say will take the form of Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles fired from warships or submarines.
Mizroch also highlights remarks made by former Mossad director Danny Yatom, who says that the apparent delay on green lighting military strikes is only so Bashar Al-Assad can’t use the UN inspectors as human shields.
Mizroch was also told that Israel sent Assad a message via Russia threatening that if Syria attempts to attack Israel, Damascus will be targeted and Assad’s regime will be toppled.
This threat was made despite attempts by Gulf nations to secure a promise from Israel that it would act with restraint if Syria attempts retaliatory strikes against Israel in response to a western onslaught. Israel replied that it would act with restraint, but only if aggression against it “did not exceed reasonable bounds.”
In a related story, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro has promised a “strong and serious response,” to Assad’s alleged chemical atrocity last week, despite American officials admitting to the New York Times that there is no “smoking gun” that directly links President Assad to the attack.
US intelligence officials also told the Associated Press that the intelligence proving Assad’s culpability is “no slam dunk,” a far cry form the Obama administration’s rhetoric, which held that Assad’s responsibility was “undeniable.”
The messed up thing is, we're all going to be watching the UFC while this happens. Crazy state of affairs.
Marcus Aurelius: Tell me again, Maximus, why are we here?
Maximus: For the glory of the Empire, sire.
Baked, not fried... the healthy choice.
Last edited by No_Mercy; 08-29-2013 at 06:25 PM.