The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

August 27, 2013

Kerry: Chemical arms use in Syria has consequences

(Continued)

More than 100,000 people have died in clashes between forces loyal to Assad and rebels trying to oust him from power over the past two and a half years. While Obama has repeatedly called for Assad to leave power, he has resisted calls for a robust U.S. intervention, and has largely limited American assistance to humanitarian aid. The president said last year that chemical weapons use would cross a "red line" and would likely change his calculus in deciding on a U.S. response.

Last week's attack in the Damascus suburbs is a challenge to Obama's credibility. He took little action after Assad used chemical weapons on a small scale earlier this year and risks signaling to countries like Iran that his administration does not follow through on its warnings.

Syrian activists say the Aug. 21 attack killed hundreds; the group Doctors Without Borders put the death toll at 355 people.

The U.S. Navy last week moved a fourth destroyer into the eastern Mediterranean. Each ship can launch ballistic missiles.

Officials said it was likely the targets of any cruise-missile attacks would be tied to the regime's ability to launch chemical weapons attacks. Possible targets would include weapons arsenals, command and control centers, radar and communications facilities, and other military headquarters. Less likely was a strike on a chemical weapons site because of the risk of releasing toxic gases.

Military experts and U.S. officials said Monday that the precision strikes would probably come during the night and target key military sites.

The president has ruled out putting American troops on the ground in Syria and officials say they are not considering setting up a unilateral no-fly zone.

On Capitol Hill, bipartisan support for a military response appeared to be building, with some key lawmakers calling for targeted strikes. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said the Ohio Republican had "preliminary communication" with White House officials about the situation in Syria and a potential American response.

It's unlikely that the U.S. would launch a strike against Syria while the United Nations team is still in the country. The administration may also try to time any strike around Obama's travel schedule — he's due to hold meetings in Sweden and Russia next week — in order to avoid having the commander in chief abroad when the U.S. launches military action.

------

Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

Text Only
AP National
  • Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work WASHINGTON (AP) — The Social Security Administration has spent nearly $300 million on a new computer system to handle disability claims, but the agency can't get it to work. And officials can't say when it will. Six years ago, Social Security embarke

    July 24, 2014

  • JFK returns to old look in new collectors' coins WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — President John F. Kennedy is getting his old look back on new collectors' coins. The slain president's profile debuted on the half dollar 50 years ago, and the image was subtly tweaked and sharpened in the 1990s. Now the U.S.

    July 24, 2014

  • FAA lifts ban on US flights to Tel Aviv airport WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. flights in and out of Israel. The end of the ban, which the agency had imposed out of concern for the risk of planes being hit by Hamas rockets, was effective at 11:45 p

    July 24, 2014

  • Man run over by own truck during road rage GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A man in Florida apparently got a dose of road rage karma when police say he was run over by his own pickup truck after getting out to bang on another driver's window. It happened Tuesday evening in Gainesville, Florida. The

    July 24, 2014

  • New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs. The agency sued Jersey Boardwalk Pizza Tuesday in federal court over th

    July 24, 2014

  • US economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier WASHINGTON (AP) — Out of a seemingly hollow recovery from the Great Recession, a more durable if still slow-growing U.S. economy has emerged. That conclusion, one held by a growing number of economists, might surprise many people. After all, in the f

    July 23, 2014

  • Judges in health care rulings vote party line WASHINGTON (AP) — In rapid succession, six federal judges on two appeals courts weighed in on a key component of President Barack Obama's health care law. Their votes lined up precisely with the party of the president who appointed them. It was the l

    July 23, 2014

  • House, Senate chart separate courses on border WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats and House Republicans are moving separately to slash President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency spending request for the southern border, but they're unlikely to end up with a deal that could pass both chambers

    July 23, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. THE FINAL DAYS AND HOURS OF FLIGHT 17'S PASSENGERS The Boeing 777 traveling from Amsterdam to Malaysia held the promise of beginnings and endin

    July 23, 2014

  • Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress will hear testimony Wednesday detailing how undercover investigators used fake identities to get taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's law. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says

    July 23, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National