August 25, 2013
Western and Middle East powers led by Washington began moving Saturday night and Sunday morning, Aug. 25, toward a first strike against Syria following the Assad regime’s large-scale chemical attack in eastern Damascus last Wednesday. The first targeted strike may well signal the start of a series of US-led attacks aimed at toppling the Assad regime, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. They may consist of imposing a no-fly zone and the sealing off of sectors in northern and southern Syria against government forces.
Russian forces also went on war alert
President Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron spent 40 minutes on the phone Saturday night amid the strongest indications to date from Washington that direct military intervention by the West was approaching, following a change in the US president’s posture. He has become convinced that the strike would have to be conducted outside the United Nations.
Military commanders from Western and Muslim countries are meeting Sunday in the Jordanian capital of Amman to coordinate action in Syria, with the participation of the US, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, France, Italy and Canada. Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff chairs the meeting. Saturday night, four American destroyers were moving closer to Syria, armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, which are capable of precision strikes.