Tom Miles and Yara Bayoumy
September 3, 2013
The number of Syrian refugees has passed the two million mark, a United Nations agency said on Tuesday, warning that the world faces its greatest threat to peace since the Vietnam war.
As President Barack Obama wrestled with doubters in Congress ahead of votes next week on possible U.S. strikes on Syria, Israeli forces training with the U.S. navy in the Mediterranean set nerves on edge in Damascus with a missile test that triggered an alert from the Syrian government’s ally Russia.
Obama has asked lawmakers to back military action to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for killing hundreds of people with poison gas last month – a charge Assad denied on Monday as he warned Washington and its French allies of retribution.
With many Americans, including legislators from his own Democratic party, fearful of embroiling the United States in a third major war in a Muslim country this century, Obama has insisted he is not seeking “regime change” in Syria.