After two and half years of civil war, Syria's internal strife reached new lows on Aug. 21, when an alleged chemical gas attack killed more than a thousand people, according to opposition groups.
As U.S. President Obama and Western allies consider retaliatory strikes, the Middle East faces the danger of spreading violence, and economic repercussions.
Defense secretary Chuck Hagel says that U.S. forces are "ready to go" if the administration decides to strike against alleged Syrian chemical weapon use. U.S. Navy guided missile destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea are within range of Syrian targets.
President Obama is seeking congressional support for a military strike on Syria. So far only about 5 percent of the House publicly supports a strike. Tea Party Republicans and anti-war Democrats make up the bulk of at least 74 House members opposed to military action according to a Bloomberg News tally.
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the Obama administration to embrace a proposal for Syria to surrender its chemical arms as foreign ministers from the U.S. and Russia prepared to meet to discuss the initiative.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said diplomatic efforts to persuade Syria to surrender its chemical weapons should be given time to work, as a bipartisan group of senators is drafting an alternative proposal.
A delay to let Congress debate authorization for U.S. military strikes sets up a cat-and-mouse game in Syria, giving Bashar al-Assad time to seek hiding places for troops and equipment as the Pentagon steps up surveillance to find targets for Tomahawk cruise missiles.
A Senate panel sent the Obama administration a contradictory message on next steps in Syria, voting to constrain U.S. military action to avoid being drawn into the civil war and expand covert support for Syrian rebels.
The diplomatic dialogue between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin has featured the U.S. president comparing Putin to a bored schoolboy and the Russian leader forcing an irritated Obama to wait a half-hour for a meeting.
When an anti-war protester interrupted a congressional hearing on Syria this week to yell, “We don’t want another war,” Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged the irony that he first appeared before the same Senate panel 42 years ago as an anti-war activist.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to vote today on a use-of-force resolution that sets a 90-day limit on U.S. military action against Syria and explicitly doesn’t authorize use of ground troops in combat.
Obama administration officials are hinting they’re prepared to accelerate efforts to arm rebel forces in the effort to oust President Bashar al-Assad while also insisting that a U.S. missile attack on Syria would be intended solely to punish his regime’s use of chemical weapons.
Russia will only consider supporting a United Nations resolution authorizing military strikes against the Syrian government if there’s conclusive proof it used chemical weapons, President Vladimir Putin said.
President Barack Obama and his aides are meeting resistance from multiple directions as they seek congressional backing for military action against Syria, and a prominent critic told the president to “up his game.”
President Barack Obama’s decision to seek congressional authority to attack Syria for alleged chemical weapons use has dismayed friends, delighted foes and prompted criticism that he’s undermined U.S. credibility.
Israel’s President Shimon Peres defended U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval for a strike on Syria, after officials criticized the decision as undermining the image of American resolve.
President Francois Hollande faces increasing pressure to give France’s National Assembly a say in his Syrian policy as the U.S. Congress prepares to vote on approving a military strike against the Middle Eastern country.
Hair and blood samples from Syria tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in television interviews as he sought to build the case for Congress to authorize a military strike.
A Syrian cabinet minister called for a pre-emptive response against the U.S. and the premier said his country wouldn’t be cowed after President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve an attack on Syria.
“This kind of attack is a challenge to the world,” Obama said in brief remarks at the White House. He added that he hasn’t made a final decision on his response, and that “in no event” will it involve U.S. troops on the ground in Syria.
President Obama's case for punitive military action against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is haunted by events a decade ago, when his predecessor based his case for invading Iraq on false intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.