Roundup of Saturday’s Syria developments

SHARE Roundup of Saturday’s Syria developments

President Barack Obama meets in the Situation Room with his national security advisors to discuss strategy in Syria, Saturday, August 31, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) [Via Flickr]

The internet was abuzz with stories as the possibility of U.S. involvement in Syria changed Saturday afternoon. Here is a roundup of some of headlines you may have missed.

Russia rejects chemical attack claims

Vladimir Putin has rejected intelligence claims that the al-Assad regime used chemical weapons. [The Guardian]

Secretary of State Kerry spoke with Syrian opposition leader

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to the Syrian opposition leader on Saturday to underscore the determination of the United States to hold the Syrian government accountable for using chemical weapons, a U.S. official said. [Yahoo News]

Obama made last-minute decision on Syria approval

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior administration officials say President Barack Obama had planned to take military action against Syria without congressional authorization, but told aides Friday night that he had changed his mind. [AP]

Police clear protesters outside White House before Obama’s speech


What If Congress Says No? White House Won’t Say.

Administration officials refuse to comment on what Obama will do if Congress doesn’t authorize strikes on Syria. [Buzzfeed]

United States had intel on chemical strike before it was launched

American intelligence agencies had indications three days beforehand that the Syrian regime was poised to launch a lethal chemical attack. [Foreign Policy]

Sixth warship enters eastern Mediterranean

There are now five destroyers and one amphibious ship carrying hundreds of Marines in the Eastern Mediterranean. [Huffington Post]

Syrian rebels planning attacks to exploit U.S. strikes

Opposition fighters across Syria are preparing to launch attacks that exploit anticipated U.S.-led military strikes, but there are no plans to coordinate with Western forces, a Syrian rebel commander said on Saturday. [Reuters]

Nancy Pelosi’s statement

“President Obama is right that the debate and authorization by Congress for action will make our country and the response in Syria stronger. [Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi/a>]

Joint statement from senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham

“We cannot in good conscience support isolated military strikes in Syria that are not part of an overall strategy that can change the momentum on the battlefield.” [John McCain]

Calls for Congress to return immediately

“I believe Congress should return to Washington immediately and begin to debate this issue,” Senator Marco Rubio said in a statement. [Politico]

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