Direct evidence linking President Assad of Syria to the attacks of 21 August is scarce, and Baroness Ashton appears to be speaking to deaf ears if she wants to resolve the situation using the UN. The latest news appears to be that Obama is still considering going in without the approval of either the UN or Congress.
Did rebels have advance notification of escalation in Syria? In other words, did they know that something would happen that would draw the ire of the US?
On August 13-14, 2013, Western-sponsored opposition forces in Turkey started advance preparations for a major and irregular military surge. Initial meetings between senior opposition military commanders and representatives of Qatari, Turkish, and US Intelligence [“Mukhabarat Amriki”] took place at the converted Turkish military garrison in Antakya, Hatay Province, used as the command center and headquarters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their foreign sponsors. Very senior opposition commanders who had arrived from Istanbul briefed the regional commanders of an imminent escalation in the fighting due to “a war-changing development” which would, in turn, lead to a US-led bombing of Syria. [Emphasis added]Not only does this report suggest strongly that the rebels had advance warning that trouble was brewing – there is also (h/tip 21st-century Wire) strong evidence to suggest that a Conservative MP, who has written passionately in favour of intervention in Syria, was at the Turkish garrison with the rebels at or near the time in question and may have been aware of such intelligence. The MP, Brooks Newmark, writes in the Sunday Mail, 'I told the rebels David Cameron was about to come to their rescue with Mr Obama': this was a very irresponsible commitment to make, however confident his prediction of the result of the vote.
Another significant development is the enthusiasm of Senator John McCain for the project of launching (limited?) air strikes on Syria , who has told his colleagues that Saudi Arabia and Qatar will pay the cost of launching air strikes. The idea of the US undertaking military adventures against a country paid for by a third party is completely staggering – almost as much as the idea that Senator McCain should consider such a crass arrangement as remotely alluring to voters. The presence of al-Qaida and other terrorist groups firmly in the opposition camp must belie the hawks' declaration that action would be in America's 'national security interest'.
Calls for impeachment of the President are growing. From this side of the Atlantic it is hard to assess their scale, but the case is strongly made. If you are in the US and feel that this strike should be stopped, view this video and call your Congress representative now!