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US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks on Syria at the State Department in Washington, DC, on August 26, 2013. The United States said Tuesday that chemical weapons had been used against Syrian civilians and warned President Barack Obama would demand accountability for this 'moral obscenity.' Employing his strongest language yet, Kerry said Washington was still examining evidence, but left no doubt that Bashar al-Assad's regime would be blamed.
In a statement Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry called the use of chemical weapons in Syria “a moral obscenity” that demands action from the U.S. U.S. government officials have concluded that chemical weapons were used in the attack in the Damascus suburb last week, despite UN weapons inspectors again postponing their trip to the site out of concern for their own safety.
Now the question is what action the U.S. will take against Syria for crossing the “red line” President Obama outlined against the use of chemical weapons. This morning in an interview with BBC, defense secretary Chuck Hagel said the U.S. military is “ready to go” whenever the president decides on the course of action.
What action should the U.S. take against Syria? What are the different options and how would they affect Syrian civilians? Syria’s foreign minister said the country will defend itself with “all means available” in case of a U.S. attack. What’s the plan for ensuring domestic security?
Christopher Harmer, Senior Naval Analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, a think tank in DC.
Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics and Chair of Mid-Eastern Studies, University of San Francisco
Jim Walsh, research associate at the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology