Take Two for August 29, 2013

Why Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons is spurring US action

SYRIA-CONFLICT

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Syrian men evacuate a victim following an air strike by regime forces in the northern city of Aleppo on August 26, 2013. Syria's opposition accused pro-regime forces of opening fire at UN weapons inspectors on their way to a suspected chemical weapons site outside Damascus in a bid to hinder their investigation.

The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is accused of launching a large-scale chemical weapons attack against civilians. While the Obama administration has yet to say how the U.S. will respond to the attacks, it has indicated the strong possibility of punitive military strikes.

Today, the White House is expected to brief Congressional leaders on possible courses of action.

Intervention, should it happen, would come more than two years into a conflict that's estimated to have killed more than 100,000 Syrians. With so many deaths already, we wondered why it was the use of chemical weapons that seems to be prompting action from the international community.

Dr. Alexander Garza is the former assistant secretary for health affairs with the Department of Homeland Security. He currently teaches epidemiology at Saint Louis University and joins us to talk about chemical weapons. 


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