There are signs that President Obama may order an attack on Syria with or without congressional approval. The US ordered the withdrawal of non-emergency workers and their families from the embassy in Beirut and the consulate general in Adana, southeast Turkey.
According to the Wall Street Journal, The United States has intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad if President Obama strikes Syria, so I guess the Obama administration is assuming Hezbollah may do the same in Lebanon.
US Military officials have been trying to predict the range of possible responses from Syria, Iran and their allies. U.S. officials said they are on alert for Iran's fleet of small, fast boats in the Persian Gulf, where American warships are positioned.
The Daily Caller is reporting that Iran is vowing to back Bashar al-Assad’s regime to the hilt and threatening to unleash terrorism should the U.S. strike. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Forces, said Wednesday that “we will support Syria to the end.”
The Daily Caller goes on to state that a former Iranian official has warned of mass abductions and brutal killings of American citizens around the world and the rape and killing of one of Obama’s daughters should the United States attack Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is making moves in the region to counter the United States Navy's war-footing. The Nu-Soviets are sending an aircraft carrier group to shore up the guided-missile cruiser Moskva and the naval task force that's already in the region.
The Russian naval task force that is already in the region includes a destroyer and a frigate. Russian officials said that the intelligence and reconnaissance ship Priazovye was being sent from the Black Sea to the eastern Mediterranean and would operate separately from the naval task force.
The United States has deployed the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and four other ships in its strike group earlier this week into the Red Sea. The US strike group had not received any orders to move into the Mediterranean, where five US destroyers and an amphibious ship remain poised for possible cruise missile strikes against Syria.
The nuclear-powered Nimitz is accompanied by the Princeton, a cruiser, and three destroyers – the William P. Lawrence, Stockdale and Shoup. The US Navy doubled its presence in the eastern Mediterranean in the past week, effectively adding two destroyers to the three that generally patrol the region. The destroyers are carrying a combined load of about 200 Tomahawk missiles, but officials say a limited strike on Syria could be accomplished with half that number.
In Washington a sharply divided Senate committee voted Wednesday to give President Obama limited authority to use force against Syria, but it remains to be seen if the House will follow suit. The vote by the Senate Foreign Relations Committe was 10 to 7. Two liberal Senate Democrats voted against the resolution, one liberal Senator voted present and three Republicans voted for the resolution.
The full Senate will vote next week on the resolution after Congress returns from recess and there is a good chance the House will refuse their support for the resolution. President Obama has refused to rule out attacking Syria without the backing of Congress, as new polls show he faces a crushing defeat in any vote in the House of Representatives.
Stay tuned, should get interesting!