Destroyers Syria: Just What Would a Strike on Damascus Entail? Government Officials Provide Details on Potential Intervention (VIDEO)
By Maxine Wally | Aug 28, 2013 01:00 PM EDT
Government officials are still trying to figure out a plan with the international community to deter future chemical weapons attacks on Syrian civilians, while four United States Navy destroyers remain stationed off the coast, ready to strike.
Senior White House representatives described just what a strike would entail, if the U.S. chooses to move forward with an intervention in Damascus.
One administration official who spoke to ABC News anonymously said that the U.S., France and Britain are currently weighing reports and facts collected by chemical weapons inspectors to gauge whether intervention in Syria is justified on humanitarian grounds.
"If there is action taken, it must be clearly defined what the objective is and why," the official said. It must also be based on "clear facts."
According to the Guardian, Britain has submitted a resolution to the United Nations security council on Wednesday stating the need for action to be taken to protection Syrian civilians.
"Britain has drafted a resolution condemning the attack by the Assad regime, and authorizing all necessary measures under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter to protect civilians from Chemical weapons," Prime Minister David Cameron wrote on Twitter. "The resolution will be put forward at a meeting of the five permanent members of the Security Council later today in New York."
2/2 Britain has drafted a resolution condemning the chemical weapons attack by Assad & authorising necessary measures to protect civilians.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) August 28, 2013
3/3 The resolution will be put forward at a meeting of the five permanent members of the Security Council later today in New York. — David Cameron (@David_Cameron) August 28, 2013
In the case that the United States and its allies decide to proceed with a strike, the ultimate goal will be to damage Assad's military and weaponry, with special attention toward nixing chemical weapons. But there are no plans, currently, to try capturing the chemical weapons. According to Fox, the various weapons are in 50 different locations around the Middle Eastern country. Some are hidden underground.
If a strike occurs, Air Force weapons and resources will be deployed, including long range stealth bombers-aircrafts that can fly for thousands of miles without refueling and can carry more than 20 tons of both nuclear and non-nuclear weaponry.
British nuclear-powered submarines are also prepared to strike.
In neighboring nations Jordan and Turkey, the United States has set up anti-missile batteries, ABC News reported.
American officials are still considering whether putting boots on the ground is a necessary addition to the intervention.
"At this point the weight of international opinion would be that military action would not be legal," professor of international law at Tufts University Ian Johnstone told the Guardian. "However, I do think that there could be a case where violation of the law would be excused on the grounds of humanitarian necessity."
Professor of law at Columbia University Matthew Waxman said that the United States might try using a moral backing for reasons of intervention.
(Video contains some strong images.)