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What a difference 24 hours can make! Only yesterday it seemed that war, or some form of US-led armed attack, against Syria seemed more a case of ‘when’ and not ‘if’, and yet now, the threat of that imminent attack has faded.
This is because the British Prime Minister David Cameron, a close ally of the US, failed to win support in parliament for any military strike against Syria. Ministers still remain very wary of the poor decision to start a war in Iraq, and feel that this situation in Syria has a similar feel.
Even with the help of an assessment of the 21st of August chemical attack outside Damascus which stated it was highly likely that the Syrian government was behind the attack, opposition forced Cameron to agree to wait for the judgement of United Nations inspectors at the site, before making any decisions.
Related article: How to Trade the Ongoing Events in Syria
Politicians are worried that a decision to invade Syria, could end up very similar to Iraq, where the UK agreed to lend military support to the US-led invasion based on false information about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Cameron argued that “this is not like Iraq. What we are seeing in Syria is fundamentally different. We’re not invading a country.”
Three US officials spoke to Bloomberg, and admitted that intelligence officers had intercepted Syrian communications, which had provided no evidence that Assad or any member of his inner circle knew of, or ordered the attack; in fact Assad made demands to his subordinates to explain what had happened.
Now it is possible that Assad has merely fabricated these messages in an attempt to deceive any intelligence officers who might intercept the communications, although the use of chemical weapons at this time makes no political or military sense as Assad was already gaining the upper hand in that region.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said that the UN inspectors will inspect the site of the chemical attack, and then report their findings to him. The result will play a huge part in deciding the action to take against Syria.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com