Cross-posted from The Intercept
"President Barack Obama officially demanded that Syrian President Bashar Assad resign for the sake of his own people, saying he was no longer fit to lead after 'imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering his own people' during a crackdown on pro-reform protesters."
"Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats."
"Now, after careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets. . . . [W]e are the United States of America, and we cannot and must not turn a blind eye to what happened in Damascus."
"President Obama has authorized surveillance flights over Syria, a precursor to potential airstrikes there, but a mounting concern for the White House is how to target the Sunni extremists without helping President Bashar al-Assad. . . . The flights are a significant step toward direct American military action in Syria, an intervention that could alter the battlefield in the nation's three-year civil war. . . .
"On Monday, Syria warned the White House that it needed to coordinate airstrikes against ISIS or it would view them as a breach of its sovereignty and an 'act of aggression.' But it signaled its readiness to work with the United States in a coordinated campaign against the militants."