President Obama now says he will go before Congress and make his case for military action against Syria before any strikes are launched. This means military action is on hold until at least September 9, the date on which Congress reconvenes.
The conflict in Syria has lasted two years, pitting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels determined to oust control of the country from him. In those two years approximately 100,000 lives have been lost.
Throughout the conflict Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has urged Obama to aid those opposing the Assad regime, but his requests have been countered by those who point to Al Qaeda’s involvement in the rebel ranks. And at this point in time, the involvement of Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda affiliates is only growing within the rebel groups.
For example, last week Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) pointed out that seven out of nine rebel groups “may well have some ties to Al Qaeda.”
Therefore, prior to Obama’s pledge to come before Congress before taking action against Syria, Cruz said Obama’s talk of striking Syria was not well thought out: that it was equivalent to the kind of “moral outrage” one sees in a “faculty lounge”.
Right now Assad is under heavy scrutiny for possibly attacking his own people with chemical weapons. And while Russian President Vladimir Putin calls such allegations “utter nonsense,” Secretary of State John Kerry has been outspoken in his belief that the use of chemical weapons was real.