Will Double-0 Go It Alone?: New York Times: "President Obama is willing to move ahead with a limited military strike on Syria even while allies like Britain are debating whether to join the effort and without an endorsement from the United Nations Security Council, senior administration officials said Thursday. Although the officials cautioned that Mr. Obama had not made a final decision, all indications suggest that the strike could occur as soon as United Nations inspectors, who are investigating the Aug. 21 attack that killed hundreds of Syrians, leave the country. They are scheduled to depart Damascus, the capital, on Saturday. The White House is to present its case for military action against Syria to Congressional leaders on Thursday night."
He won't have to: New York Times: President François Hollande of France on Friday offered strong support for international military action against the Syrian government, supporting the Obama administration just a day after the British Parliament rejected Minister Prime David Cameron’s call for intervention.
A chemical attack on Aug. 21 attributed to Syrian forces in the Damascus suburbs by Western powers “must not go unpunished,” Mr. Hollande said in an interview with Le Monde, the French daily newspaper. “Otherwise, it would be taking the risk of an escalation that would normalize the use of these weapons and threaten other countries.”
A military strike against government targets would have a “dissuasion value” and push the government of President Bashar al-Assad toward a negotiated “political solution” to the conflict, Mr. Hollande said in referring to France’s explicitly stated goal.
France has been outspoken in saying the government of Mr. Assad must be punished for the reported poison gas attack last Wednesday, in which hundreds of people were killed. Although Mr. Hollande has presented no specific evidence linking Syrian government to the attacks, he has spoken confidently of its culpability. Parliamentary approval is not required for French military action, and Mr. Hollande has said his government is “prepared to punish” those responsible.