ALEPPO, SYRIA – Government forces in Syria continue battling rebels in the streets and neighborhoods, fighting on foot and in armored vehicles, and sometimes with artillery and bombs aimed at civilians in the country’s towns and villages.
U.S. intelligence believes the Syrian government is seriously considering the use of chemical weapons in a last-ditch effort to hold on to power.
The Obama administration says it knows Syria moved some of its chemical weapons, but admits those two times may have been to secure the stockpiles and to keep them out of the hands of rebel forces.
Even so, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is warning Syria that use of chemical weapons could mean crossing the Obama administration’s red line and pulling Uncle Sam into the civil war.
“We have made our views very clear,’ she said. ‘This is a red line for the United States. I’m not going to telegraph in any specifics what we would do in the event of credible evidence that the Assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against their own people. But suffice to say we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur. So we, once again, issue a very strong warning to the Assad regime that their behavior is reprehensible, their actions against their own people have been tragic, but there is no doubt that there is a line between even the horrors that they have already inflicted on the Syrian people and moving to what would be an internationally condemned step of utilizing their chemical weapons.”
Tough words and international condemnation are no comfort to Syrian civilians who would be the first to die if the government crosses that red line.