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Could U.S. Military Action Turn Syrian Civil War into a "Widespread Regional War"?
The White House has launched what it describes as a "flood the zone" campaign to persuade Congress to authorize bombing Syria days after President Obama surprised many by announcing he would seek congressional approval before taking action against the Syrian government. On Saturday, the White House released a proposed military resolution that authorizes the president to use the armed forces "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in connection with the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in the conflict in Syria." Critics of military intervention say the draft resolution could open the door to possible use of ground troops or eventual attacks on other countries.
“It would intensify sectarian tensions inside Syria and neighboring states in particular in Lebanon and Iraq,” says Fawaz Gerges, professor of international relations and Middle East studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science. “It would deepen the involvement of regional powers further in Syria, particularly Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar on the one hand, and Iran, Hezbollah and to a smaller extent, Iraq. It would rekindle the collective memory of Arabs and Muslims of previous Western hegemonic attacks. The Iraq model is very much alive in the Arab imagination.”
While Washington debates the use of military force, the United Nations has revealed the number of refugees who have fled Syria has topped two million. The tide of children, women and men leaving Syria has risen almost 10-fold over the past 12 months.