Those tasked with executing the strike on Bashar al Assad’s regime in Syria were reportedly shocked when U.S. President Barack Obama announced Saturday that he wanted to seek Congressional approval first,
according to Chris Lawrence with CNN.
“The tempo went from ‘go-go-go’ to nothing,” an unnamed defence official told CNN. “We were standing multiple watches. Everyone was pretty sure it was going to happen.”
With U.S. destroyers and submarines waiting off the coast of Syria, battle stations manned, and fingers on the trigger of hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles, Obama reportedly changed his mind Friday evening on executing the strike on his own authority, after a conversation with his chief of staff, Denis McDonough.
Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said as early as Aug. 27 that the U.S. military was “ready to go” to strike Syria if ordered, in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians on Aug. 21.
But after a proposed UN Security Council Resolution failed to make it pass Russia, and a British measure authorizing force died in the House of Commons, the president decided to seek an authorization of military force from Congress.
The authorization cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today by a vote of 10 to 7, with one abstention.
It is expected to be subject to a full vote from the House and Senate as early as next week.
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