THE FINAL STRIKE: As US President Barack Obama prepares to bring his plan for intervention in Syria before Congress, residents in the Damascus suburb of Babila are voicing their skepticism about Western motives for striking the regime.
“America, Britain, France – all of them – are not trustworthy,” says a man named Abu Yasir in the Damascus suburb of Babila, where the Syrian Revolutionary Council filmed an opinion survey about the proposed strike.
Nevertheless, Abu Yasir supports the strike, echoing the sentiments of many pro-revolution Syrians who are with US intervention so long as it targets the regime exclusively and with precision. “God willing this will be the final strike, the strike that takes Assad out,” he adds.
“May [God] destroy the oppressors by the hands of the oppressors,” says another man whose face is hidden from the camera.
Still, doubts remain as to whether the United States will finally act.
“They’ve been talking for two, almost three years now, promising, promising, promising…” says one man, “but [they] have done nothing, in reality.”
Obama has opted to seek congressional authorization for the attack rather than intervene unilaterally, a decision that may stall action even further due to bipartisan opposition. The American public is similarly wary of Syria becoming another prolonged US military entanglement in the Middle East.
Also on Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry told Syrian National Coalition President Ahmed al-Jarba over the phone that his government has strong evidence Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad deployed sarin gas in the Damascus suburbs during the August 21st attack that killed an estimated 1,500 people.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Levrov once again denied these claims, telling SANA that the US does not have adequate evidence to back this accusation.
Syria’s northern neighbor Turkey weighed in on the imminent US strike over the weekend, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan asserting that a “temporary” intervention would “not be enough at all” to change the course in Syria. Turkey’s main opposition party, the CHP, warned that Western involvement in Syria could spur the third World War.