US establishes timeline of Syria chemical attack

Washington, Aug 28 (IANS): As Washington mulls a strike on Syria as a consequence of Damascus's alleged use of chemical weapons, a media report said US intelligence has established a timeline of a chemical attack.

The Obama administration believes that US intelligence has established how Syrian government forces stored, assembled and launched the chemical weapons, allegedly used in last week's attack outside Damascus, the Washington Post reported citing US officials.

The administration is planning to release evidence, possibly as soon as Thursday, that will prove that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad bears responsibility for what US officials have called an "undeniable" chemical attack that killed hundreds on the outskirts of the Syrian capital, the influential daily said.

The report, being compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is one of the final steps that the administration is taking before Obama makes a decision on a US military strike against Syria, which now appears all but inevitable, it said.

Meanwhile, more than three dozen lawmakers - among them a handful of Democrats - demanded the Obama administration consult them, saying taking action without congressional approval is unconstitutional, according to CNN.

"While the founders wisely gave the office of the president the authority to act in emergencies, they foresaw the need to ensure public debate - and the active engagement of Congress - prior to committing US military assets," 37 congressmen and women wrote to Obama Tuesday.

"Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution."

The White House continued Tuesday to lay the groundwork for a military strike, including offering legal justification.

Press Secretary Jay Carney insisted Obama had not yet made a decision on how to respond, but firmly said "there must be a response" to that alleged attack, which Syria denies.


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Title: US establishes timeline of Syria chemical attack

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