Obama Administration weighs options as U.N. inspectors determine if chemical weapons were used in deadly attack
POSTED: Monday, August 26, 2013 - 7:00am
UPDATED: Monday, August 26, 2013 - 7:21am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — There are four Navy destroyers sitting in the Mediterranean Sea right now awaiting word from President Obama on whether to take aim at Syria.
United Nations inspectors are expected to go in today to verify whether chemical weapons were used in a deadly attack last week.
A team of United Nations inspectors finally got the okay Sunday to look at the site where more than 300 people died in what's believed to be a chemical attack.
"Every hour counts, we cannot afford any more delays," said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
But it may already be too late. After five days evidence may be gone. Plus, this inspection will not determine who's responsible.
Syria's government and rebels are blaming each other.
In a statement, the Obama Administration said there's "little doubt" President Bashar Al-Assad's regime was behind it.
The Pentagon is ready to act when President Obama says "go".
"We are prepared to exercise whatever options, if he decides to employ one of the options," said Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
Experts say it would likely be a limited attack.
"Obviously, not boots on the ground. I do think we will take action," said Senator Bob Corker, Tennessee.
"You can't drop a bomb on a bunker and expect it to neutralize the Syrian chemical capabilities," said Col. Steve Ganyard, USMC Retired.
There's disagreement in Washington on how quickly the U.S. should step in.
"We certainly can't wait for the United Nations," said Rep. Eliot Engel, New York.
"This has to be an international operation. It can't be a unilateral American approach," said Senator Jack Reed, Rhode Island.
There's concern about retaliation if we do act. Iran has already said military action by the U.S. would be crossing a red line.
The White House says no decision has been made.