Countdown to military strike on Syria

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Saturday, August 31, 2013:

[Time in GMT]

  • Syria expects an attack "at any moment" and is ready to respond, a security source says
  • Claims of chemical weapons use by Syria regime 'utter nonsense': Putin

5-6 a.m.

Team of U.N. inspectors left their Damascus hotel in a convoy of cars following the conclusion of their probe into the alleged use of chemical weapons by the regime.

Friday, August 30, 2013:

[Time in GMT]

U.N. chief: analysis of chemical team's Syria samples could take 2 weeks

  • Hollande and Obama want to send Assad 'strong message': French presidency
  • Syria says U.S. intelligence report relies on previous stories published by "terrorists"

7-8 p.m.

  • Erdogan: the goal of any strike on Syria should be removing Assad from power

6-7 p.m.

  • Obama says is mulling 'narrow, limited' strike on Syria
  • Obama slams 'incapacity' of UN Security Council to act on Syria
  • Obama: Syria chemical attacks threaten U.S. national security
  • Obama: has not made 'final decision' on attacking Syria
  • Obama: World cannot accept that women and children are gassed

5-6 p.m.

  • Kerry: U.S. will not repeat Iraq experience in intelligence on Syria
  • Kerry: 1,429 people killed in chemical weapons attack, including at least 426 children
  • Kerry: U.S. knows that Syrian regime has used chemical weapons multiple times this year
  • Kerry: Syrian regime elements were in area before chemical weapons attack
  • U.S. “assesses with high confidence” that Syrian regime used “nerve agent”
  • Kerry: rockets involved in Aug. 21 attack in Syria came only from government sites
  • U.S. Intel report: 'high confidence' Assad regime used nerve agent

  • U.N. chemical experts in Syria have completed collecting samples, evidence from last week's alleged gas attack
  • U.N. says chemical experts trying to expedite Analysis of Syria samples, but must maintain scientific integrity
  • U.N. disarmament envoy leaves Syria for Turkey

3 – 4 p.m.

2 - 3 p.m.

  • White House plans to release an unclassified version of an intelligence assessment of a chemical weapons attack last week in Syria
  • Turkish foreign minister says intelligence leaves no doubt that Syrian President Assad's forces are responsible for chemical weapons attack
  • Syrian state TV says Syria will reject any partial UN conclusions on an alleged chemical attack before full laboratory analyses

1 - 2 p.m.

  • Syrian opposition voice regret at British parliamentary vote rejecting military action against Damascus
  • Italian Foreign Minister says military strikes being planned against Syria risk escalating into "a global conflagration"

12 - 1 p.m.

  • Fierce fighting rages in Moadamiyet al-Sham, a town near the Syrian capital that a UN team visited this week to probe chemical attacks that allegedly took place there.
  • China urges no U.N. action on Syria before probe completed

11 - 12 p.m.

  • British PM Cameron says to speak to President Obama over the next day or so after defeat over Syrian military action

10 - 11 a.m.

  • Germany rules out taking part in Syria military strike: foreign minister
  • A team of U.N. inspectors depart in three cars to a hospital in a government-held area of central Damascus
  • Russia welcomes British parliament rejection of Syria military strike: Kremlin

9 - 10 a.m.

  • France's Hollande says France can take part in any action on Syria without Britain
  • U.N. inspectors head out on last day of Syria probe

4 - 8 a.m.

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says will continue to seek out an international coalition to act together on Syria.
  • Russia opposes any United Nations Security Council resolution that would permit military strikes against the Syrian regime.

Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013

10-11 p.m.

  • British Parliament votes against intervention in Syria

8-9 p.m.

  • British government accuses Labor party of helping Syria’s Assad
  • U.S. hints it could act alone on Syria
  • UNESCO urges Syrian belligerents to spare the heritage
  • A meeting of the U.N. Security Council’s permanent ended quickly with no signs of progress on Syria’s crisis.

5-6 p.m.

  • White House: Obama to authorize military attack on Syria even without Congressional approval

  • Canada won't join in military strike on Syria: PM
  • Five permanent UNSC members to meet on Syria again at 18:30 GMT in New York: diplomats
  • ICRC: Military escalation in Syria will worsen civilians' plight
  • Kuwait calls for 'deterrent' action against Syria

1-2 p.m.

  • U.S. sends fifth destroyer to eastern Med: official
  • Putin, Merkel agree UN Security Council must study Syria probe report: Kremlin
  • UK could still launch strikes on Syria without UN approval: London

12-1 p.m.

  • Syria will defend itself against any aggression: Assad
  • Britain sends six Typhoon jets to Cyprus base

8-10 a.m.

  • Syria opposition chief meets with French president in Paris
  • U.N. experts head to Damascus suburbs for third day investigations
  • Russia to send two ships to east Mediterranean
  • French president: ‘a political solution’ best to solve Syria crisis

Infographic: Striking a balance

Infographic: Striking a balance (Design by Farwa Rizwan / Al Arabiya English)
Infographic: Striking a balance (Design by Farwa Rizwan / Al Arabiya English)

Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013:

10-11 p.m.

  • Obama: 'I have not made a decision' on Syria
  • Obama: U.S. engagement in Syria civil war would not help
  • Obama: Syria has largest chemical weapons stock in the region
  • Obama: U.S. concludes Assad regime behind chemical attack
  • Obama: Use of chemical weapons in Syria affects U.S. national interests
  • Obama says wants to make sure there is not a situation where chemical weapons can be directed at the United States
  • Obama: U.S. to show Syria 'it better not' use chemical arms again

6-7 p.m.

  • U.S.: U.N. resolution on Syria stalls due to Russian ‘intransigence’
  • Germany says Syria cannot go unpunished

5-6 p.m.

  • U.S.: 'No avenue' forward on U.N. Syria resolution
  • U.S.: Syrian government should not be allowed to hide behind Russia

4-5 p.m.

  • U.N. inspectors to be withdrawn from Syria on Friday at the latest: Al Arabiya
  • Syrian’s U.N. envoy Bashar al-Jaafari: “terrorist organization” behind use of chemical weapons
  • Bashar al-Jaafari: attack on Syria will undermine inspections
  • Jaafari: A military attack on Syria will violate international law
  • Jaafari accuses three U.N. permanent member states of arming opposition
  • Jaafari no U.N. consensus on military action against Syria
  • Jaafari: we are in a state of war and we are taking precautions measures

2-3 p.m.

  • Syria accuses West of inventing excuses to intervene
  • Syria will become 'graveyard of invaders': PM

1-2 p.m.

  • U.N. Security Council holds emergency meeting on Syria
  • U.N. experts return to Damascus hotel after visit to poison gas site
  • UK's Cameron says National Security Council meeting unanimous that 'world should not stand by'
  • NATO: Use of chemical weapons in Syria 'cannot go unanswered'
  • Israel authorizes partial army reserve call-up over Syria: radio
  • Obama: Goal of "limited, tailored" military strike would be to "send shot across the bow" to deter future chemical weapons attacks

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