The United States is considering launching a punitive strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, blamed by the U.S. and the Syrian opposition for an Aug. 21 alleged chemical weapons attack in a rebel-held suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus.
The U.S. has said a sarin gas attack killed 1,429 people, including more than 400 children, based on intelligence reports. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which collects information from a network of anti-government activists in Syria, said it has been compiling a list of the names of the dead and that its toll has reached 502.
President Barack Obama said he has decided that the United States should take military action against Syria but is seeking congressional authorization for the use of force in a vote expected after Congress returns to work Sept. 9.
Here's a look at key Syria developments around the world Wednesday amid heightened tensions over potential military action:
President Vladimir Putin warned the West against taking one-sided action in Syria but also said Russia "doesn't exclude" supporting a U.N. resolution on punitive military strikes if it is proved that Damascus used poison gas on its own people. In a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press and Russia's state Channel 1 television, Putin said Moscow has provided some components of the S-300 air defense missile system to Syria but has frozen further shipments. He suggested Russia may sell the potent missile systems elsewhere if Western nations attack Syria without U.N. Security Council backing.
The French government said punitive action against Syria in response to its alleged chemical weapons use would "balance" a situation that has seen gains for Assad. Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the French government spokeswoman, told BFM-TV that military action could "re-balance" Syria's civil war.
Obama's proposal to bomb Syria is dividing both political parties as they cope with Iraq war weariness and, in the case of the Republican Party, the rise of libertarian sentiment. The dilemma is most acute for Senate Republican leaders worried about tea party-backed challengers in their re-election bids.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
An airman from Niagara Falls was away training for the Air Force for months. After being apart from his family, he decided to surprise them at Kelly’s Country Store in Grand Island.
A Buffalo city jail cell block attendant was arrested early Saturday morning on multiple animal cruelty charges.
Family and friends created a memorial for James complete with notes and candles.
Detectives say Brandon Cahee, 28, was found in an upper apartment of a home on Ericson Avenue, and he had been shot.
It's been one month since Typhoon Haiyan barreled through the Philippines, leveling towns and killing nearly 6,000 people.
Rookie Mike Glennon rebounded from one of his worst performances of the season to throw two touchdown passes and lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 27-6 victory over the struggling Buffalo Bills on Sunday.