UN Report Will Point to Assad Regime in Massive Chemical Attack, Foreign Policy: The Cable
UN inspectors have collected a “wealth” of evidence on the use of nerve agents that points to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons against his own people.

US Weapons Reaching Syria Rebels, Washington Post
The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks.

UN Report Uncovers Syria War Crimes, Al Jazeera
UN human rights investigators have in their latest report on the Syria conflict accused both sides of committing war crimes.

Americans Join Syrian Jihad, Sparking US Intelligence Fears, Daily Beast
The US intelligence community has grown increasingly concerned in recent months about the flow of European and American nationals to fight with al Qaeda-linked affiliates in Syria’s civil war.

Congress Privately Thrilled There’s No Vote, Foreign Policy: The Cable
On Tuesday night, President Obama postponed a Congressional vote to authorize a US military strike in Syria. For scores of Republicans and Democrats troubled by the optics of voting yea or nay, the delay was a godsend.


To Melt the Iceberg, Fred Hof, Atlantic Council
As loathsome as they are as an instrument of war, cCweapons in Syria are the tip of a deadly iceberg. The part of the iceberg that is subterranean—conventional, high-explosive, and cluster ordinance—accounts for nearly all of the death, destruction, terror, and trauma.

US Syria Policy Takes a New Turn, Barbara Slavin, Voice of America
The reason for the zigs and zags in the US response to chemical attacks in Syria appears to be in part political.

US Gulf Allies Out on a Limb as Prospect of US Force in Syria Declines, Richard LeBaron, Atlantic Council
Keeping Saudi Arabia and other GCC members happy is not the object of US policy. Nonetheless, Secretary Kerry invested US influence in soliciting their support, (and publicly trumpeted it), and the Saudis and Qataris joined a small group of nations willing to go out on the limb with the US to support an attack on Syria.

After the Speech, Back to the War: The Battle for Qalamoun, Jack Mulclaire, War on the Rocks
Amid all the talk of a deal, a critical battle is unfolding in central Syria: a coalition of rebel groups, mainly composed of forces from Liwa al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham, and Jabhat al-Nusra, is pushing government forces back in the Qalamoun region just north of Damascus.

Obama’s Wrong, Syria’s Weapons Require Boots on the Ground, Joshua Foust, Defense One
Troops–tens of thousands of troops–are the only remotely feasible way to carry out the dismantling plan for Syria’s chemical weapons.

A Plea for Caution from Russia, Vladimir Putin, New York Times
If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.