Tue Nov 15th, 2005 at 09:27:29 PM EST
At least partially.
NATO aircraft have been flying over Syria's borders in order to send a strong warning to Syrian President Bashar Al-Asad, according to the Kuwaiti A-Siyasah.
The over-flights are taking place above the borders with Turkey and Iraq, and include photographing the areas. The Syrian coastal region is also included in the flights.
"European diplomatic sources" said the flights are a warning to the Syrian regime indicating what can happen if President Al-Asad does not comply with international demands.
And from yesterday, in case you missed it...
Within the past several weeks, President Bush has come within hours of ordering U.S. military forces to conduct aerial bombing raids against insurgent training camps inside Syrian territory that are being used by foreign fighters as a staging ground in which to enter Iraq and kill American soldiers. But Secretary of State, Condeleeza Rice and representatives from the Central Intelligence Agency have until now prevailed in convincing President Bush that Syrian President Bashar Assad can be reasoned with, according to high ranking officials within the Bush administration.
Heretofore Secretary of State Rice and the CIA have advocated patience in dealing with the Syrian leader on two accounts. For one, following September ll, 2001 Syrian officials, particularly its chief of military intelligence, Asef Shawkat, Assad's brother-in-law, now a key suspect in the death of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, worked closely with U.S. counter-terrorism agencies. Secondly, CIA officials have told the White House that a U.S. military attack inside Syria may destabilize the Assad government and there is no guarantee that a worse government, possibly an Islamist fundamentalist one, might replace it. Israeli intelligence officials have also expressed similar concerns to their Western counterparts.
White House insiders, however, report the reservoir of patience for Syria is all but evaporating by the hour. One official known to be strongly advocating a strike against Syria is President Bush's national intelligence director, John Negroponte....
"The problem with any U.S. aerial strike inside Syria is that we are not a thousand percent sure where all of these camps are located," explains one U.S. intelligence official. "But any such attack would surely bolster President Bush's sagging popularity in the short term." ....
Those yellow magnet factories in China better put on some extra shifts to accomodate the coming groundswell of American Resolve.
(crossposted at BooMan Tribune)