Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday told a panel of U.S. Senators that allowing Syria to getaway with using chemical weapons would cause America's foreign allies to be skeptical about the word of U.S. leaders.
Kerry and his boss, President Barack Obama, have been using a "hard sell" strategy in order to get the blessings of lawmakers and the American people for military action in Syria, during the Senate hearing on Obama's request for congressional support for a military strike against the Syrian government.
In a closed-door meeting at the White House with Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Senator Lindsey Graham,R-S.C., during the Labor Day holiday, President Obama told the two lawmakers that he also intends to arm Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's opposition with advanced weapons systems, according to several news organizations.
“[Obama] said that he was willing to upgrade the capabilities of the Free Syrian Army,” McCain said in an interview with The Daily Beast, referring to the largest of the rebel groups. “This was a shift in the president’s thought and actions from before.”
But a former police intelligence analyst, Sean McCallister, told the Examiner in the past -- and he continues to allege - that the Obama Administration, lawmakers such as Sen. John McCain, and many U.S. news organizations are ignoring the "trespasses of the Islamist-infiltrated Syrian rebel militia," and that those who are closely following events unfolding in Syria are concerned over the use of WMD by the rebels.
The Syrian government has repeatedly accused the Islamist rebels of using chemical weapons during their attacks on pro-Assad towns in northern Syria, according to McCallister in a June 3 Examiner news story.
"The back-and-forth accusations have caused many to ignore several international reports. When [Sen. John] McCain visited some of the Syrian rebels, it was as if he was totally unaware that a large percentage of the fighters were from al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQII), al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Nusra and others," McCallister told Law Enforcement Examiner.
Some American counterterrorism analysts believe President Barack Obama's interest in capitalizing on the fear of chemical weapons is to encourage foreign intervention as occurred in Libya and Egypt. The goal is toppling the administration of President Bashar al-Assad and the Ba'ath Party by any means necessary.
According to the Examiner, Turkish police officers reported that they discovered a cylinder containing sarin gas when searching the homes of Syrian militants from the al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained as the Turkish media reported. The gas was reportedly going to be used in a bomb.
Turkish special anti-terror forces arrested 12 suspected members of the Al-Nusra Front, the Al-Qaeda affiliated group which has been dubbed "the most aggressive and successful arm” of the Syrian rebels. The group was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in December, according to Russia's TV Novista.