US Senator Rand Paul has warned the Obama administration that a military attack against Syria would set off “a major war” with Russia, a key ally of the Middle Eastern country.
“Are we going to slide into a major war with Russia on the other side of this and draw Russia into this war as well….this isn’t just a game of hey let’s push a button and blow up some people and tell them they shouldn’t use chemical weapons,” Sen. Paul said during a radio interview with Mofopolitics.com.
The Kentucky senator also suggested that the foreign-backed militants were more likely to have been behind last week’s chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus.
“There are some questions, it sounds more and more like chemical weapons were used but there are some questions and it should be investigated who used them,” he said.
The senator noted that using chemical weapons was more “to the benefit of the rebels because now it’s bringing other people in on their side, so there’s a great incentive for this to have actually been launched by rebels not the Syrian Army.”
The White House has said that it is convinced the Syrian government was responsible for the chemical attack, laying the groundwork for a US military strike.
"We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out," President Barack Obama said in an interview with PBS. "And if that's so, then there need to be international consequences."
Senior US officials, however, admitted to the New York Times that there is no “smoking gun” suggesting Damascus launched the attack.
Multiple US intelligence officials have also said that the intelligence linking President Bashar al-Assad to the use of chemical weapons is no “slam dunk,” according to AP.
Moreover, a report by the Office of the Director for National Intelligence has concluded that it does not have proof President Assad ordered the chemical attack, US intelligence officials said.
The Obama administration, however, says the information it will make public will demonstrate the Syrian forces perpetrated a large-scale chemical attack.