Latest developments in Syrian crisis

11:01 AM, Aug 29, 2013   |    comments
A convoy of United Nations vehicles leave a hotel in Damascus Monday carrying U.N. inspectors travelling to the site of a suspected deadly chemical weapon attack the previous week in Ghouta, east of the capital of Syria. (Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)
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The latest developments Thursday in the Syrian crisis: 

• The British government said it is "highly likely" that the Syrian government is behind a chemical weapons attack Aug. 21 that killed hundreds of people on the outskirts of Damascus. 

• President Obama told PBS he is certain that the attack was carried out by the Syrian government and that he has yet to decide what course of action to take, but that he has been presented several options by his national security staff. 

• Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country will coordinate with Russia to prevent military action by the U.S. and its allies against Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iranian state TV reported. 

• Russia is sending an anti-submarine ship and a missile cruiser to the Mediterranean Sea, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

 • The White House will release its intelligence assessment Thursday on who is to blame for the alleged poison gas attack. A report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence says that Assad's forces were likely behind the attack, the Associated Press reported.

 • Oil prices fell in early trading Thursday, despite better-than-expected U.S. gross domestic product and the looming threat of strikes against Syria. Brent Crude fell 51 cents a barrel to $116.09, and West Texas intermediate crude fell 70 cents to $109.40 a barrel.

 • The French military is ready to commit forces to an operation in Syria if President Francois Hollande decides to do so, the defense minister said.


 • U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said that U.N. experts seeking to collect evidence on the chemical attack will report to him as soon as they leave the country Saturday. The British Parliament said it wanted to see the report before voting on a request from Cameron to back military force against Syria.


Contributing: John Waggoner, USA TODAY staff

Gannett/USA Today

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