Syrian army has "finger on the trigger", says Prime Minister
Syria’s army is ready for potential foreign strikes against it and has its “finger on the trigger,” Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said in comments carried Saturday on state television, Agence France-Presse reported.
“The Syrian army is fully ready, its finger on the trigger to face any challenge or scenario that they want to carry out,” AFP quoted him as saying in a written statement aired on television.
Only hours after U.N. inspectors left the country after investigating the aftermath of suspected chemical weapons attacks said to be perpetrated by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, a security official said on Saturday that Syria is expecting a military strike “at any moment.”
“We are expecting an attack at any moment. We are ready to retaliate at any moment,” an unnamed Syrian security official told AFP news agency.
The departure of the U.N. inspectors has given the United States an opportunity to carry out a military strike, after President Barack Obama on Friday indicated that military intervention was pending.
The U.S. president said that his administration was looking at the possibility of a “limited, narrow act,” while emphasizing that no final decision had yet been made on possible military strikes against the Syrian regime.
The U.N. inspectors are due to report back to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and present their conclusion on whether or not a poison gas attack took place on August 21.
The Syrian regime has denied responsibility for the alleged attacks which the U.S. government says caused the deaths of some 1,400 people.