What will President Obama do? The news over the weekend that Israel carried out out two airstrikes in Syria over a 48 hour period now has the world now wondering what role the U.S. will play in that country’s bloody civil war. Diplomatic sources and U.S. officials tell NBC News that the Obama administration is fully supportive of the strikes, which Israel says targeted Iranian-made weapons, potentially Bound for Hezbollah. The Syrian government condemned the air assault, saying it “opened the door to all possibilities.” The Israeli government did not confirm the strike, but experts say it was unlikely that it was seeking to intervene in the Syrian conflict itself. Rather, those same analysts say it is more likely a campaign to prevent Syria from transferring the targeted weapons to Hezbollah, one of Israel’s biggest enemies. However, Israel reportedly sees the growing role of Iran and Hezbollah in the conflict as a direct threat because Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cannot refuse Hezbollah’s demands to transfer weapons into Lebanon. In an interview with Telemundo on Saturday before the most recent air strike, President Obama said that he believes the Israelis justifiably have to guard against the transfer of advanced weaponry to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah” and “Hezollah has repeatedly said that they would be willing to attack as far as Tel Aviv.” But regardless of Israel’s reasoning or level of involvement in the future, the White House will eventually have to decide its own role in the Syrian crisis. Some lawmakers used their Sunday show appearances to call for ‘game-changing’ action, but there is and will be plenty of voices on the other side who don’t cheer the prospect of U.S. involvement in yet another Middle East war. Now that Syria has reportedly crossed President Obama’s “red line,” world leaders are watching the Administration’s next move. We’ll discuss the options and the crisis moving forward when we see you at noon ET on msnbc.
Ryan Grim, Washington Bureau Chief, The Huffington Post (@ryangrim)
Joy Reid, Managing Editor, theGrio.com/msnbc Contributor (@thereidreport)
Bill Burton, Executive Vice President, Global Strategy Group/former senior advisor to Priorities USA Action (@billburton)
John Cassidy, Staff Writer, The New Yorker (@tnyjohncassidy) joins the panel
Jamie Rubin, Fmr. Asst. Secretary of State/Fmr. State Dept. Spokesman joins for the A block
Annie Lowry, Economic Policy Reporter, The New York Times (@annielowrey)