Top Story: The U.S. is preparing for "three days" of missile strikes against Syria in order to send a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to the latest NBC News report.
- "We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfill and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take." -U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (BBC News)
- Syrian officials are responding to the threat of a missile strike with a warning: "We have the materials to defend ourselves. We will surprise others," Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said at a news conference Tuesday. (CNN)
- Syrian rebels are saying that there are no new advanced weapons in the country, but that new ammo has arrived Tuesday. (Richard Engel)
- The reason? "Our sense of basic humanity is offended not only by this cowardly crime but also by the cynical attempt to cover it up." -Secretary of State John Kerry, discussing the "undeniable" evidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical agents against its own people (NBC News)
- But Syria is challenging those claims, saying there is no proof that its military has used chemical weapons against civilians (USA Today)
- Free Syria Army's top general Salim Idris tells NBC News' Richard Engel, though, that intervention is needed: “If there is no action, we are afraid that in the coming days, not coming weeks, Bashar will use chemical weapons and chemical materials against very wide areas and, I’m afraid, to kill maybe 20,000 or 30,000 more people." (NBC News)
- However, talk of a strike doesn't come without opposition: both Russia and China have also stepped up their warnings against military intervention in Syria in light of the U.S.' announcement...
- The official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, said Tuesday that the U.S. was rushing to conclusions about the use of chemical weapons in Syria before the UN has completed its investigation. (BBC News)
- Russian officials have called a Western military attack on Syria catastrophic. (Washington Post)