President Barack Obama’s decision to
seek authorization from Congress
before launching a military strike
against Syria ricocheted across the
war-torn nation on Saturday,
prompting the Syrian army to quickly
resume shelling rebel-held areas and
drawing harsh criticism from
commanders of the opposition forces.
In the locked-down capital of
Damascus, where the Syrian military
had ceased shelling rebel positions in
the suburbs approximately five hours
earlier, the sounds of artillery fire
resumed within minutes of Obama’s
Rose Garden statement, according to a
Reporting from Turkey, NBC News
Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard
Engel tweeted that the reaction from
the Free Syrian Army was “very
negative,” with rebel fighters calling
Obama’s decision “backpedaling,” and
saying the delay in any reprisal for the
apparent use of chemical weapons on
Aug. 21 by the government of Bashir
al-Assad against civilians would hurt
their efforts to topple him.
Congress is slated to reconvene Sept.
9, meaning any authorization for an
attack on the Syrian regime would be
more than a week away.
The Syrian capital was checkered by
roadblocks on Saturday, with traffic
slowed to a crawl. In advance of
Obama’s announcement, Western
reporters witnessed residents hoarding
supplies like bread, water, batteries,
dried goods and canned foods, fearing
shortages if a U.S. strike hit the city.