A Republican member of the House of Representatives expressed confidence in Jerusalem that the U.S., in the end, will carry out a military action in Syria. Rep. Dave Reichert of the state of Washington said in reference to possible military action, that “We know there will be some response.” He spoke in an interview with JNS on August 29, before President Barack Obama's announcement of his decision to intervene militarily in Syria, but with Congressional approval. All the same, Congressman Reichert said "The risks of a U.S. strike on Israel are obvious." Congress will not reconvene until later this week, but no announcement has been forthcoming about a date for debate and a vote.
Israelis nervously wait while the U.S. decides if and when a strike will be ordered. On the one hand, a successful military strike on Syrian military targets could significantly weaken a traditional enemy and destroy what may be one of the largest chemical weapon’s stockpiles in the world. However, a U.S. strike could trigger a chemical weapons response on Israel, launched by Syria against Israeli cities. Similarly, Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon aligned with Iran could begin launching rockets toward Tel Aviv.
Members of the Syrian and Iranian government have already signaled that any U.S. strike will lead first and foremost by strikes on Israel. Over the last week, since the deadly August 21 incident outside of Syria's capital that claimed the lives of more than 1,200 in a chemical attack, Israelis have been flocking to makeshift gas mask distribution centers.
According to Israel's Maariv newspaper. Obama’s equivocation over a strike on Syria has riled Israeli officials. “Obama is a coward,” one diplomatic source said, according to a September 1 report. “It’s clear he does not want to attack and is looking for reassurance.” While Israel's stated position is not to intervene in Syria, according to Maariv Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would like to see U.S. action in Syria so as to restore its credibility and strengthen deterrence in the Mideast.