US, Allies Mull Legality of Military Strike on Syria

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As a confrontation between the U.S. and Syria looms, some are wondering whether a military strike would be legal under United Nations law.

British Prime Minister David Cameron says "yes."

He told parliament Thursday the situation in Syria warrants a strike, even without the green light from the U.N. Security Council.
Nevertheless, he said the U.K. will wait for U.N. officials to finish their investigation.

"We must ensure any action, if it is to be taken, is proportionate, legal and specifically designed to deter the use of chemical weapons," he said.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, says it has not yet made a decision on how to act in Syria.
President Obama said Wednesday there is no doubt that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own people.
He said any American response would send a "strong signal" to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The president is scheduled to brief lawmakers Thursday night on the options.

That comes after many in Congress complained Obama hasn't done enough to keep them informed as to any military plans. More than 100 members of Congress said they want a vote before any military strike.

The Pentagon has positioned a 5th U.S. destroyer armed with cruise missiles off Syria's coast and an aircraft carrier on its way home is being kept in the region just in case.

Meanwhile, a new Huffington Post poll shows Americans are largely against U.S. intervention in Syria.

Twenty-five percent of those polled support an air strike to aid Syrian rebels, while 41 percent are opposed. Another 34 percent say they're not sure.

Fifty-nine say they believe Syria used chemical weapons, but are divided on if it's America's job to stop the Syrian government from using such weapons again. Thirty percent say it does. Thirty-eight percent say it does not.

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