Members of the local Syrian community rally against the United States involvement in Syria, Allentown, Pennsylvania
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama and British Prime minister David Cameron have conferred for the second time in recent days. The subject: response plans to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons against his own people.
But any military action by the U.S. and international partners is unlikely to come before Thursday. That's when Cameron will convene an emergency meeting of Parliament where lawmakers are expected to vote to clear the way for a British response to the purported chemical weapons attack.
U.S. intelligence agencies are preparing to release intercepted communications aimed at proving Assad perpetrated a large-scale chemical weapons attack on civilians.
Administration officials argue that Assad's actions pose a direct threat to U.S. national security. That gives Obama potential legal authorization to strike without authorization from the United Nations or Congress.
Venezuela president warns against attack on Syria
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says any outside military action taken against Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons on its own citizens could lead to a "disastrous war."
Maduro is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad and made the comment Tuesday while visiting a Russian warship in Venezuela's La Guaira port.
He says the military intervention that the U.S. and other nations are contemplating could, in his words, "be the beginning of a great international conflagration."
Maduro says the allegation of chemical weapons use by Syria on Aug. 21 "smells the same" as one of the reasons cited by Washington for invading Iraq in 2003 - that the Iraqis possessed weapons of mass destruction.