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As the United States and its Western allies have made it clear they believe the Syrian government used chemical weapons on the outskirts of Damascus, there is growing speculation that the US might soon launch military action against Syria.
However, without a solid legal basis, any military intervention into Syria would have dire consequences for regional security and violate the norms governing international relations.
By putting the blame on the government before the UN chemical weapons inspectors complete their independent investigations and reach an authentic and credible conclusion, they are acting as judge, jury and executioner. Military strikes by foreign powers will only exacerbate the crisis and could have unforeseen and unwelcome consequences.