BY MIKE BRUCE, Associated PressA top U.S. intelligence official on Friday said the U.N. Security Council would meet in New York on Sunday to discuss the Syrian civil war and the potential threat of a U.E. military attack on Israel.
U.S.-Israeli Ambassador Susan Rice was scheduled to address the U-N.
General Assembly on Sunday evening, where she has been pushing for action against Syria.
Ambassador Susan R. Rice arrives at the U,N.
Headquarters in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday.AP photo/Aniruddha SharmaA senior U.K. government official said in a statement Friday that British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had informed the U.-N.-led Security Council that Britain is prepared to consider military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad if he carries out chemical weapons attacks on civilians, in line with its position.
Britain and the U and other nations have accused Assad of using chemical weapons against Syrian civilians in a sarin gas attack on the Damascus suburb of Khan Sheikhoun last month.
Rice, in a Friday briefing to the U.’s foreign ministers, said the attack on Khan Sheikhun was a “grave threat” to Israel, but declined to elaborate.
She said that if Assad launches such a “provocation,” Britain would act.
Ricardo Sanchez, a former U.A.E.-trained diplomat who served in Syria as an adviser to the opposition, told the Associated Press that if the attack were to occur, it would require a U-turn by Russia, which is already backing Assad.
Britain, which has been working closely with Russia to arm the rebels, said it will not take military action without first consulting with Israel.
Sanchez said the timing of the British announcement would be critical for the U.,S.
and others to act to protect Israel from a potential military strike.
“If we were to be caught short, it could lead to an escalation that could be very damaging to Israel,” he said.
Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister David Goulard said the country was considering military action in Syria.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.