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Days after President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton warned that the use of chemical weapons by Bashar Al-Assad against his own people would cross a red line, NBC News reports that Assad's forces have loaded bombs with the deadly nerve agent Sarin, and are awaiting final orders from Assad.

Already 40,000 Syrians have been killed in the almost two year civil war, and as rebels close in on Syria's capital, Damascus, the fear is that the increasingly desperate Assad would deploy chemical weapons against the rebels. According to NBC News, the US government is preparing to recognize the opposition in Syria as the legitimate government next week. If Assad does cross the red line, what would the US government's response be? President Obama promised on Monday

The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. And if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable
Based on his track record, Obama does not make idle threats and he likes to build a multi-national regional coalition before making a military intervention. Would Assad's use of chemical weapons prompt the President to decide to intervene? Would chemical weapons use change the way Russia (which, fearing Islamist rule in Syria, has been against any military intervention) views what's happening in Syria?  

In either case, it seems that the final days of Bashar Al-Assad's regime are drawing near. Does he go quietly, or does he slaughter more of his own people and risk a US led military intervention?

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