by Lu Yu
BEIJING, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Syria crisis seems to be approaching a flash point as the United States and its allies have begun beating the drum for possible armed intervention.
The trigger for the dramatic turn of events is an alleged chemical-weapons attack on Wednesday that killed more than 1,300 people in the suburbs of Damascus.
The Syrian opposition blames the government for the claimed atrocity, while the latter denies the charge. The two sides have repeatedly accused each other of using chemical weapons in the past.
A UN team of experts, set up at the request of the Syrian government to probe previous allegations of chemical assaults, has entered the site of the alleged Wednesday attack to investigate.
Yet as the UN probe is still going on, Washington and some other Western countries have seemingly reached their own conclusion. They claim to have solid proof that the Syrian government used chemical weapons.
Meanwhile, they describe Damascus' green light for the UN probe, which came Sunday, as being too late, arguing that continued shelling has destroyed the evidence.
Such rhetoric, as well as the recent flurry of consultations between Washington and its allies, indicates that they have put the arrow on the bowstring and would shoot even without a UN mandate.
That would be irresponsible and dangerous. For starters, the current scenario is reminiscent of the lead-up to the Iraq War, which the United States staged with allegations about weapons of mass destruction that later turned out to be false.
More importantly, the UN should play the leading role in marshalling an international response to the Syria crisis. The most representative world body is the best platform to make the most objective analysis and take the most appropriate action.
Bypassing the UN not only runs counter to international norms, but also tends to create chronic chaos as a unilateral move often comes with no permanent solution to the problem.
Thus, in the heat of the crisis, all parties concerned should keep their heads cool, especially those impatient to take military actions without a UN mandate.
It is imperative that the Unites States and like-minded countries refrain from hasty armed invention and let the UN play its due part in determining how to act accordingly.