DAMASCUS, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- Amid reports about a possible U.S. military intervention in Syria, observers debate on whether Washington is serious about launching a war that could burn the entire region, or it is just exerting utmost pressure on Damascus ahead of a political settlement.
The military intervention frenzy was stirred up when the Syrian rebels accused the government troops last Wednesday of using chemical gas in an attack on the eastern al-Ghouta countryside of Damascus.
Damascus denied such claims, saying the incident only plays in the hands of the Western-backed rebels who are eager for a military intervention that could topple the administration of President Bashar al-Assad.
The incident also coincided with the advent of the UN chemical weapon investigation team that arrived in Syria to probe previous government claims of chemical weapon use in the northern town of Khan al-Assal and two other undisclosed locations.
Washington has recently warned that any use of chemical weapons in Syria would be a crossing a "red line" that could trigger actions that included the use of force.
U.S. President Barak Obama ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to "urgently probe" the claim and ordered to move warships near the Syrian waters.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said on Sunday that "we are continuing to assess the facts so the president can make an informed decision about how to respond to this indiscriminate use of chemical weapons."
Washington reportedly urged the Syrian government to allow the UN investigation team to enter the eastern al-Ghouta to check the rebels' claims.
For its part, Syria responded positively Sunday, saying it had concluded an agreement with the UN to allow the team to get into the restive suburb.
Observers said the U.S. stance stirred up some confusion as it is swinging between calls of war and diplomatic approaches, highlighting the division among U.S. officials regarding launching a war.
"If the U.S. goes in and attacks another country without a UN mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it, do we have the coalition to make it work," Obama said in a television interview on Friday.
While Obama is still reviewing his options before giving the green light for his troops to move, some U.S. politicians, led by Senator John McCain, demanded an immediate attack on Syria.
Others like Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staffs, warned of the repercussions of such a step on Washington.
Dempsey said the U.S. military is capable of taking out Assad's air force and shifting the balance of the war back toward the armed opposition, but such an approach would plunge Washington deep into another war in the Arab world, without offering any strategy for peace in a nation plagued by ethnic rivalries.
On the other hand, Syrian political experts, while stressing that the U.S. threats should always be taken seriously, reckon that the move is not likely to happen, at least for the time being, because Washington wouldn't be able to deal with the repercussions of such a move that would trigger chaos in the entire region.
One of the main differences between Syria and Iraq, observers say, is that Syria has many powerful regional and international allies, such as Russia and Iran, which would not allow it to be an easy cake for Washington as Iraq was in the 2003 war.
Issam Khalil, a Syrian lawmaker, told Xinhua a U.S. military intervention is "unrealistic" because the situation in Syria is " different."
"In my opinion, the threats and this media frenzy about Syria's chemical weapons are mere political pressure after the abject loses of the rebels in Syria and the United States is trying to create balance ahead of the planned peace conference in Geneva," Khalil said.
For his part, Bassam Abdullah, head of a political research center, told Xinhua that one of the important reasons behind his low expectations of a U.S. military intervention is "the lack of public support to such a move in the United States."
"Only nine percent of the public opinion in the United States supports the military intervention in Syria," he said, adding that without a public support, Obama is going to think twice before taking such a decision.
Meanwhile, Abdullah said the warmongering statements are aiming to "practice the highest levels of pressure before the ( Geneva) negotiations," stressing that "all of the signs say that Washington is only trying to improve the situation of its 'tools' the on ground before the negotiations."
Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi also dismissed the possibility of a foreign military intervention in his country, saying striking Syria would have grave repercussions throughout the entire region.
The repercussions, analysts said, would be a widespread war that would include Iran, the Lebanese Hezbollah and pro-Syria Palestinian factions, which would open the gate to hell on the border of Israel, a close U.S. ally.