DAMASCUS, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Syrians are getting jittery about their destiny and the future of their homeland as the possibility of a U.S. strike on Syria seems to be growing minute by minute.
Washington and its Western allies are mulling a possible strike on Syria after last week's alleged nerve gas attack by the Syrian government in the countryside of Damascus that allegedly claimed the lives of hundreds of people.
Syria has denied the charge, with its foreign minister stressing that no country in the entire world would ever use weapons of mass destruction against its people.
The UN Security Council has failed in its session on Wednesday to issue a unanimous resolution condemning Syria's alleged use of nerve gas because of Russia "intransigence," said the United States. Yet, British Foreign Secretary William Hague insisted the international community still had a duty to act even if agreement could not be reached in New York, while Syria's close ally Russia has repeatedly vetoed actions that could lead to foreign military intervention.
"It's a complete chaos and anxiety of the unknown," said a mother of three kids who identified herself as Kinana. "I heard that the strike is coming up, and this has filled me with worries and terror to an extent that I cannot hide my feeling from my kids. "
Kinana said she had gathered her important papers and jewelry in a hurry and put them in a small bag in front of her house's gate so as she could run away with them quickly in case of any emergency.
Syrians are glued to their seats flipping over TV channels to see what may come next. Some try to show indifference to the anticipated strike, while others are afraid of the idea that the country would be hit by U.S. warships.
"There is no reason to be frightened as (the Americans) will do nothing more than what had already been done in this country," said a pharmacist, who referred to himself as Samir.
The Americans and their allies have had a hand, in one way or another, in the conflict in the country, "this time they will take part directly not from behind the scene," he said.
However, other Syrians do not share the indifference.
"Thinking of the strike makes me shiver with fear," said Amani, 28, a teacher. "A strike means more destruction in this war- ravaged country."
Media reports said thousands of Syrians have fled the country within the past couple of days to neighboring Lebanon.
Talks about a strike have also created panic in markets as the local currency declined from 195 to nearly 275 Syrian pounds per dollar in the black market in a single day amid expectations that it would dive further to around 300.
Despite warnings by the governor of the Central Bank of Syria for the fake exchange rate and his confirmations that the government is still persisting in with its intervention policy in the market, the Syrian pound continued to drop due to manipulators ' reluctance to buy or sell.
Gold prices also rose by 1,800 pounds per gram in a single day and prospects are high that the prices might surge further. Yet, people rushed to stockpile food, showing little interest in buying dollars or gold as the top priority now is to buy food as harsh times are within sight.
Syrians queued in front of bakeries since the early hours of Wednesday to collect bread with each of them returning home with no less than three to four bundles after waiting for no less than three hours.
"You should buy now more vegetables, because you will not find my shop open as of tomorrow," shouted a vegetable vendor as he encouraged his customers to stock up on foodstuff.
Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi, for his part, called for providing all the markets with basic needs and opening new governmental institutions to deliver them to citizens.
Heading a weekly cabinet session, al-Halqi called for increasing the amount of the stored wheat and opening new bakeries so as to secure the needs of all citizens in all areas.