US urges citizens to leave Syria 'immediately'

Something may be brewing in the Middle East. The US embassy in Damascus is urging all Americans to leave the country "immediately." This makes sense given the elevated chance of a full scale civil war breaking out, and the fact that fewer and fewer flights are leaving as the violence has escalated.

But there's something else; a US carrier has entered the waters near Syria. And reports from two Arab newspapers yesterday hint that the Arab League and Turkey might establish a no fly zone over Syria very soon.

These are three very compelling dots that are tempting to connect. But aside from the CBS report on the embassy urging evacuation of Americans, the rest is open to question.

According to Tyler Durden, Stratfor is reporting the carrier move. They are usually reliable but there's no evidence that the deployment has to do with a military move in Syria. It could very well be routine, or a precaution if things get out of control in Syria and Americans need to be evacuated quickly. And while talk of a no fly zone has been going on for months, that's all it's been - talk. The two Arab newspapers are of unknown reliability. Given the track record of other Arab publications in the region, I am not confident in their accuracy.

In short, these snippets of information, when combined together, make for a rather disturbing picture. Separately, not so much. We must guard against reading too much into any situation, but the bottom line is that if the US was going to take part in some kind of military action against Syria, we're doing many of the things that should be done to make that happen.

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