President Obama's decision to involve the US Congress in deciding whether to intervene militarily in Syria poses new questions on what action will result, analysts say.
"Asking the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democratic-led Senate to agree on military action – already a controversial issue both within and between the parties – injects a new dose of uncertainty into Washington's reaction to the Syria crisis," comments the Times of India this morning.
Martin Dempsey, chair of the US Joint Chiefs and the United States' top military officer, has pushed back strongly against surprisingly hawkish Secretary of State John Kerry, arguing that a military mission would be complex and costly.
Meanwhile, demonstrations have erupted on both East and West coasts of the United States, and cities in between – including Washington DC, Chicago Los Angeles, and others.
With Democrats likely to be divided in the US, what the Republicans do in a Congressional debate which cannot start before 9 September becomes critical.
There are hawks who would like to see not just a missile assault on Assad, but further intervention. But the hostility and suspicion towards anything that President Obama says and does remains strong within some decisive sections of the GOP.
France has said this morning ( 1 September) that those favouring military action must now wait for its own parliament and for the US Congress to reflect before making a decision about whether to launch strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
The decision of the UK and Germany not to get involved at this stage has cast doubt on the make-up of a substantial and serviceable 'coalition of the willing'.
Russia has described the idea of armed escalation as "nonsense" and Iran has warned a top UN official visiting Tehran of "serious consequences" from any military action.
Arab foreign ministers are also due to meet in Cairo today (Sunday 1 September) to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria, having moved their discussions forward from Tuesday 3 September.
Jordanian information Minister Mohammad Momani said last week that his country would not be used as "a launch pad" for any military strike against Syria.
"Jordan renews its calls for a political solution in Syria and urges the international community to intensify efforts to reach such a solution," he added.
As for Iraq, "We have been against any military action, and we are hoping for a peaceful political solution to the crisis," Ali al-Musawi, media adviser to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is quoted as saying by the BBC.
Egypt's interim Foreign Minister, Nabil Fahmy, believes that "there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis, and the solution must be a political solution".
Despite its suspension of Syria in 2011, its recognition of umbrella opposition group the Syrian National Coalition, and its strong condemnation of the Assad regime as being responsible for chemical weapons attacks, some influential Arab League members -- including Lebanon, Tunisia and Algeria, as well as Egypt and Iraq – have expressed opposition to direct foreign military intervention. They will press for regional solutions.
The Gulf states and Turkey are likely to acquiesce with US strikes, and Saudi Arabia is known to fund and support Syrian rebel groups, paradoxically including some increasingly hostile to the West.
"In this showdown, Israel and the lobby that supports it may find themselves suddenly embroiled. Both have been careful to steer clear of taking sides and to appear neutral for fear of fueling Iraq War, Walt and Mearsheimer-style attacks that Israel and its doers in Washington were pushing America to go to war. But it is surely no coincidence that both Obama and Kerry have made a point of reiterating time and time again that in advocating a strong response to Syria, the US is looking out for Israel and its interests, by preventing the proliferation of chemical weapons and by sending a strong signal to Iran about its nuclear plans," observes Chemi Shalev for the moderate Israeli paper, Haaretz.
"The decision to get the US Congress on board when hasn't had a huge amount of success working with Congress strikes me as a gamble," commented Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East programme at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in the USA.
"The president and secretary of state have tried to signal resolve, but the question becomes -- what happens when they don't get the support that they want and what does that mean about the administration's ability to lead the country?"
* More on Syria from Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/syria