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DOHA/ CAIRO, Aug 30- Saudi Arabia, a supporter of rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, has raised its level of military alertness in anticipation of a possible Western strike in Syria, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.
*Region in many ways well prepared for Syria escalation. DUBAI, Aug 29- Wealthy Gulf Arab economies are probably not as vulnerable to the effects of a widening of the conflict in Syria as steep falls in their stock markets this week suggest.
Aug 29- The prospect of a U.S. military strike on Syria has stoked fears that Damascus, or its closest ally Iran, may retaliate against U.S. allies in the Gulf- all leading global oil or gas suppliers.
A U.S.-led cruise missile attack on Syria in response to its alleged use of chemical weapons, which seems increasingly likely in the coming days, could provoke reprisals from Damascus and its backers, ranging from retaliatory missile strikes to terrorist attacks and cyberwar, according to government officials and private analysts.
NEW YORK, Aug 28- Until a few days ago, it looked like a sure bet that the U.S. The prospect of Western military action against Syria has sent stock markets worldwide reeling. U.S. officials have described plans for multinational strikes on Syria that could last for days.
DAMASCUS, Aug 28- Syrians in the capital Damascus are racing against time to prepare for a foreign strike, with many hoarding supplies and others scrambling to find accommodation further away from potential military targets.
AMSTERDAM/ AMMAN, Aug 28- Syria, defeated by Israel in three wars and afraid its arch enemy had gained a nuclear arsenal, began in earnest to build a covert chemical weapons programme three decades ago, aided by its neighbours, allies and European chemical wholesalers.
*Obama not seeking "regime change"- White House. AMMAN/ WASHINGTON, Aug 27- The United States and its allies geared up on Tuesday for a probable military strike against Syria that could come within days and would be the most aggressive action by Western powers in the Middle Eastern nation's two-and-a-half-year civil war.
AMMAN/ BEIRUT, Aug 27- The United States and its allies were gearing up on Tuesday for a probable military strike against Syria that could happen within days as punishment for last week's chemical weapons attacks blamed on President Bashar al-Assad's government.
DAMASCUS, Aug 27- Shops in Damascus are open, and traffic chokes the main thoroughfares, but the mood in the capital, exhausted by more than two years of civil war, is growing restive as Syria faces the prospect of a military strike by Western powers.
AMMAN/ BEIRUT, Aug 27- Western powers could attack Syria within days, envoys from the United States and its allies told rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, sources who attended the meeting told Reuters on Tuesday.
*Russia opposes strikes, China recalls Iraq errors. BEIRUT, Aug 27- U.S. allies were drafting plans for air strikes and other military action against Syria on Tuesday, as President Bashar al-Assad's enemies vowed to punish a poison gas attack that Washington called a "moral obscenity".
*Russia says U.S. intervention would be a grave mistake. WASHINGTON/ BEIRUT, Aug 26- The United States put Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on notice on Monday that it believes he was responsible for using chemical weapons against civilians last week in what Secretary of State John Kerry called a "moral obscenity."
*Washington says there must be accountability. BEIRUT/ AMMAN, Aug 26- U.N. chemical weapons experts came under sniper fire on Monday on their way to investigate the scene of last week's apparent poison gas attack in a rebel-held suburb of Damascus and Washington warned there must be accountability for those who would use "the world's most heinous weapons."
BEIRUT/ AMMAN, Aug 26- U.N. chemical weapons experts interviewed and took blood samples on Monday from victims of last week's apparent poison gas attack in a rebel-held suburb of Syria's capital, after the inspectors themselves survived sniper fire that hit their convoy.
*Damascus hospitals say nerve gas attack killed 355- MSF. President Barack Obama considered options on Saturday for a possible military strike on Syria in response to a nerve gas attack that killed hundreds as Syria sought to avert blame by saying its soldiers had found chemical weapons in rebel tunnels.
*Damascus hospitals say nerve gas attack killed 355- MSF. The United States said it was realigning naval forces in the Mediterranean to give President Barack Obama the option of attacking Syria, and a senior U.N. official arrived in Damascus to seek access for inspectors to the gas attack site.
*U.N. official in Damascus seeking inspector access to attack site. BEIRUT, Aug 24- Syrian state television said soldiers found chemical materials on Saturday in tunnels that had been used by rebels, rejecting blame for a nerve gas attack that killed hundreds this week and heightened Western calls for foreign intervention.
*U.N. official in Damascus seeking access to attack site. BEIRUT, Aug 24- Syrian state television said troops found chemical agents in rebel tunnels in a Damascus suburb on Saturday and some soldiers were "suffocating", intensifying a dispute over blame for a reported nerve gas attack that killed hundreds this week.
WASHINGTON, Aug 23- The United States on Friday was repositioning naval forces in the Mediterranean to give President Barack Obama the option for an armed strike on Syria, although officials cautioned that Obama had made no decision on military action.