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The announcement comes as the UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, says he has received assurances from Damascus that it will respect his ceasefire plan.
"I have received government assurances they will respect the ceasefire. If everyone respects it I think by 6 in the morning on Thursday we shall see improved conditions on the ground," Annan said as quoted by Reuters.
Damascus has also confirmed the ceasefire to the Russian Foreign Ministry, reports Interfax news agency.
1. Geography. Think of Syria as the Middle East's core. When it's weak and destabilized, the body is susceptible to serious injury. Violence in Syria could easily spill into bordering Iraq, where the United States recently ended a war that ran from March 2003 to December 2011 and where U.S. troops and American civilians still work.
Beyond Iraq, Turkey, a U.S. ally, borders Syria as do Jordan and Lebanon. If Lebanon is shaken too badly by conflict in Syria, Lebanon could fall into a civil war as it did decades ago, Holliday said. That kind of conflict would spark yet another serious political and diplomatic problem that the United States would inevitably have to address
2. Al Qaeda. The United States' No. 1 enemy would appreciate another failed state from which to operate in the Middle East.
3. Iran. Syria supports Iran. Iran has had a contentious relationship with the United States for decades. Remember Bush's "Axis of Evil"? That trifecta was Iran, North Korea and Iraq.
"Syria is Iran's arm in the Middle East," Zarate said. "Iran has used Syria as a staging ground to train and support militants who have crossed into Iraq to hurt our troops and to train for other terrorist activities."
Each expert CNN spoke with pointed out that Iran has a nuclear program. Whether it has capabilities for nuclear weapons is something the United States and most of the world doesn't know.
4. Oil prices. Though Syria produces far less oil than Libya, for example, violence in Syria could affect global oil speculation and prices, Leverett said. Ultimately, that affects how much American consumers pay at the pump
5. The economy, stupid. Leverett and Zarate note that many in the United States may not think about the Iraq war now, but they say it's important not to forget that war cost an estimated $1 trillion. Whether one supports or opposes military intervention in Syria, the costs incurred by any approach will affect the American economy
6. Global reputation. "People around the world are looking for some kind of consistency in our foreign policy, and we've been criticized for not having that, not having anything close to consistency during the Arab Spring," Zarate said.
The United States intervened, with NATO leading the way, in Libya. In 2011, Washington supported, at least in words, the Egyptians in their revolt against then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, he said. Each time, the United States argued that those actions were in accordance with America's national values, he said, and its responsibility as a global leader to defend democratic principles.
As the peace plan's first deadline — for Assad's forces to pull back and halt firing — came and went Tuesday, Annan, a former U.N. secretary-general, said he still held out hope that the second deadline, two days later, for the rebels to lay down their arms would be met.