Middle Eastern nations that desperately want to rid the region of Syrian President Bashar Assad have been notably muted as the United States pushes forward with plans for military action against the Syrian government.

Despite throwing their own weight behind efforts to oust Assad — including by arming the Syrian rebels — key regional players such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar have held back from publicly endorsing any U.S. strike.

The silence reflects concern over a possible public backlash from open support for U.S. intervention. But given Washington's relatively passive policy toward the Syrian conflict until now, U.S. allies in the region are also deeply skeptical that airstrikes will have any meaningful impact, analysts say.