Obama all for Syria war
President Obama said on Saturday that he was ready to take military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad, but that he would seek the approval...
To seek the consent of Congress for carrying out military attack
Washington (Agencies): President Obama said on Saturday that he was ready to take military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad, but that he would seek the approval of Congress before carrying out a military strike. Obama says congressional leaders have agreed to schedule a debate and vote when they return to session. They are scheduled to return from their summer recess on September 9. He did not say if he'd forgo a strike if Congress rejects his call to action.
"This attack is an assault on human dignity," Obama said with Vice President Biden standing by his. "It also presents a serious danger to our national security." Obama gave his clearest indication yet that an attack was imminent. His remarks came after the United States released an intelligence report that concluded the regime had launched a chemical onslaught in the suburbs of Damascus last week, killing 1,429 people, including at least 426 children. "This kind of attack is a challenge to the world," Obama told reporters at the White House.
"We cannot accept a world where women and children and innocent civilians are gassed on a terrible scale," he said, calling the attack a threat to US national security interests. "The world has an obligation to make sure we maintain the norm against the use of chemical weapons," the president said, slamming the failure of the UN Security Council to agree on action.
"We are looking at the possibility of a limited, narrow act," he added. UN experts meanwhile left Syria and crossed by land into Lebanon in a convoy early Saturday after completing their investigation into the attacks around Damascus and said they would "expedite" a report on whether chemical weapons had been used there. France gave its backing to the US plans, saying a "strong message" should be sent to the Assad regime, but British lawmakers have voted against any involvement in military action and other close US allies said they would not sign up.
Russia, Syria's most powerful ally, has questioned US intelligence about the August 21 gas attacks and has warned against any military strikes without UN backing. US Secretary of State John Kerry cited "multiple streams of intelligence" indicating that the Syrian government had carried out the chemical attack and that Assad himself is the "ultimate decision maker". Kerry said failure to act would not only erode the nearly century-old norm against the use of chemical weapons, but would embolden Syrian allies Iran and Hezbollah.
Syrians on the edge
Damascus: The people in Damascus say that if you take a walk in the streets, you would never guess this city is about to face a possible US strike."It is very bizarre how people are getting on with their lives. We have got used to the war," said Amal, who lives in central Damascus. "Shops are open, people [are] wandering around [and] eating ice cream, but they are also buying more food and bread, to store," Amal added. Amal further added that, "We are not afraid of death any more, we are awaiting it. We just need an end to all of this."
Russia rubbishes US claims on Syria
Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed US claims that Syria's regime used chemical weapons, describing them as "utter nonsense".Mr Putin challenged Washington to present the evidence behind its claims to the United Nations Security Council.US President Barack Obama has said he is considering military action against Syria based on intelligence reports.
Merkel hits out at Russia, China
Berlin (AFP): German Chancellor Angela Merkel hit out at Russia and China over their stance in the Syrian crisis, saying in an interview published that their action weakened the United Nations. "It is very regrettable that Russia and China have refused for some time to come to a common position (with Western partners) on the Syrian conflict. This considerably weakens the role of the United Nations," she said in an interview with regional daily Augsburger Allgemeine.
Arab ministers to discuss Syria today
Cairo (IANS): Arab foreign ministers will meet on Sunday in Cairo to discuss the recent developments of the Syrian crisis, an Arab League spokesman said.The meeting had been scheduled for Tuesday, but it was advanced at the request of Saudi Arabia.