Tuesday Sep 03, 201304:25 PM GMT
President Obama says US should attack Syria
Obama with members of Congress in the cabinet room of the White House on Tuesday.
Obama with members of Congress in the cabinet room of the White House on Tuesday.
Tue Sep 3, 2013 4:23PM
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US Secretary of State John Kerry urged lawmakers to back President Obama’s plan for “limited, narrow” strikes against Syrian targets.

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US President Barack Obama has called for a prompt vote from Congress for a military strike against Syria, saying the United States should attack Syria.


“America should take action,” he told reporters on Tuesday when he was seated between House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

“We will be much more effective, we will be stronger, if we take action together,” Obama said. “It is proportional. It is limited. It does not involve boots on the ground,” he continued.

The US president is increasing his efforts for congressional approval for an attack on Syria. He met with the leaders of the House and Senate defense, foreign affairs and intelligence committees on Tuesday morning.

Obama also said, “This is not Iraq and this is not Afghanistan.”

On Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry urged lawmakers to back President Obama’s plan for “limited, narrow” strikes against Syrian targets.

He also noted that Israel and several Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, will support US military action, along with France and Turkey.

Israel’s President Shimon Peres backed his American counterpart over his decision to strike Syria.

“I recommend patience,” Peres said in an interview on Army Radio. “I am confident that the United States will respond appropriately to Syria.”

Meanwhile, former vice chief of staff of the US Army General Jack Keane said Obama wanted to “degrade” Syrian military forces and at the same time “upgrading” opposition forces to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“The president has decided to deter the use of chemical weapons but also to degrade military capacity of the Assad regime,” Keane told BBC Radio 4. “At the same time he has upgraded the capacity of the opposing forces.”

“And it’s the opposing forces that hopefully would be able eventually to topple the Assad regime,” he said.

The United States claims that it has evidence that sarin was used by the Syrian government during the attack on a Damascus suburb on 21 August.

Syria, however, dismissed the US allegations, saying the claims are based on lies and the evidence was dependent on information put forward by foreign-backed insurgents.

AGB/DB
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