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Obama: Congress, World Credibility At Stake [VIDEO]

President Barack Obama says the international community and Congress’s credibility are on the line if a chemical attack on civilians in Syria goes unanswered. Obama is seeking congressional and international support for military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

President Obama and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt
President Obama and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (CNN)

Obama rejected suggestions he set a red line for action against Syria in the event Assad used chemical weapons. He said the red line was set by the international community and by Congress which ratified a treaty condemning the use of chemical weapons.

He acknowledged that a military response will not resolve the civil war in Syria, but is needed to send a clear message.

Senator: Vote on Syria resolution might be delayed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. John Barrasso says the Senate Foreign Relations Committee may not vote Wednesday on a resolution authorizing President Barack Obama’s proposed military intervention in Syria. The Wyoming Republican, a member of the panel, said it was still meeting on the resolution.

Word of the possible delay came after Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he did not support the latest version of the Senate resolution. McCain, an outspoken advocate of intervention, said he wants more than cruise missile strikes and other limited action.

On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s leaders drafted a resolution that would permit Obama to order a “limited and tailored” military mission against Syria, as long as it doesn’t exceed 90 days and involves no American troops on the ground for combat operations.

McCain opposes Senate resolution on Syria

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. John McCain says he doesn’t support the latest Senate resolution to authorize military force against Syria.

McCain is an outspoken advocate of intervention against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and wants more than cruise missile strikes and other limited action.

The Arizona Republican threatened earlier this week to vote against a White House draft resolution unless President Barack Obama promised greater support to Syria’s rebels. McCain then expressed support after meeting Obama at the White House.

He now opposes a resolution crafted by Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee. It puts a 90-day limit on action and says no American troops can be sent into Syria.

Asked if he supported it, McCain said, “In its current form, I do not.”

Diplomat: UN weapons team speeds up Syria analysis

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A senior diplomat says the U.N. chemical weapons inspection team that left Syria with biological samples and other materials is speeding up its analysis and hopes to have it done in two or three weeks.

The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because his discussions with top U.N. officials were private, says the expedited analysis will shave about a week off the processing time.

The U.N. team last week was in Syria to determine whether chemical weapons were used Aug. 21 in a Damascus suburb, and if so, what types were used.

The Obama administration continues to push Congress to authorize a U.S. military strike to degrade Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons capabilities.

France: Assad could strike again if no one acts

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images)

PARIS (AP) — France’s prime minister says there’s no doubt that the Syrian government carried out a deadly chemical attack against civilians — and that a failure to react would allow President Bashar Assad to launch a similar attack again.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault addressed parliament Wednesday during a debate to rally support for a military strike again Syria. The U.S. and France accuse Assad’s Syrian government of using chemical weapons in an Aug. 21 attack on rebel-held suburbs of Damascus that killed hundreds.

Ayrault said the attack killed nearly 1,500 people — a higher figure than the French government has used before.

He is in the delicate position of trying to shore up support amid deep skepticism in France while also waiting to see if the U.S. Congress authorizes military action next week.

 


Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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