Monday, September 2, 2013

Who used Sarin in Syria? That's the question.

victims of Sarin attack

More than 1,400 people, including 400 children, were killed in the Aug 21 chemical weapons attack in East Damascus.

The United States claims that the Syrian government used the weapons to subdue rebels in an opposition-controlled neighbourhood. The Syrian government denies the charge and has blamed the rebels for the attack.

In interview to ABC News, Mr Kerry said President Barack Obama could act even if Congress did not back him, but “we are not going to lose this vote”, he added.

In a statement he read at the White House Rose Garden on Saturday, President Obama declared that he would take a military action against the Syrian government but with congressional approval. He sent the matter to Congress “for a debate and a vote”.

Congress resumes on Sept 9 after a summer break and congressional leaders have promised to start the debate early next week.

While both Republicans and Democrats have welcomed Mr Obama’s decision to seek congressional assent, some also warned there’s no assurance that Congress would approve his plan.

Senator James Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Fox News he didn’t think the use of force would be approved. “Our military is so degraded right now,” he said.

Congressman Peter King, another Republican who chairs a House subcommittee on counter-terrorism, also warned that it would “be difficult to get the vote through” a Republican-dominated Congress. “If the vote was today it would probably be a ‘No’ vote. The president has not made the case.” he said.

The congressman said he would vote for the action but he was among a few who would do so as most lawmakers were reluctant to back Mr Obama.

Read it all here.

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