WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Congress is splitting on whether to give green light to Obama administration for launching a limited military strike on Syria, to punish Damascus for an alleged chemical attack that killed hundreds of people.
President Barack Obama on Saturday announced that though he has decided to take military action against Syrian government targets, he would seek Congress's authorization first as demanded by some lawmakers. He stated the military operation will be "limited in duration and scope" and will not involve "boots on the ground."
The White House on Saturday sent Congress a draft resolution that authorizes a U.S. military strike against Syria over the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syrian government in the suburbs of Damascus on Aug. 21.
The U.S. intelligence claimed that a total of 1,429 people were killed in the attack, including 426 children.
The resolution stated the objective of a limited military strike on Syria should be to "deter, disrupt, prevent and degrade the potential" for future uses of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction.
The Obama administration has begun a campaign to lobby Congress for passing the vote, as senior officials held classified briefing on Syria on Sunday with a group of ranking lawmakers from both Democratic and Republican parties.
Appearing on five major TV news shows Sunday morning, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry predicted that Congress would give its nod to the military strike, citing the stakes are really too high.
"We are not going to lose this vote," he said.
However, Kerry was apparently too optimistic in foreseeing a smooth vote in both chambers of the U.S. Congress, as a battle line has already been drawn between those who support military intervention and those who are against, while many others remain skeptical.
OPPONENTS SEE NO NEED FOR U.S. MILITARY INVOLVEMENT
The Obama administration is to face opposition from some anti-war conservatives, isolationists and Tea Party-backed Republicans in Congress. They remain skeptical about the need and success of military intervention in Syria, which poses no direct security threat to the U.S.
"I think it's a mistake to get involved in the Syrian civil war," said Republican senator Rand Paul, who is a potential candidate for the 2016 presidential election.
Republican Representative Scott Rigell, who urged Obama to seek Congressional approval before attacking Syria, said that he is always opposed to taking military action. "If I had to vote today, I would vote no," he said.
Jim Inhofe, the ranking Republican senator on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told "Fox News Sunday" that he didn't believe Congress would authorize the use of force. He warned that the military intervention in Syria could lead to a war in the Middle East.
Adam Smith, the Democrat ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, told CNN on Sunday that he is "skeptical" about whether or not the use of U.S. military force will accomplish its goal as the U.S. does not enjoy substantial support from the international community, including the United Nations and Arab League.
Charles Rangel, a Democratic Representative, told Fox News said that he doesn't believe it would make sense for the U.S. to get involved in Syria without international support.
"I don't really think war-like methods is the way to go," Rangel said. "This is international. Bring together international people."