WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee reached an agreement Tuesday on a revised resolution on authorizing military action in Syria, setting a time limit and barring U.S. ground troops in the war-torn country.
The draft, agreed by the committee's chairman Robert Menendez and Republican ranking member Bob Corker, sets a time limit of 60 days on U.S. military action in Syria with the option for a single 30-day extension.
The resolution also states that no U.S. troops would be deployed for combat operations in Syria.
Menendez said in a statement late Tuesday that the committee could hold a vote on the resolution as early as Wednesday. "With this agreement, we are one step closer to granting the president the authority to act in our national security interest," he said.
The draft will replace the one introduced by the Obama administration over the weekend after President Barack Obama announced Saturday to seek congressional approval for launching a limited military strike against Syria to punish it for the alleged use of chemical weapons outside Damascus on Aug. 21.
Washington has held the Syrian government responsible for perpetrating the attack, which U.S. intelligence report claims that killed 1,429 people, including 426 children.
The Obama administration is gearing up for its campaign to persuade lawmakers to support its military action in Syria, citing the need to deter Syrian government from further using chemical weapons, and other rogue countries from using weapons of mass destruction.
Some lawmakers have complained that the language of the Obama administration's original resolution authorizing use of force against Syria was too broad and could lead to the U.S. involvement in an open-ended conflict.
Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday made the case for a military strike against Syria, insisting inaction would undermine U.S. credibility and endangering its allies in the region, such as Israel and Turkey.
"This is not the time for armchair isolationism ... We have spoken up against unspeakable horror. Now we must stand up and act," Kerry told the lawmakers.
The possibility of having U.S. "boots on the ground" in Syria was a major element of the hearing, after Kerry briefly suggested a scenario in which U.S. troops might have to keep chemical weapons out of the hands of al Qaida-affiliated groups.
But Kerry quickly backtracked and said he wanted to be "crystal clear" the administration would agree to revising the Syria resolution so that U.S. troops have "no capacity" in Syria' s civil war.
BEIJING, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Tuesday that a rush of military action against Syria should be restrained as the UN investigation into Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons continues.
The samples taken from the site of an alleged Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs will be in designated laboratories by Wednesday, and UN inspectors will do their best to speed up the analysis process, Ban said before heading for St. Petersburg, Russia, for a summit of Group of 20 (G20) slated for Thursday and Friday. Full story
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday secured the key backing of House leaders in his push for military action in Syria, as his administration continued to persuade the rest of Congress by sending Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to make the case in a Senate hearing.
Obama met with Congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday morning, promising the proposed strike against Syria will be "limited" and "proportional," and urged Congress for "a prompt vote" to authorize military action. Full story
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on Tuesday made the case for a military strike against Syria, insisting inaction would undermine U.S. credibility, and advising lawmakers not to preclude option of putting boots on the ground under any circumstances.
"This is not the time for armchair isolationism ... We have spoken up against unspeakable horror. Now we must stand up and act, " Kerry told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria. Full story
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- The majority of Americans still oppose launching military strikes against Syria while the Obama administration is trying hard to secure lawmakers' support, according to an ABC News-Washington Post poll released Tuesday.
The latest poll found that 59 percent of Americans are against a missile strike in Syria in light of the U.S. government's determination that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against its own people. Only 36 percent of Americans support the kind of military action for what the Obama administration is now seeking Congressional authorization. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon said here Tuesday that all bio-medical and environmental samples taken from the site of the alleged Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria will be in designated laboratories by Wednesday, and UN inspectors will do their best to expedite the analysis process.
Ban made the statement before his departure to St. Petersburg, Russia, for a summit of Group of Twenty (G20) slated for Thursday and Friday. Full story