WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- A senior U.S. official said Friday that President Barack Obama has no intention to attack Syria without Congressional authorization.
In an interview with National Public Radio, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken said despite the fact Obama "has the authority" to act on Syria without Congressional consent, "it's neither his (Obama's) desire nor intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him."
The resolution to authorize a military action against Syria is having trouble gaining support in Congress, and Blinken said the White House is reaching out to lawmakers on the matter.
"After the events of Aug. 21 we reached out to Congress and we had conversations with members of Congress across the country and the one thing we heard from nearly all of them was that they wanted their voice heard and their votes counted," he said.
The Obama administration accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons on Aug. 21 against opposition in the suburbs of Damascus. The Syrian government denied the accusation.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Obama administration on Friday deployed U.S. ambassador to UN Samantha Power to make the case for a military strike against Syria, even if it is unlikely to win UN backing.
Delivering a speech at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank Power said the alleged chemical weapons use in Syria represents "one of the most critical foreign policy challenges" facing the United States, as it could threaten regional stability and non-proliferation regime, while the American public remain ambivalent to overseas military venture after more than 10 years of war. Full story
DAMASCUS, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said Friday that the "main and only" reason behind a possible U.S. military action against Syria is the "victory of Israel."
"Israel is behind everything," Mekdad said during an interview with the pro-government al-Ekhbaria TV aired late on Friday, adding "America works only under Israel's order and at its behest. " Full story
VIENNA, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Austrian Defense Minister Gerald Klug has made an offer to his U.S. counterpart on Friday to send 20 Austrian chemical weapons experts to Syria if there is a United Nations (UN) mandate.
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel given to the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Klug said the support for an intervention under the UN mandate would require a "safe working environment" as a prerequisite. Full story
PARIS, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande said Friday to await the UN investigating report on chemical attacks in Syria before deciding military intervention against the Syrian regime, the news channel FRANCE 24 reported.
"We shall await the report of the (UN) inspectors just as we will await (U.S.) Congress," said Hollande during a news conference after a summit of G20 nations in Russia's St. Petersburg, referring to an expected U.S. vote on military strikes, said the French channel. Full story
BEIRUT, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman stressed Friday his rejection to any military strike against Syria, but also reiterated his rejection to the use of chemical weapons.
During a meeting of the Higher Defense Council at Baabda palace, Suleiman told the Council that if any such military intervention takes place, Lebanon's principles in that regard are clear in terms of no foreign interference in Syria. Full story