News / Middle East

    US Consulting World Leaders on Possible Syria Strike

    A UN chemical weapons expert meets a person affected by an apparent gas attack, at a hospital where she is being treated in Damascus' suburb of Zamalka, August 28, 2013.
    A UN chemical weapons expert meets a person affected by an apparent gas attack, at a hospital where she is being treated in Damascus' suburb of Zamalka, August 28, 2013.
    VOA News
    The U.S. is consulting with various foreign leaders as it weighs whether to carry out a military strike against Syria for its suspected chemical weapons attack last week.

    The White House said that in recent days President Barack Obama has talked with British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, as he seeks to assess a possible attack and a coalition that might support it.

    Western leaders have widely criticized Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the alleged chemical weapons attack August 21, which rebels say killed hundreds of people. White House spokesman Jay Carney on Tuesday said Britain agrees with the United States about the "appalling nature" of the chemical attack.

    White House press secretary Jay Carney answers questions about Syria and chemical weapons during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Aug. 27, 2013.White House press secretary Jay Carney answers questions about Syria and chemical weapons during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Aug. 27, 2013.
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    White House press secretary Jay Carney answers questions about Syria and chemical weapons during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Aug. 27, 2013.
    White House press secretary Jay Carney answers questions about Syria and chemical weapons during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Aug. 27, 2013.
    "We are in direct contact with Prime Minister Cameron and his government, and the president himself has spoken with the prime minister, as he has with other foreign leaders, and those consultations will continue.  And we share the views of the British government about the appalling nature of the transgression that occurred in Syria, and are consulting with the British and other allies and partners about the appropriate response," said Carney.

    He said Obama has not made a decision on a possible attack.  

    The White House said Vice President Joe Biden; Secretary of State John Kerry; Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel; General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power all have been consulting with their counterparts in a wide range of countries to discuss the Syrian attack and how to respond to it.

    Among other contacts, the U.S. has talked with officials in Russia, China, Israel, Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Togo, Rwanda, South Korea, Argentina and South Africa, as well as leaders at the UN, NATO and the Arab League.

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    by: Observer from: Southeastasia
    August 29, 2013 9:19 AM
    The more Obama talks on his foreign policy, especially on the Syrian crisis, the more he shows the US foreign policy uncertainties and weaknesses in the world where Russia and China are showing their courage and determination. In his latest interview, he still has time to blame the former US president's decision to invade Iraq. Goodness' sake! Where's Captain America when the global ship has lost its direction in a severe storm and the passengers are panicking?

    by: Anonymous
    August 28, 2013 4:27 PM
    The best thing the outside countries can do is arm the FSA to protect their homeland, from both Assad and al qaeda. Regardless of who used chemical weapons Assad was a criminal before that. Chances are Assad did use the chemicals to try and blame the opposition, which truely has no interests in just murdering anyone. The opposition wants assad gone, if they had chemical weapons they likely would have used them on him rather than civilians. But whatever the case it doesn't change the fact that Assad is a war criminal and the only reason he is not in the Hague today is because Putin & China objected. That doesn't change the fact Assad is a criminal murdering civilians in the thousands (nearly 100,000). What Assad has already done is worse than chemical weapons if you want to be technical. He has bombarded civilian (non combatants) areas all over Syria, not just murdering but raising the cities, towns, and villages to the ground by aerial bombardment, by planes, helicopters, and missiles(scuds). No group in Syria could do this type of severe damage, it has already been proven. So not only has Assad murdered so many he has destroyed and plunged the country 30 years backwards. This is a crime against the Syrian Nation. He has also murdered more civilians than any group in Syria or even the Middle East for that matter. What is best is to arm the FSA to take care of business and arrest Assad and defend their country from any foreign powers trying to steal Syria.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 28, 2013 1:12 PM
    What was Obama conferring with the people to do? This man seems one that will not like to watch a wrestling match, how much less a fight. Right now he is wracking his brain to find a possible way of exit. Does he love the Arabs? That is not a news. Does he feel for the islamists? You guess. Seems Assad and his regime must bring out the elements in Mr. President. Syria has become an acid test for the president. Joe Biden was blasting away on the screen yesterday - you wish he was the president.

    At the other end David Cameron was trumping the war drum - those are how men speak - even if they didn't mean it. But when a president speaks and wishes he did not, it cannot be the audacity of hope. Syria, in fact the entire Arab League nations, are due for overhauling. They are at the boiling point and nothing better is but to do a total wiper - remove Assad, remove his opposition, and run the country on tentative colonization for pilot democracy until an equilibrium is struck; that is prototype democracy that will be handed over to Syrians to resume a new Syria - when the time is ripe and the tutelage is over

    by: syria from: syria
    August 28, 2013 12:37 PM
    terorist use chemical weapon on syria with help of usa. then un strike syria. what a devilish scheme.

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