News / Middle East

US Not Waiting for UN to Respond on Syria

Deputy State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf is seen at the August 28, 2013, daily briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C.Deputy State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf is seen at the August 28, 2013, daily briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C.
x
Deputy State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf is seen at the August 28, 2013, daily briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C.
Deputy State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf is seen at the August 28, 2013, daily briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C.
The United States says it will not wait for the United Nations to respond to the suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria. The Obama administration is building an alliance outside the U.N. as it considers possible military action against Syria.

Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the president is not waiting for the United Nations to decide what to do about Syria. "We are making our own decisions on our own timeline, and we believe that the U.N. inspection has passed the point where it can be credible," she said.

That inspection of last week's attack outside Damascus is meant only to confirm the use of chemical weapons, not to determine who is responsible. Washington has already determined that President Bashar al-Assad's forces are responsible so Harf said they must be held accountable.

She said Obama is deciding how. "The president has a range of military contingencies on his table regarding Syria for when and if he would ever need to use them. Again, we're not talking about boots on the ground. We're not talking about no-fly zones at this point."

Military forces around SyriaMilitary forces around Syria
x
Military forces around Syria
Military forces around Syria
Syria's government denies involvement in last week's attack and says the United States is trying to use allegations of chemical weapons as a pretext for striking Syria. If attacked, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Syria will defend itself using "all means available."

As Obama draws closer to the possible use of military force in Syria, some U.S. lawmakers are demanding that he seek authorization from Congress.

Harf said congressional leaders will get a classified intelligence briefing before U.S. action. She said the administration continues to consult closely with lawmakers and foreign allies.

"Look at the dozens and dozens of calls and discussions that Secretary Kerry, the president, Secretary Hagel have had with our counterparts across the world, whether its NATO, the Arab League, a host of countries in the Middle East, in Europe, elsewhere. Clearly, we are consulting the international community and a broad range of international partners on the best course forward," she said.

Facing Russian opposition to a U.N. authorization of force in Syria, Harf said Washington will take its own "appropriate actions to respond in the days ahead."

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: swamy from: bangalore
August 28, 2013 9:37 PM
US is falling into the trap of the rebel jihadists and strengthening them by attacking the syrian govt, ehe US has not thought of hardcore criminals and jihadis who has come from all parts of the world to fight against the secular Assad. US should remember TALIBANS before striking, the US is punishing itself in future.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid