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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs