News / Middle East

Top US Lawmakers Voice Support for Syria Strike

President Barack Obama, flanked by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio (L) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, speaks to the media before a meeting at the White House with lawmakers on the situation in Syria.
President Barack Obama, flanked by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio (L) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, speaks to the media before a meeting at the White House with lawmakers on the situation in Syria.
VOA News
Top U.S. lawmakers from both parties say they will support President Barack Obama in a military intervention against Syria when the issue comes to a vote as early as next week.
 
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made the comments after a White House meeting with Obama on Tuesday.
 
Boehner, leader of the Republican party in the House of Representatives, says the United States has the capability to stop Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and must send a warning to other countries that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.
 
Nancy Pelosi, who leads Obama's Democratic Party in the House, said Syria's use of chemical weapons was outside of the "circle of civilized behavior." She said the United States must respond.
 
The Syrian government has denied chemical weapons use by its military.

Syria: Damascus Areas of Influence and Areas Reportedly Affected by 21 August Chemical AttackSyria: Damascus Areas of Influence and Areas Reportedly Affected by 21 August Chemical Attack
x
Syria: Damascus Areas of Influence and Areas Reportedly Affected by 21 August Chemical Attack
Syria: Damascus Areas of Influence and Areas Reportedly Affected by 21 August Chemical Attack
Heading into the session, Obama said he was confident he could work with Congress to get a resolution authorizing military action.
 
He said he was asking Congress to approve a "proportional, limited" military response that would send a "clear message" to Assad's regime and any other country interested in "testing international norms."
 
"We recognize that there are certain weapons that when used can not only end up resulting in grotesque deaths but also can end up being transmitted to non-state actors, can pose a risk to allies and friends of ours, like Israel, like Jordan, like Turkey."
 
Obama also said the U.S. had a "broader strategy" that involves upgrading the capabilities of the Syrian opposition.

U.S. military assets that could be used in an operation in Syria.U.S. military assets that could be used in an operation in Syria.
x
U.S. military assets that could be used in an operation in Syria.
U.S. military assets that could be used in an operation in Syria.
The meeting began a day of intense outreach to the Congress, including a scheduled appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey.
 
Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, said before that hearing she is fully supportive of Obama's intended action.
 
The White House says Obama and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed their "grave concern" about Syria's alleged use of chemical weapons during a phone call late Monday. The White House says the two leaders agreed that any use of chemical weapons is a "serious violation of international norms" and cannot be tolerated.
 
French President Francois Hollande said he will wait to see if Obama receives support from Congress before deciding on a French role in any military intervention. France, earlier, voiced support for military strikes against the Syrian government.
 
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon scheduled a briefing later Tuesday for members of the Security Council.
 
Ban has met with the head of a U.N. inspection team that was in Syria last week collecting samples from last month's suspected chemical attack near Damascus, which killed at least 1,400 people. The samples were sent to labs on Monday for analysis.
 
Assad denies his military was responsible for the use of chemical weapons, saying the United States and France have no proof to back up their allegations.

  • This citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network shows anti-Syrian regime protesters hold a poster depicting U.S. President Barack Obama during a demonstration in Kafr Nabil, Idlib province, Sept. 20, 2013.
  • Children sit along a damaged street filled with debris in the besieged area of Homs, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • Debris is seen on the ground after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Myassar neighborhood of Aleppo, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • An injured man walks along a street after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Myassar neighborhood of Aleppo, Sept. 19, 2013.
  • This citizen journalism image provided by The Syrian Revolution against Bashar Assad shows a Syrian military tank on fire during clashes with Free Syrian army fighters in Joubar, a suburb of Damascus, Sept. 18, 2013.
  • A member of the Shohadaa Badr Brigade, which operates under the Free Syrian Army, stands in shooting position behind sandbags in Ashrafieh, Aleppo, September 17, 2013.
  • Free Syrian Army fighters walk through rubble inside the old city of Aleppo, Sept. 16, 2013.
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon as he stands on rubble of damaged buildings in al-Aseela neighborhood near Aleppo's historic citadel, Sept. 13, 2013.
  • In this citizen journalism image provided by the United media office of Arbeen, a Syrian protester chants slogans during a demonstration in Arbeen, a suburb of Damascus, Sept. 13, 2013.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JohnWV from: USA
September 04, 2013 2:16 PM
Syria killed a few hundred with chemical weapons. Israel, our "inseparable ally," ghettoized over a million and killed hundreds of times more than Syria, often with chemicals (white phosphorous) and other internationally illegal weapons. The scourge of the Mid-East is Israel, not Syria.


by: Emmett Barcalow from: Amherst, MA
September 03, 2013 5:29 PM
It was President Nixon who said that unless we continued to fight in Vietnam our credibility would be gone and we would appear to be a pitiful helpless giant. Is protecting
credibility" really a just cause for war? Have we learned nothing?


by: nigel cairns from: san diego
September 03, 2013 3:53 PM
So despite the US use of depleted uranium in iraq and napalm in Vietnam the US is still virtuous enough to criticize others.
WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE OF GAS ATTACKS?
WHY DOES THE US SEE THIS AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO 'LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD'?


by: maria from: Israel
September 03, 2013 1:53 PM
I live in Israel and have , to put it mildly , a very objective attitude towards Israeli policy, politicians, and the issue of the so-called ethical identity. But for objectivity sake I declare with in full confidence that Israel is being victimized in the game waged and staged by The USA film director from the White House. I detest all these religious mutinies, rebellions, insurgency, and other religious and ethnic and geopolitical atrocities. But this is just the time to take an objective perspective. Israel has nothing to do the the scenario and of this political " musical" which is about to be released next week. This is for the first time when I support Israel and even Bibi Netanyahu who is not my best friend.This is for the first time when Israel is being ditched by US and are going to play the part of a scape goat, ironically and coincidentally. I have always supported all US operations, naively believing in their righteousness, but it is about time we changed the perspective. Talking ethnicity terms , I am ethnically Russian according to Tora, and moreover I am not into religion whatsoever.

In Response

by: gig24
September 04, 2013 10:58 AM
Bibi is gonna be the western civilized world's friend.Obviously not yours.Bi-Bi maintains absolute cool head and reasonability at all times. He knows and i know,it's coming a lot worse ! Wait for the North Korean UN report in a few days,you will understand the communist agenda much clearer.


by: Haron from: Afghanistan
September 03, 2013 8:52 AM
I demand from Barak Obama to pass up from this war. and help Bashar-Ul-Asad to build his country again. i am 23 years old boy with full of pain in my heart from these wars. i am very tired when i hear that France or US want to attack on Syria. I am Hanifi (Sunni) Muslim. but, I admit that Shia't are civilized people more than Jewish and Sunni Muslims. and all around the world must be aware that every action by west on any country can be impact on US soldiers in Afghanistan. so, I say that world must change their news from Syria to a fantastic news such as (sport. agriculture, cinema) or other things.


by: alan k from: michigan
September 03, 2013 7:40 AM
war war we want war . no matter if we are right or wrong we want war no matter how many of or soldiers get killed we want war


by: eddie from: ny
September 03, 2013 7:39 AM
stay out of Syria !! its not our problem!!

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 03, 2013 12:38 PM
That is the problem - leave it to them. hope you do this in every other aspect not just to leave Syria's problem for Syrians to solve.


by: JohnWV from: USA
September 03, 2013 7:15 AM
NO MORE WARS! Continuing Mideast violence enables Israel's pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and racist empire in addition to ever increasing Israeli/Jewish control of America's government, finances and military-industrial complex. The Jewish state has occupied not just Palestine, but America too. Our government is being overthrown from within and our country transformed into a world dominating racist ultra-power, the JEWISH STATE OF AMERICA.

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 03, 2013 12:41 PM
Hatred of Israel leads you nowhere. Can you explain to the Americans what your contribution to the growth of its GDP is. How much tax do you even pay? Can you create jobs - how much can you contribute to the economy?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid