Wednesday, 4 September 2013

US seeks legal justification for Syrian airstrikes

US President Barack Obama, speaking to congressional leaders September 2, said that Syrian President Bashar al Assad must be held accountable for the use of chemical weapons…Mr Obama said he believed he will win votes in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to authorise military action…Mr Obama said an operation in Syria would be "limited" and "proportional," saying, "It does not involve boots on the ground. This is not Iraq and this is not Afghanistan."Voices from both domestic US and international continue to offer radically different views regarding punitive strikes on the Syrian regime…Washington is trying to sustain slowing momentum for a military strike against Syria by leaking intelligence estimates and softening expectations for the UN investigative report…The US President did not need to seek a congressional vote for military action, but it will lend legal justification to any executive decision…Mr Obama’s relationship with Congress is not cordial so full cooperation between the two power centres is unlikely…Polls meanwhile suggest fewer than 19 percent of Americans want action against Syria, supporting Congress’s hesitations and undermining Mr Obama’s thrust…Already considered a weak president on foreign policy, Mr Obama has perhaps another week to collect support for military action…It remains unclear whether the US has sufficiently prepared for the political consequences of any military intervention.

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