Syria crisis: US Senate backs use of force

WASHINGTON - A US Senate panel has approved the use of military force in Syria, in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack.

By 10-7, the Committee on Foreign Relations moved the measure to a full Senate vote, expected next week.

The proposal allows the use of force in Syria for 60 days with the possibility to extend it for 30 days. It prevents the use of US troops on the ground.

President Barack Obama is battling to build support at home and abroad for military action.

Despite Wednesday's vote, the bill's ultimate fate in the wider Senate is unclear. And the US House of Representatives must also approve the measure.

So far, only 23 senators have said they support or are likely to back the resolution, according to a tally by ABC/BBC News.

Sixteen have said they oppose or are likely to oppose the resolution, while 61 votes are undecided or unknown.

However, those numbers are expected to shift as the language in the resolution changes, the White House and its congressional allies apply pressure, and lawmakers hear from their constituents.

Earlier in the day, France - whose government has strongly advocated intervention - held an extraordinary debate in the National Assembly, though MPs will not vote on the matter as the country's president can mobilise the military without their backing.

The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is accused of using chemical weapons against civilians on several occasions during the 30-month conflict, most recently on a large scale in an attack on 21 August on the outskirts of Damascus.

The US has put the death toll from that incident at 1,429 - though other countries and organisations have given lower figures - and says all the evidence implicates government forces.

Comments (5)

Please this age of unbelief. We need to ask GOD first before taking any action. Prophet T.B Joshua's prophecy on this last Sunday speaks out of fighting Syria. GOD is supreme and I pray that US will listen to HIS voice. Thank You JESUS CHRIST.

nyamuzuwe - 5 September 2013

RESCUE DEFENSELESS PUBLIC OBAMA

HELP - 5 September 2013

the Americans should kick the hell out of assad as soon as possible.if the Russians want to protect Assad by intervening militarily,they are welcome,this will prove once and for all who the real big guns are.

bhobhojani - 5 September 2013

an attack by US on syria is a direct insult to IRAN since there a strong ally of BASHAR AL ASAD....IS the US not trying to get into war with amadinajad indirect....wch wil invite RUSSIA in d conflict ols

mthulisi - 5 September 2013

Ari kufafaidza zvitota here?Nhubu ngaibanhiwe

nathaniel - 6 September 2013

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