Obama seeks authorization to strike Syria

by Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

September 3, 2013

REDWOOD CITY, CA–Today, President Barack Obama met with congressional leaders in Washington DC, and he’s confident congress will authorize a military strike in Syria. The meeting was part of his efforts to convince lawmakers to approve his limited military strikes against Syrian president Bashar Assad’s regime.

Following last month’s alleged gas attack outside Damascus, President Obama told lawmakers that his plan would allow the US to degrade Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities while keeping the United States out of a larger war.

“This is not Iraq, this is not Afghanistan. This is a limited proportional step that will send a clear message not only to the Assad regime, but also to other countries that may be interested in testing some of these international norms,” he said.

Obama says failing to hold Syria accountable would send a message that international rules are meaningless when using nuclear weapons.

“That poses a serious national security threat to the United States and to the region and as a consequence Assad and Syria needs to be held accountable.I’ve made a decision that America should take action but I also believe that we will be much more effective, we will be stronger if we take action together as one nation,” he added.

So far Obama is getting the support of congressional leaders. “We have enemies around the world who need to understand that we’re not going to tolerate this type of behavior. We also have allies around the world and allies in the region who also need to know that America will be there to stand up when it’s necessary,” said house speaker, Republican John Boehner.

“As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee I am fully supportive of the presdient’s action. I think it’s key and critical. I think it’s important for the security of the world and particularly the Middle East,” said democratic senator Diane Feinstein.

As anxiety grows in the region over discussions about possible US military action in Syria, the Israel Defense Ministry together with the US Defense Department says it has carried out a successful missle test today in the Mediterranean Sea. US officials say that no missiles have been launched from American ships or aircraft. US officials also confirmed that a number of US military ships are moving closer to Syria, however the strike group has not been assigned a mission.

The next step to getting Congress to authorize the strike in Syria, is to have more debates on the issue. Lawmakers have begun to schedule hearings and intend to take a vote on it as soon as all of Congress comes back early next week.

For more information, you may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com.

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  • leah
    4 September 2013 at 7:06 am - Reply

    The President has power to take action when national security is the issue and threats to this country, he is not a destroyer, he is a protector of mankind. I hope Congress will be supportive,