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The U.S. now claims to have evidence of sarin gas use in Syria and continues to push Congress to approve military action. Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says he is ready to confront Western action against his country.
This comes after it French President Francois Hollande said he would not commit to a military strike on Syria until the parliament approves it.
Yesterday, the UN weapons inspectors left Syria before they were expected to and revealed that they wouldn’t have any results for weeks. The UN also said that even after they get the results, they won’t know who actually carried out the strike, something which the Obama administration seems to conveniently ignore.
Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains that the U.S. should present the evidence of the alleged chemical weapons use to the UN Security Council, something which they don’t seem all that interested in doing.
Instead, they seem more than happy to just claim they have the proof but not actually provide it to anyone for independent analysis.
“I can report to you today that they (samples) have tested positive for signatures for sarin,” Secretary of State John Kerry said, according to Sky News.
“So this case is going to build stronger and stronger and the president believes that the USA is stronger when you have the time to be able to have the support of the US Congress,” Kerry added.
In an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kerry said that the U.S. simply has to act on their claimed evidence of the alleged use of chemical weapons.
“If you don’t do it, you send a message of impunity,” Kerry said, according to CNN.
Kerry went on to claim that if the U.S. doesn’t “act” – likely meaning a military strike on Syria – Iran, North Korea and Hezbollah will somehow be strengthened.
Those countries and groups “will look at the United States and say ‘Nothing means anything’ – that’s what’s at stake here,” Kerry claimed.
The UN, however, argues that the U.S. and other countries need to wait on the results from UN investigators.
“The UN mission is uniquely capable of establishing in an impartial and credible manner the facts of any use of chemical weapons,” Martin Nesirky, spokesman for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said multiple times at a news conference.
Nesirky said he did not know if the US had shared any of the information Kerry talked about in his statements, according to CNN.
Nesirky said that Ban Ki-Moon sees Obama’s move to seek Congressional approval for a strike as “one aspect of an effort to achieve a broad-based international consensus on measures in response to any use of chemical weapons,” according to Reuters.
It remains to be seen if Congress will approve a strike. However, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has unsurprisingly taken a hard line on the issue already.
McCain said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Assad is “euphoric” about Obama’s decision to seek congressional authorization.
Such a statement is hardly surprising coming from McCain, the same man who sneaked into Syria to meet with the rebels.
“He said it was a red line, and that the United States of America would act,” McCain said, speaking of Obama. “And that’s a big difference, and that’s one of the reasons why this is so problematic.”
McCain went on to claim that “the consequences of the Congress of the United States overriding a decision of the president of the United States of this magnitude are really very, very dangerous.”
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