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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

White House wants to keep Syria war threat on the table

Iran Press TV

Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:3PM GMT

The US continues to seek congressional authorization for the use of force against Syria even though Damascus has agreed to put its chemical weapons under international supervision.

US Secretary of State John Kerry told a congressional hearing on Tuesday that "Nothing has changed with respect to our request for the Congress to take action," against Syria adding that Congress should "keep the threat on the table."

"As to when and how, that's something the president may want to chat with the leadership about."

The notion was repeated by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel who said the threat of US military action against Syria must remain on the table if diplomatic efforts to secure control of its chemical weapons are to succeed.

"For this diplomatic option to have a chance of succeeding, the threat of a U.S. military action - the credible, real threat of US military action - must continue," Hagel said.

However, in a blow to White House's hopes of a Congress authorization to go to war with Syria, US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he would not vote in favor of a pending resolution that sanctions military strikes.

Declaring his opposition, McConnell told Senate that "I'll be voting against this resolution, a vital national security risk is clearly not at play."

McConnell, who had come under fire back home in Kentucky for his silence over the debate on Syria, questioned the strategy of Obama's administration in Syria. "There are just too many unanswered questions about our long-term strategy in Syria, including the fact that this proposal is utterly detached from a wider strategy to end the civil war there."

Despite the US government efforts to mold the public opinion and justify military intervention in Syria, poll results released Tuesday showed most Americans continue to be against war.

A poll by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY that was conducted during September 4-8 showed 63 percent of the American public opposed their country's military action against Syria. An earlier poll that was conducted during August 29 to September 1 had found that 48 percent of Americans were against intervention.


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