Obama lobbies lawmakers for Syria strike

US President Barack Obama has launched an intense lobbying effort on Capitol Hill to gain lawmakers’ approval for his proposed military strike against Syria.

On Saturday, Obama sent Congress a draft resolution to authorize the use of military force against Syria.

In a Rose Garden address the same day, the president said that he had decided the United States should launch a military strike against the Syrian government over the allegation that it used chemical weapons, crossing Washington’s “red line.”

Obama did not say whether he would use his authority as the commander-in-chief to attack Syria if lawmakers reject his call for action.

The president, however, emphasized that he has “the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization.”

Meanwhile, more than 100 lawmakers have signed a letter saying it would be unconstitutional for Obama to take military action without getting authorization from Congress.

Some lawmakers are openly skeptical Congress would rally behind a military action when it comes back into session on September 9.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), have said it is unlikely the president’s strike plan would muster enough support in Congress.

Rep. King, who himself is in favor of military intervention in Syria, said on Fox News Sunday, “It is going to be difficult to get the vote through in Congress, especially when there is going to be time during the next nine days for opposition to build up to it.”

A new NBC News poll shows that about 80 percent of Americans say Obama should receive congressional approval before using military force in Syria.

Obama is also facing a lack of support from allies abroad. British Prime Minister David Cameron suffered a humiliating defeat when British lawmakers refused to support his call for military strike on Syria.

In his Saturday speech however, Obama highlighted his decision for a unilateral military strike without international partners and a United Nations mandate.

In an unclassified intelligence report on Friday, the US claimed the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched a chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21, killing 1,429 people. The Syrian government has strongly rejected the allegation.

Some analysts believe that Washington– at the behest of some regional allies mainly Saudi Arabia and Qatar– is using the allegation of chemical weapons use by the Assad government as “a casus belli” to attack the Middle Eastern nation.

By Press TV


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