United States senators in a key committee have agreed on a draft resolution backing the use of US military force in Syria. The bill limits the authorization to 60 days with an option for an additional 30-day deadline. It also makes clear there would be no U.S. boots on the ground.
Secretary of State John Kerry said the US had to act after the Assad regime’s “undeniable” chemical weapons attack. The draft was released after Mr Kerry appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Mr Kerry told the senators the President was not asking America to go to war. “He is asking only for the power to make clear, to make certain, that the United States means what we say.”
The latest opinion poll shows public opposition to involvement in the Syrian conflict is growing, with six out of 10 Americans against missile strikes and lawmakers also divided.
Mr Obama is now travelling to Sweden, ahead of a G20 meeting in Russia later in the week that is sure to be dominated by Syria.
France has strongly backed the US plan for military action.
The UN refugee agency said that more than two million Syrians were now registered as refugees, after the total went up by a million in the past six months. The UN says this is the worst refugee crisis for 20 years, with numbers not seen since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.