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Kerry says no decision yet on whether to seek UN vote on Syria

In Paris, secretary of state says US may return to UNSC once chemical weapons inspectors submit report; says White House distributing videos showing gas attack to help convince Americans, Congress that military intervention in Syria necessary

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday the United States did not rule out the possibility of returning to the United Nations Security Council to secure a resolution on Syria once UN inspectors complete their report.


Speaking at a news conference in Paris with his Qatari counterpart Khaled al-Attiya, Kerry said President Barack Obama had yet to make a decision on the issue.


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The secretary of state told reporters the Obama administration is distributing videos showing a chemical weapons attack in Syria to help convince Americans and Congress that a military intervention against the Syrian government is necessary. Kerry said the videos make clear that the attack is not something Americans can ignore.


The United States accused Syrian President Bashar Assad's government of using chemical weapons in an Aug. 21 assault that killed more than 1,400 people. The videos show victims, including children, exhibiting what appear to be symptoms of nerve gas poisoning.




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Kerry's press conference in Paris (Video: Reuters)


"Those videos make it clear to people that these are real human beings, real children, parents being affected in ways that are unacceptable to anybody, anywhere by any standards," Kerry said. "And the United States of America that has always stood with others to say we will not allow this -- this is not our values, it's not who we are."


Kerry is in Europe trying to raise European support for a strike in Syria and also discussing Middle East peace negotiations.


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Back in the US, the White House is making a big push to rally members of Congress. Lawmakers will consider a resolution authorizing the "limited and specified use" of US armed forces against Syria for no more than 90 days and barring American ground troops from combat.


Another bipartisan, classified briefing for Congress is set for Monday.


"The vast majority of members of Congress - House and Senate - are undecided. And that's why the videos are being shown and the briefings are taking place."


Germany's Bild am Sonntag paper reported on Sunday, citing German intelligence, that Syrian government forces may have carried out a chemical weapons attack close to Damascus without the personal permission of President Assad.


Syrian brigade and division commanders had been asking the Presidential Palace to allow them to use chemical weapons for the last four-and-a-half months, according to radio messages intercepted by German spies, but permission had always been denied, the paper said.


This could mean Assad may not have personally approved the attack close to Damascus on Aug. 21 in which more than 1,400 are estimated to have been killed, intelligence officers suggested.


AP, Reuters contributed to the report



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פרסום ראשון: 09.08.13, 16:59
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