Washington: A US military strike on Syria would aim to stop a campaign by President Bashar al-Assad`s regime allies "to kill their way to victory," a senior US official said on Friday.
While the strike would be a response to the government`s alleged use of chemical weapons, US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said it could also help bring Assad to the table to negotiate an end to the 30-month-old war.
"This operation combined with ongoing efforts to upgrade the military capabilities of the moderate opposition should reduce the regime`s faith that they can kill their way to victory," Power said in a speech in Washington.
While again slamming the UN Security Council`s paralysis over the war, Power added, "In this instance the use of limited military force can strengthen our diplomacy and energize the efforts of the UN and others to achieve a negotiated settlement to the underlying conflict."
With doubts raised about the legality of any strike, which Congress is to debate next week, the US envoy did not offer any legal justification for military action, which is also bitterly opposed by Russia.
"It is clear that Syria is one of those occasions, like Kosovo, where the council is so paralyzed that countries have to act outside it if they are to prevent the flouting of international laws and morals," Power said.
President Barack Obama is seeking Congress and international support for a US military strike in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus on August 21.
The US government says more than 1,400 people died in the sarin assault. Assad`s government has blamed opposition rebels for the attack.