Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Washington: In what could help Obama administration muster Congressional leaders’ support on a plan to strike Syria, US has for the first time categorically said that it has the evidence that Sarin gas was used in the chemical attack in Syrian suburb on August 21.
A day after President Barack Obama in a White House address stated clearly that the US should take military action against Syria for Assad regime gassed to death its own people, US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday showed up in a number of TV interviews, saying that new lab tests confirmed the use of Sarin gas - a toxic nerve agent, which was detected in hair and blood samples of the emergency workers who responded to the chemical attack in Syria on Aug 21.
“We have learned through samples that were provided to the United States that have now been tested from first responders in east Damascus and hair samples and blood samples have tested positive for signatures of Sarin," Kerry said on NBC`s Meet The Press on Sunday.
Kerry’s fresh statements revealing that the US had its own forensic evidence on Syria chemical attack, would help strengthen the case for Obama’s proposal sent to US Congress that would authorize the use of force against countries using chemical weapons.
Though US Navy warships are completely ready to launch a strike on Syria whenever ordered, Obama on Saturday threw a surprise, when he said that he would seek the approval of Congress to make the case stronger.
"Yet while I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective," Obama had said.
So far, the US had just blamed the Assad regime for the ghastly chemical attacks in Syria’s Ghouta suburb, claiming that it took over 140 lives.
But buttressing it with the evidence, that Sarin gas was used, the Obama administration seems to have packed a punch so as to make the case for military action in Syria more compelling when it goes for a vote in US Congress.
Speaking in one of the TV interviews, Kerry said that the US can’t grant “impunity to a ruthless dictator to continue to gas his people”.
“I can’t contemplate that the Congress would turn its back on all of that responsibility. Those are the stakes,” Kerry said.
Obama and his aides have embarked in efforts to urge the US lawmakers to support Syria strike plan in Congress, with Obama making calls to the members of the House of Representatives and Senate even as many of them are enjoying their summer recess until September 9.
This should give President Obama enough time to build the case for his Syria military action plan, so as to drum up maximum support in Congress.
As Commander-in-Chief, Obama has the authority to carry out strikes without Congress nod, but Obama has seeks to win approval in the House and the Senate and is pushing hard for the same.
But with lawmakers questioning Obama`s idea of "limited act", it is yet to be seen if Obama’s plan would garner support for military action when it come up for voting in the Congress.