US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Europe courting America’s allies in an all - out push for war on Syria over accusations that Damascus used chemical weapons against its armed opponents in an August 21 attack near Damascus.
Kerry held talks with Arab League foreign ministers in Paris and is set travel to London next before returning to Washington on Monday to continue selling the proposed “limited military strikes” plan at home to growingly skeptical Congress and American public. After two days of discussions on Thursday and Friday, the US failed to gather support for its military intervention against the Arab country at the G20 summit that was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It, however, won the backing of some of its traditional allies on accusing Syria’s government of the gas attack. The US plans to attack Syria without a U.N. mandate. Russia has urged the US to present its alleged chemical attack evidence to the UN Security Council warning that military action without UN sanction is “a war of aggression”. Russia’s foreign minister says the US evidence is “unconvincing”. Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov has said “We were shown certain pieces of evidence that did not contain anything concrete, neither geographical locations, nor names, nor evidence that samples had been taken by professionals.” Kerry on Sunday did not rule out returning to the U.N. Security Council to get a Syria resolution once U.N. inspectors complete a report on a chemical weapons attack. Failing to persuade skeptical world leaders, Obama's administration has already begun a public-relations blitz at home ahead of an expected vote in Congress next week on a resolution that, if passed, will approve military action. It has distributed videos showing the alleged chemical weapons attack to convince Americans that a military intervention against the Syrian government is necessary. Despite the intense media campaign, recent opinion polls show Americans are increasingly skeptical about military intervention in Syria. A survey by The Associated Press has found that “House members staking out positions are either opposed to or leaning against his plan for a U.S. military strike against Syria by more than a 6-1 margin. The Senate is more evenly divided ahead of its vote next week … Still, the situation is very fluid. Nearly half of the 433-member House and a third of the 100-member Senate remain undecided.”