US Senate Delays Key Syria Vote

World | September 10, 2013, Tuesday // 08:17|  views

US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, photo by EPA/BGNES

US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has surprisingly delayed the crucial vote on military intervention in Syria.

Democrat Reid, a close ally of the President, first said the vote would be held on Wednesday, but later announced it will be postponed to give Barack Obama more time and the opportunity to present his arguments.

Meanwhile, Obama stated he will put plans for a US military strike against Syria on hold if the country agrees to place its chemical weapons stockpile under international control.

The same idea was first voiced by US Secretary of State, John Kerry, at a Monday press briefing in London.

The BBC reminds that although US officials subsequently said Kerry had made a "rhetorical argument" rather than a serious officer, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov later informed he presented the proposal during talks with his Syrian counterpart, Walid Muallem.

Muallem told reporters through an interpreter that Syria welcomed the initiative, and he praised Russia for "attempting to prevent American aggression against our people."

On Monday, Obama gave a series of television interviews aimed at building support among a US Congress and public wary of new military action in the Middle East.

Support in Congress for a measure authorizing attacks on Syria has remained relatively low, with more than 230 of the 433 members in the House of Representatives reportedly either opposed to or likely to oppose strikes as of Friday.

In addition, opinion polls suggest Americans remain wary of a strike against Syria, with only one in five believing that a failure to respond to chemical weapons attacks there would encourage other rulers to do the same.

The US accuses President Bashar al-Assad's forces of killing 1 429 people in a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21.

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Tags: US Senate, Majority Leader, Harry Reid, Walid Muallem, military intervention, John Kerry, Bashar Al-Assad, Damascus, attack, Syria, chemical weapons, Secretary of State, Barack Obama, Russia


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