The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved a resolution authorising the use of military force in Syria by a vote of 10 to 7.
This clears the way for a full Senate vote, which is expected next week.
The measure permits limited military force in Syria for a period of 90 days, however it prevents the use of U.S. troops on the ground.
Speaking at the Senate committee meeting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said:
“The world is watching and is wondering not whether Assad’s regime did this – I think that fact is now beyond question – the world is wondering whether the United States of America is going to consent through silence to stand aside while this kind of brutality is allowed to happen without consequence.”
The vote was not along party lines with Republicans and Democrats voting for and against the measure.
President Obama has been trying to build support for action against the Syrian government for its alleged use of chemical weapons last month.