President Obama says he is confident that the US Congress will vote in favor of military action in Syria.
He added that Washington would also be helping rebels defeat President Assad’s forces.
At a meeting with congressional leaders he called for a prompt vote and said the military action would be short: “This is not Iraq, this is not Afghanistan This is a limited, proportional step, which sends the message – not only to the Assad regime, but also to other countries that may be interested in testing some of this international norms – that there are consequences,” Obama said.
French President François Hollande has said that if the US fails to approve strikes, France would not go it alone: “If the decision of the Congress isn’t positive, France won’t act alone, but it will assume its responsibilities, by supporting the democratic opposition in Syria, in a way that allows a response to be given,” Hollande declared.
Speaking at a press conference with German President Joachim Gauck, he said both countries shared the same indignation and the same hope that there can be a political solution for Syria.
Hollande called on Europe to unite in response to the Syria crisis, ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the weekend during the G20 in San Petersburg.