Tags: Syria | Kerry | Syria | Chemical | Attack

Kerry: Nations That Back Syria Strike in 'Double Digits'

Saturday, 07 Sep 2013 08:56 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday that the number of countries now ready to take military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad had reached "double digits."

"There are a number of countries in the double digits, who are prepared to take military action,'' Kerry said at a news conference after a meeting with European Union foreign ministers in Paris. "The overwhelming support is moving in the direction of holding the Assad regime to account."

Kerry, however, did not name the countries, The Wall Street Journal reports.

France and Denmark were among the E.U. governments who say they could join U.S.-led strikes, the Journal reports.

Kerry's meeting with the foreign ministers followed President Barack Obama's efforts to build support among world leaders at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. He left the two-day session on Friday unable to build strong international support for limited strikes against Assad.

Meanwhile, the foreign ministers released a statement after their session with Kerry describing evidence that Assad's military had used chemical weapons as "strong" and urging a "clear and strong" response.

But the foreign ministers stopped short of calling for military action and expressed hope that United Nations inspectors sent to investigate the Aug. 21 attacks on rebel-held suburbs of Damascus would be allowed to present their report before any action was taken.

The Assad regime has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons, the Journal reports.

Kerry told the Journal that he planned to discuss whether to wait for the U.N. findings with Obama, adding that the president had not yet decided on the matter.

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