Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Friday that any potential military intervention in Syria should come after the completion of U.N. inspections and that the effort would be blunted without the support of a “large number of nations.”
“I again expressed my view that the United States should not undertake a kinetic strike before the U.N. inspectors complete their work, and that the impact of such a strike would be weakened if it does not have the participation and support of a large number of nations, including Arab nations,” Levin said in a statement. “I also urged the Administration to send a powerful message to the Assad regime by immediately getting lethal aid to vetted elements of the Syrian opposition. Doing so can change the balance militarily and also contribute to a political solution in Syria.”
In the release of a declassified intelligence brief and a strongly worded public statement from Secretary of State John Kerry, the White House made its formal case Friday for military intervention in Syria. President Barack Obama, however, has yet to make final decision on the matter.
“We’re not considering any open ended commitment. We’re not considering any boots on the ground approach,” Obama said during a meeting with Baltic leaders at the White House Friday.
In an embarrassing setback for the administration and UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Britain’s House of Commons rejected a symbolic motion Thursday calling for a limited strike against Syrian targets.