WASHINGTON — The controversy of whether the U.S. will intervene in the two-year-old Syrian civil war has begun its legislative rounds.
Reuters reported that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard the testimonies of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and others on their opinions regarding U.S. involvement.
U.S. President Barack Obama had drawn a “red line” during remarks on the Syrian civil war. He said that the U.S. would only intervene if the Syrian government would use chemical weapons. It indicated that Obama would use executive authority to push the U.S. into the war, especially after John Kerry offered some similarly strong words in a speech last week.
However, Obama backtracked his remarks last Saturday and said he would consult Congress.
The committee narrowly passed the resolution to set a 60-day limit on U.S. military action by a 10-7 vote, with new Massachusetts senator Markey saying he was present but did not cast a vote. With this resolution, there is no room to put American military forces on the ground.
Saudi Arabia and Israel, who have pushed for American action in the Syrian civil war, are unsettled by the Sunni vs. Shi’a Muslim conflict and how it could destabilize the Middle East region. They have formed a temporary alliance of sorts now that the Obama administration backed down from its initial rhetoric and pledge of intervention.
France initially indicated support of American intervention in Syria, which led to a plethora of jokes on social media platforms.
Also, Russia and China have pushed for non-intervention in Syria. China has begged the international community to wait for the United Nations‘ chemical weapons investigation team to announce their findings, while Russia adamantly opposes any direct Western intervention. Obama is heading to St. Petersburg, Russia to attend the upcoming G20 summit, where some say that Russian President Vladimir Putin will stick it to Obama over Syria.