Reaching Out

The United States has reached out to more than 100 countries as it looks to build international support for limited military action in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Already, 53 countries and organizations “have acknowledged that chemical weapons were used” and 37 of those have publically stated so, he said. Further, 31 of those nations and organizations “have stated publicly or privately that the [Bashar] Assad regime is responsible for this attack,” said Kerry. He said he expects that number to grow following the release of additional evidence from the United States showing that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons on Aug. 21 in Damascus, killing more than 1,400 persons. Kerry said he would be meeting with 28 European Union foreign ministers on Sept. 7 in Vilnius, Lithuania. “Many of them have had reservations, [and are] waiting for the evidence,” said Kerry. Thirty-four countries or organizations have indicated they would support some form of military action against Syria, if the allegations prove to be true against the Assad regime, he said.