Administration lays groundwork for U.S. intervention in Syria

In a speech today, Secretary of State John F. Kerry left little doubt that a military strike against the Syrian regime is in the offing, The Washington Post reports. Kerry made clear that President Barack Obama will make his own decisions about the next step, despite the growing number of U.S. lawmakers demanding an opportunity to vote on the issue. Kerry says U.S. intelligence has “high confidence” that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for a chemical weapons attack last week that rebels and Kerry say killed about 1,400 people. He says American credibility is at stake in insisting that Assad be held accountable for using chemical weapons, and rogue states and terror groups are “watching to see if Syria gets away with it.” As Kerry spoke at the State Department, the White House released a four-page report detailing its findings about the alleged attack. He made no mention of a diplomatic setback Thursday, when Britain withdrew from what the White House had hoped would be a new “coalition of the willing” against Syria, led by the United States and its closest ally Britain. “The American people are tired of war,” Kerry says. “But fatigue does not absolve us of our responsibility.”

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