Kerry: Int'l support for Syria strike growing
US Secretary of State John Kerry gives a press conference flanked by French Foreign Affairs Minister at the ministry in Paris, on September 7, 2013. (AFP)
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US Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that the number of countries ready to commit to military action against the Syrian government was now in 'double digits'.
Speaking in Paris, Kerry said the world could not be "silent spectators to slaughter" after the Syrian regime allegedly used chemical agents against civilians in a Damascus suburb on 21 August, according to BBC.
The US accuses Syrian President Bashar Assad and his forces of pepetrating the attack, which killed 1,429 people, including hundreds of young children.
The European Union urged the international community to take a strong and clear stance against Syria, but called on the US to hold off on any strike until the results of a UN chemical investigation came in.
Earlier last week, the EU said it has evidence that suggested Assad's regime was behind the attack.
French President Francois Hollande, a key US ally for the strike on Syria and a vocal supporter of a military attack, said that France is expecting the results of the UN investigation to be submitted by the end of the week, according to BBC.
Last week's G20 summit in Russia failed to produce any comprehensive international response to the Syrian crisis as US President Barack Obama butted heads with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who blames the gas attack on rebels, BBC reported.
Obama said any military strike on Syria will be "limited both in time and scope - designed to deter the Syrian government from gassing its own people again and degrade its ability to do so".
Mr Kerry, who is in Europe for a four-day visit, met Laurent Fabius, French FM, in Paris where the men reiterated their determination to respond forcefully to the use of chemical agents in Syria.
Repeating a phrase he used previously in the week, Kerry said the international community was facing a "Munich moment" - a reference to the policy of appeasement that failed to stop Nazi Germany in the 1930s, BBC reported.
"This is the time to pursue a targeted and limited but clear and effective response that holds dictators like Bashar Assad responsible for the atrocities which they commit."
"There are a number of countries, in the double digits, who are prepared to take military action," Mr Kerry said.
This was more countries than could actually be used "in the kind of military action being contemplated", he added, according to BBC.