US President Barack Obama has urged world support for punitive strikes against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons, as Damascus vowed retaliation and resistance even if a third world war erupts.
Obama, fresh from efforts in Washington to secure bipartisan support for military intervention, said in Stockholm that the world had set “a red line” for Syria and it could not now remain silent in the face of the regime’s alleged strike on Damascus suburbs with chemical weapons.
Obama’s trip will also take him to the G20 summit in Russia’s Saint Petersburg, where he is expected to rally support for, or at least acceptance of, moves to punish Syria’s President Bashar Assad for an alleged deadly gas attack in Damascus suburbs.
White House officials have said Obama will hold meetings on the sidelines of G20 with French President Francois Hollande, the main foreign backer of a strike on Syria, as well as the leaders of China and Japan.
While no formal bilateral meeting is planned with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a White House official suggested there likely would be some kind of dialogue.
“I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line,” Obama said, referring to international rules banning the use of chemical weapons, even in case of war.
“The international community’s credibility is on the line and America and Congress credibility is on the line because we give lip service to the notion that these international norms are important,” he said.
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