US faces 'Munich moment' on Syria

US Secretary of State John Kerry has told Democrat congressmen that they face a "Munich moment" as they weigh-up whether to approve strikes on Syria.

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Report: US tightens security ahead of possible strike

US authorities are tightening up domestic security measures ahead of a possible military strike on Syria, according to CNN.

US 'steps up cyber security', says report. Credit: ITV News

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are warning of a higher risk of cyber attacks after months of similar disruptions by hackers known as the Syrian Electronic Army.

One such attack brought down the website of The New York Times in recent days, and authorities say more attacks are likely.

Read: Syria group 'hacks' US websites

US Senate to vote on Syria resolution by September 9

The US Senate is to vote on a resolution authorising military force against Syria no later than week of September 9, the Senate majority leader Harry Reid told Reuters.

Mr Reid said the Senate would hold public hearings on the issue next week with senior Obama administration officials, and would hold classified and unclassified briefings for senators throughout the week.

"I believe the use of military force against Syria is both justified and necessary," Mr Reid said in a statement, saying President Assad had committed "atrocities" against civilians with a chemical weapons attack.

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White House releases photos of US security meeting

The White House has released images of President Barack Obama meeting in the US Government Situation Room with his national security advisers to discuss strategy in Syria.

President Barack Obama meets in the Situation Room with his national security advisers to discuss strategy in Syria, Credit: The White House
President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office with the Speaker of the House John Boehner. Credit: The White House

Senator John McCain backs Obama decision on Syria

US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have released a statement supporting President Obama's remarks on Syria.

In it, they said that they believed President Obama was right to say that the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons 'requires a military response by the United States and our friends and allies'.

However, we cannot in good conscience support isolated military strikes in Syria that are not part of an overall strategy that can change the momentum on the battlefield, achieve the President's stated goal of Assad's removal from power, and bring an end to this conflict, which is a growing threat to our national security interests.

Anything short of this would be an inadequate response to the crimes against humanity that Assad and his forces are committing.

– Statement from US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham

The statement said anything less would "send the wrong signal to America's friends and allies, the Syrian opposition, the Assad regime, Iran, and the world".

They added that since Obama is now seeking Congressional support for this action, the Congress must act as soon as possible.

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Syrian opposition: Obama 'behaving like the British'

A rebel spokesman told NBC News:

President Obama is sending contradictory messages. He promised to help, and now promises delays.

He first said that using chemicals weapons was a red line, which meant there was a green light for killing Syrians with bombs and tanks and guns.

Now the red line was crossed, and crossed again.

President Obama says he wants to act, but is behaving like the British saying he can only act with the will of his people.

If congress votes against a military action, it will mean the American people don't want to help the Syrian people.

US Secretary of State Kerry reassures Syrian opposition

US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to the Syrian opposition leader to underscore the determination of the United States to hold the Syrian government accountable for using chemical weapons, a US official said.

Mr Kerry spoke with Syrian Opposition Coalition President Ahmed Assi al-Jarba to underscore President Barack Obama's "commitment to holding the Assad regime accountable for its chemical weapons attack against its own people on August 21st," a senior State Department official said.

Kerry also spoke with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Japan about Syria.

Republicans 'glad' Obama seeks Congress approval

Republican House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) issued the following joint statement:

Under the Constitution, the responsibility to declare war lies with Congress.

We are glad the president is seeking authorization for any military action in Syria in response to serious, substantive questions being raised.

In consultation with the president, we expect the House to consider a measure the week of September 9th.

This provides the president time to make his case to Congress and the American people.

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