Secretary of State John Kerry announced that biological samples from Syria have tested positive for sarin gas this Sunday morning.
“I can share with you today that blood and hair samples that have come to us through an appropriate chain of custody from east Damascus, from first responders, it has tested positive for signatures of sarin. So, each day that goes by the case is even stronger. We know that the regime ordered this attack, ” Secretary of State John Kerry said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Kerry made the same announcement as he made the rounds on all five Sunday shows. In each appearance, Kerry explained President Barack Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval before intervening in Syria while making the case for supporting limited air strikes.
“This strike can have an impact when it needs to … [Obama] feels we are stronger in getting the United States as a whole to gel around this policy to understand it better and to know what the strategy is and why the United States needs to do this,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Obama announced on Sunday that while he supports an airstrike, he would seek the support of Congress before taking any action.
Shortly after the announcement, Syrian news outlets wrote that it was “the start of the historic American retreat,” but stateside attention has shifted to Congress as their role expands in determining the nation’s immediate course of action.
Kerry expressed confidence that Congress will vote in favor of the resolution to authorize the use of force in Syria, but would not discuss the president’s plan if they voted it down.
Lawmakers expressed less confidence Congress will pass a resolution for an intervention that does not have broad public support.
“I think it’s at least fifty-fifty whether or not the House will vote down involvement in the Syrian war,” Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“I think the Senate will rubber-stamp what [Obama] wants,” Paul continued, but “the House will be a much closer vote.”
Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) told “Face the Nation” he did not know if it would pass.
“A case needs to be made, and I would suggest that case be made to the American people as well, who I understand they’re very skeptical. They really haven’t had the information, I think, they need to make a decision of this magnitude to move forward with whatever military actions we may be taking,” McCain noted.
“Two years ago this was much easier. We’ve let it deteriorate to the point where it’s extremely difficult and we have now a regional conflict, and those who believe that this conflict can be contained are wrong.”
Yesterday, McCain and his colleague Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C) released a statement saying in part, they “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.”
“He’s coming to Congress in a constitutional manner and asking for our authorization. That’s what he ran on,” Paul said, “and I’m proud that he’s sticking by it.”
Congress is in recess until September 9th. To date, there are no plans for the House or Senate to convene early.