The Obama administration presented a joint statement on Friday signed by 10 other nations who oppose Syria’s use of chemical weapons.
Although the declaration was not an agreement to take military action, all allies listed align themselves with the United States in philosophy. The 10 countries are Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey and the UK.
A portion of the statement reads:
The international norm against the use of chemical weapons is longstanding and universal. The use of chemical weapons anywhere diminishes the security of people everywhere. Left unchallenged, it increases the risk of further use and proliferation of these weapons.
We condemn in the strongest terms the horrific chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21st that claimed the lives of so many men, women, and children. The evidence clearly points to the Syrian government being responsible for the attack, which is part of a pattern of chemical weapons use by the regime.
Obama also said that he will address the American people on Tuesday regarding the situation in Syria.
Stated the president, "I do consider it part of my job to help make the case and to explain to the American people exactly why I think this is the right thing to do."
Days after the speech, Congress is expected to approve or reject a military strike against the Assad regime. The president would not comment on what he would do if Congress rejected military action, stating he didn’t want to "jump the gun and speculate, because right now I'm working to get as much support as possible out of Congress."
Obama noted that Americans as well as foreign leaders are worried that any action may turn into a “slippery slope,” and mirror the failed efforts in Iraq. He has promised that his plan will be limited in scope and not involve boots on the ground.
The president also said, "Failing to respond to this breach of this international norm would send a signal to rogue nations, authoritarian regimes, and terrorist organizations that they can develop and use weapons of mass destruction and not pay a consequence."