Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Florida Senator Bill Nelson believes Syria has used chemical weapons against its own people and that the United States and other nations should take military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“There should be moral outrage over the use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians in Syria,” Senator Nelson said in a statement. “At this point I believe it appropriate to take military action with NATO and our regional allies. Inaction would only lead to greater suffering and instability in the region and would further embolden Assad.”
Nelson’s comments come less than a day after Secretary of State John Kerry said it was “undeniable” that chemical weapons were used in Syria. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said the chemical weapons left “haunting images of entire families dead in their beds.”
NBC News reported Tuesday morning the United States is ready to hit Syria with three days of missile strikes starting as early as Thursday.
Since images first began appearing out of Syria that accused Assad of using chemical weapons, the rhetoric from the United States and other major powers has ratcheted up in anticipation of likely military action.
The Arab League condemned the attack by Assad and said it held him responsible for the chemical attack near Damascus. A mass action from the United Nations is not likely because Russia is on the Security Council and supports the Assad regime, according to NBC News.
Turkey, a key ally in the region, said it would join the anti-Syria coalition even without a consensus from the United Nations, according to the Washington Post. Currently, the coalition includes the United States, United Kingdom, France, NATO, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan, according to the Post.
Complicating matters in the region is Iran. The country is majority Shiite, like the government in Syria. Most of the rebels fighting the Assad’s regime in Syria are Sunnis. With Iran supporting Syria, an attack could destabilize the region further than it already is in the region.
The rhetoric from the White House and Congressional leaders hasn’t swayed public support in the United States. According to a Washington Post poll released Monday, just nine percent of Americans supported a military intervention in Syria.