"I want to make clear that the options that we are considering are not about regime change. They are about responding to a clear violation of an international standard
that prohibits the use of chemical weapons," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
"We are also very much engaged in an effort to support the opposition in its struggle with the Assad regime as the Assad regime continues to try to massacre its own people in an effort to maintain power. It is our firm conviction that Syria's future cannot include Assad in power," he said.
"But this deliberation and the actions that we are contemplating are not about regime change. We believe, that resolution of this conflict has to come through political
negotiation and settlement," Carney said.
"It is not our policy position to respond to this through regime change. We will take an appropriate response, and the President and his team are evaluating the options available to them. And the President will make an assessment and an announcement in due time," he reiterated.
The US, he said, also maintain a policy with regards to the conflict which has it providing significant support to the opposition, significant humanitarian support to the Syrian people that is designed to help bring about a transition in Syria, a political transition, that will allow Syria the future that its people deserve.
Carney reiterated that the options that are being considered do not contain within them a regime change focus.
"That is not what we are contemplating here. We are examining options to respond to this violation," he said.
"This is obviously a terrible conflict that has exacted a horrific price on the Syrian people and the region, and it is ongoing. We have stepped up our support for the opposition and our humanitarian support for the Syrian people and for the countries that are dealing with the refugee crisis related to the Syrian conflict," he said.
"The use of chemical weapons on the scale that we saw is a separate and distinct fact that needs to be responded to, and it will be responded to in some form," he added.

US lawmakers to Obama: Consult us before striking Syria

Top American lawmakers have asked the US President Barack Obama to consult with Congress and gain its approval before intervening militarily in Syria.
"Before any action is taken regarding Syria, it is imperative that President Obama make the case to the American people and consult with Congress," top Republican Senator John Cornyn, said amidst reports that the US is considering a military action in Syria.
"He (Obama) needs to explain what vital national interests are at stake and should put forth a detailed plan with clear objectives and an estimated cost for achieving those
objectives," Cornyn said on Tuesday, as nearly two dozen Congressmen wrote a letter to Obama on this issue.
"As the President considers next steps in Syria, I call on him to consult Congress as prescribed by the War Powers Resolution," said Congressman Scott Rigell, who lead the
"Congress is not a potted plant in this process, and President Obama should call us back into emergency session before authorising the use of any military force. We stand ready to share the burden of decisions made regarding US involvement," Rigell said after dispatching a letter to Obama.
"We strongly urge you (Obama) to consult and receive authorization from Congress before ordering the use of US military force in Syria. Your responsibility to do so is prescribed in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973," the letter said.
"Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is
clearly delineated in the Constitution," the lawmakers said.
Congress is on recess until September 9, but "members can reconvene at your request," Rigell wrote in his letter,
"We stand ready to come back into session, consider the facts before us, and share the sburden of decisions made regarding US involvement in the quickly escalating Syrian
conflict," the lawmakers said.
Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the powerful House Foreign Relations Committee said any US military action could bring serious consequences or further escalation.
"The President should be making the case to the American public, and his Administration should come to Congress to explain their plans. The consequences are too great for Congress to be brushed aside," Royce said.
Meanwhile, the White House strongly refuted reports that the Obama Administration is not consulting the Congress on its policy on Syria in particular on the possibility of a limited military strike.
"As this process is undertaken, we are consulting directly with House and Senate leaders in Congress," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference.
"That process will continue. We think it's very important that the consultation process take place in a matter like this of such gravity," he said.


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