The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the nation’s primary pro-Israel lobbying group, has broken its silence on Syria, calling for members of the Congress to vote in favor of a resolution giving President Barack Obama express authority to launch strikes against President Bashar al-Assad.
TEHRAN (Asremrooz):“AIPAC urges Congress to grant the president the authority he has requested to protect America’s national security interests,” the group wrote in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
Capitol Hill sources believe that the explicit backing of AIPAC will help the president collect votes at a time when the fate of his use-of-force authorization remains unclear.
The word “Israel” appears nowhere in the text of the statement, underscoring by omission the worry pro-Israel groups in the United States have about framing retaliatory strikes in a way that makes it look like Israel is pushing for an attack on Syria for its own interests.
“America’s allies and adversaries are closely watching the outcome of this momentous vote," AIPAC wrote, reminding that the critical decision should also be taken to send a signal to Iran.
“Failure to approve this resolution would weaken our country’s credibility to prevent the use and proliferation of unconventional weapons and thereby greatly endanger our country’s security and interests and those of our regional allies.”
The US, Israel and France have adopted the rhetoric of war against Syria over allegations that the Syrian government was behind a recent chemical attack near Damascus.
The call for military strike intensified after the militants operating inside Syria and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition claimed on August 21 that hundreds had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in the Damascus suburbs of Ain Tarma, Zamalka and Jobar. The Syrian government has strongly denied the claim, accusing the militants of the attack.
While US President Barack Obama has accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against its civilians in the Damascus suburb of al-Ghouta, he has provided no evidence whatsoever to the UN Security Council to prove his claim.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on President Obama to provide the UN Security Council with documents and evidence showing that the Syrian army has used chemical weapons against the civilians in Damascus.
Putin has underlined that no evidence has been presented on the use of chemical weapons by the government of Syria, adding that Russia does not believe that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons since they have been advancing in the war and did not need to do it.