The international community weighed in Sunday on the anticipated debate before the US Congress on military action in Syria, with supporters of the Syrian opposition urging military action and allies of the Syrian government critical of any such moves, dpa reported.
As expected, the Syrian opposition called on the US Congress to authorize US President Barack Obama's request for military action against the government of Bashar al-Assad.
"The National Coalition calls on members of the US Congress to assume their historic responsibility towards the Syrian people, and (...) stop the regime's killing machine," the group said.
A vote on a potential US-led strike on Syria is expected sometime after Congress returns from recess on September 9.
France, one of the strongest supporters of an armed response in Syria, said Sunday it would await the outcome of the US debate as it would not take unilateral action.
"France will not go it alone," Interior Minister Manuel Valls told Europe1 radio. "A coalition is necessary."
But Valls reaffirmed France's belief that action was necessary. "The chemical massacre at Damascus must not remain unpunished. We must bring an end to this regime."
"The worst thing would be to do nothing."
In an attempt to garner public support for action, the French government is also to publish a four-page intelligence report on the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal "in the coming days," the Journal du Dimanche weekly reported Sunday.
Currently, 64 per cent of the French public opinion is against military action against Syria.
At the Arab League, which at its annual summit in March gave Syria's seat in the 22-member bloc to the opposition coalition, foreign ministers were scheduled to meet later Sunday to discuss Syrian developments.
Ahead of the meeting, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister said his country would support military intervention if the Syrian people supported it.
"We stand by the will of the Syrian people. ... Whatever they accept, we accept, and whatever they refuse, we refuse," Saud al-Faisal told reporters in Cairo.
Syria President Bashar Al-Assad meanwhile reiterated his vow to continue fighting rebels seeking to oust him and that Syria would counter foreign attacks.
Threats "will not discourage Syria away from ... its fight against terrorism supported by some regional and Western states," he told Iranian lawmakers in Damascus, according to state media. "Syria ... is capable of facing any external aggression."
Marzieh Afkham, foreign ministry spokeswoman for Syrian ally Iran, said Sunday that Obama should avoid "adventurism" in Syria.
"The US should act realistically and give priority to diplomatic efforts. As a military option would have no winner, any adventurism should be avoided so as to not let the crisis to further escalate," Afkham said.
China - which along with Russia has vetoed resolutions at the United Nations to impose sanctions on Damascus - mocked the US president's decision to seek congressional support. According to Chinese state media, the decision showed Obama lacked support for military action and is trying to create an "aura of legitimacy."
In Rome, Pope Francis on Sunday called for a day of fasting and prayer for peace in "the beloved Syrian nation and for all the situations of conflict and violence in the world" next Saturday, Vatican Radio said.
"Never again war!" the pope said. "We want a peaceful world."
Meanwhile in the US, Secretary of State John Kerry said a US-led military action against Syria was possible without approval of Congress.
Speaking in an interview with US broadcaster CNN, Kerry said however that he was convinced the Senate and the House of Representatives would agree with the actions planned by Obama.
"Each day that goes by, this case is even stronger," Kerry said, adding that analysis from blood and hair samples by aid workers point to the use of Sarin gas in the alleged August 21 attack by the al-Assad regime on the suburbs of Damascus.
Many members of the US Congress welcomed Obama's decision, but it was unclear whether he would be able to gather enough support, the New York Times said Sunday.
The decision to seek a debate in Congress follows Thursday's defeat by the British parliament of a government motion to support military intervention in Syria.
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