Washington: The US President Barack Obama's plan to launch military strikes on Syria has cleared the first hurdle with a key Senate committee voting to authorise him to take action against the Assad regime.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, after more than 6 hours of deliberations spread over two days, voted 10-7 to approve the authorisation resolution in this regard.
The war resolution allows US a time frame of 60 days to achieve its objective to degrade chemical weapons capabilities of the Assad regime but prevents the use of troops on ground.
The full Senate is now expected to debate the measure and vote early next week.
In a statement, the White House commended for moving swiftly and for working across party lines on behalf of the national security, adding that the US is stronger when its President and Congress work together.
"The military action authorised in the resolution would uphold America's national security interests by degrading Assad's chemical weapons capability and deterring the future use of these weapons, even as we pursue a broader strategy of strengthening the opposition to hasten a political transition in Syria," the White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, said.
"We will continue to work with Congress to build on this bipartisan support for a military response that is narrowly tailored to enforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons, and sufficient to protect the national security interests of the United States of America," Carney said.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee also began deliberations yesterday and the House of Representatives too is expected to vote on it next week.
Following the vote, Senator Bob Corker, Ranking Member of Foreign Relations Committee, said the authorization significantly limited the President's original authorisation, while still providing for an appropriate use of force in response to Assad's use of chemical weapons.
"It prevents boots on the ground, limits the duration of any military action, and requires a progress report on the administration's overall Syria policy," said Corker.
He said that as the issue heads to the full senate, the American people deserved a full and open debate about US interests in Syria.
"The authorisation our committee approved gives the President the authority he needs to take limited action in response to the Assad regime's illegal use of chemical weapons," Senator Ben Cardin said, adding, that it also sends a strong signal to rogue actors around the globe that US would not tolerate their belligerence.