WASHINGTON (WAVY) - In his address on Syria Tuesday night, President Barack Obama told the nation the U.S. won't take military action on the Assad Regime, yet.
The President said there are recent diplomatic options that may be able to remove the threat of chemical weapons in Syria without force. However, his speech confirmed U.S. military forces will stay at the ready for a strike to keep the pressure on Syria's President Bashar Assad.
U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner released statements of support shortly after the speech was televised.
"Tonight, I believe the President outlined a responsible path to a credible diplomatic solution," Warner said. "I will work with my Senate colleagues to craft a bipartisan resolution that includes tight deadlines and which allows unannounced, even intrusive, inspections by international observers."
Representative Bobby Scott's response, however, was a little more skeptical.
"I remain concerned, however, about both the legality of any intervention without the support of the United Nations and the potential ramifications of a military intervention that could exacerbate volatility in the region," Scott said in a post on his Facebook page.
Before and after the address, WAVY News' Art Kohn spoke with several Virginia lawmakers in D.C. about the crisis in Syria and the many developments that came to light Tuesday -- watch the above videos for his full report.
The full text of Senator Tim Kaine's response is as follows:
Tonight the President made a strong case to the American people for why Bashar Al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons to kill Syrian civilians must have consequences. At stake is an international norm against chemical weapons that’s not only protected civilians around the world for nearly 90 years, but also the brave men and women we’ve sent to battle in Europe, the Pacific, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
While I strongly agree that all diplomatic options must be exhausted before any military action is taken, the diplomatic channels open today would not have been possible without American leadership and pressure on the Assad regime. I applaud the President for making clear to the nation why this principle matters and I urge my Senate colleagues to maintain American resolve as we explore the possibility of placing the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal under international control.
The full text of Senator Mark Warner's response is as follows:
Tonight, I believe the President outlined a responsible path to a credible diplomatic solution. I will work with my Senate colleagues to craft a bipartisan resolution that includes tight deadlines and which allows unannounced, even intrusive, inspections by international observers.
Let’s not forget what brought us to this point: the Syrian regime used chemical weapons against their own people. This was an atrocity that has been banned by international agreement for almost a century, and this conduct deserves strong international condemnation.
The full text of Rep. Bobby Scott's response is as follows:
The President again presented a compelling case on why it is so important for the United States and the international community to respond to the atrocities committed by the Syrian government against innocent civilians. I remain concerned, however, about both the legality of any intervention without the support of the United Nations and the potential ramifications of a military intervention that could exacerbate volatility in the region. I am pleased that the President will allow more time for the diplomatic process to work towards a non-military solution and it is my hope that the international community will continue to support us in these diplomatic efforts.
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