NATO majority backs off US military strike on Syria
Britain’s defection, forced on Prime Minister David Cameron by a parliamentary vote, left US President Barack Obama with one European ally for a US operation against Syria: France. Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said her government would not support military action without UN Security Council authorization. She echoed her German counterpart. Polish Foreign Minister Radolsaw Sikorski held Russia partly responsible for the use of chemical weapons by Assad regime, but added: “The international community needs to be convinced of the quality of evidence gathered by UN inspectors."
The only pledge of backing for the US operation came from French President Francois Hollande, who does not need parliamentary backing for a decision. “The chemical massacre of Damascus cannot and must not remain unpunished,’’ he said, suggesting action could come ahead of a French Parliament session Wednesday.