Baird reiterates Canada's support for U.S., as Obama weighs options in Syria
Published Friday, August 30, 2013 5:25PM EDT
Although Canada is not planning a military intervention in Syria, the government “fully” supports the United States as it weighs a “limited” attack on the country, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Friday.
“Canada believes that a firm and unequivocal response is needed to deter any future use of chemical weapons,” Baird said in a statement.
“We also believe that a clear message on the proliferation and use of such weapons must be sent to rogue regimes around the world.”
U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday he is weighing "limited and narrow" action against Syria after his administration concluded that Bashar Assad’s regime killed at least 1,429 people in a chemical weapons attack.
More than 400 Syrian children were among those victims, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.
"We're not considering a boots-on-the-ground approach," Obama said, adding that he prefers multilateral action but doesn’t want “the world to be paralyzed.”
After British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a parliamentary vote endorsing U.K. military action in Syria, France remains the United States’ only major ally in a possible attack.
Two of Syria’s allies on the UN Security Council, Russia and China, oppose a military intervention.
“Although the Prime Minister made very clear yesterday that the Government of Canada has no plans at this time for a Canadian military mission, we fully support our friends and allies in responding to the Assad regime’s horrific attack on its own people,” Baird said in his statement.
“The Obama administration has shown great resolve and proper due diligence in the past week, and we fully support its efforts going forward.”
Baird added that the Canadian government will keep in “close contact” with its allies in the coming days.
With files from The Associated Press