US Speaker, Majority Leader back Obama on Syria

John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said on Tuesday he would support President Barack Obama's call for military action in Syria and urged his colleagues in Congress to do the same.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Obama at the White House, Boehner said the United States had to respond to the use of chemical weapons in Syria and show allies that America would stand up when necessary.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
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House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor issued a statement in which he too voiced support for a strike against Damascus, closing ranks with Boehner.

"I intend to vote to provide the President of the United States the option to use military force in Syria. While the authorizing language will likely change, the underlying reality will not," Boehner said.

"America has a compelling national security interest to prevent and respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction, especially by a terrorist state such as Syria, and to prevent further instability in a region of vital interest to the United States," he added.