Cameron backs Obama on intervention
David Cameron has backed Barack Obama after the US President announced he is seeking congressional support to launch military action against Syria.
American military chiefs stand ready to act tomorrow, the President said, but going to a vote effectively rules out intervention until Congress returns to session on Monday, September 9.
Before then, the US President, Mr Cameron and other international leaders will gather in St Petersburg for the G20, hosted by Russian president Vladimir Putin, a key ally of the Syrian regime.
In a move that echoes the Prime Minister's approach, President Obama said he will attempt to seek a domestic political mandate for action despite opposition from advisers, who pointed to the dangers of such a move in light of Thursday's parliamentary defeat.
Mr Cameron quickly took to Twitter to endorse the President's approach, writing: "I understand and support Barack Obama's position on #Syria." Foreign Secretary William Hague followed, tweeting: "A fine speech by the President of the United States on #Syria".
Former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown raised the prospect of British support being put back on the table, telling the BBC parliament could "reconsider its position". "This was a brave and principled act from a brave and principled president," he added.
It comes after US secretary of state John Kerry set out the American case against Bashar Assad's regime, insisting the intelligence community had "high confidence" that it had launched a chemical weapons attack on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21. The US has put the death toll at 1,429, including 426 children.
America is looking to France for support after the PM's humiliating Commons defeat ended British military involvement.
High-profile figures said Britain's international standing has been undermined and Mr Kerry pointedly referred to France as "our oldest ally" on Friday.
President Obama appeared to signal the "special relationship" is not beyond repair as he spoke of Britain as "our closest ally". At a press conference in the rose garden of the White House, he said: "After careful deliberation I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets. This would not be an open ended intervention. We would not put boots on the ground. Instead our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope. But I'm confident we can hold the Assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behaviour and degrade their capacity to carry it out."