Sen. Bob Corker: U.S. action in Syria is ‘imminent’

On two separate morning news shows Monday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he had spoken with White House officials and that the Obama administration is building support among NATO allies to take military action in Syria, whose government has been accused of using chemical weapons on civilians.

"I don't think there's any question in the administration's mind that chemical warfare has been used and that when we're involved, it's surgical, proportional to what has occurred," Corker said on CBS's "This Morning."

"I think response is imminent," he added on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

When presented with a Reuters poll that showed 46 percent of Americans oppose U.S. intervention of any kind, Corker said he understood the public's hesitancy for intercession.

But emphasizing his nearly certain belief that chemical weapons were used against Syrian civilians, Corker said that "it's up to us to intervene."

Corker also said he supported a policy of allowing "the moderate, vetted opposition" who oppose the Assad regime to carry out activities on the ground.

"I think the way we go about that so we don't escalate this to something far beyond what it is today is important," he said on CBS. "My sense says we have that ability and certainly need to not back the regime's use of something all countries disdain -- that is, use of chemical weapons against especially their own population."

Ruth Tam is a writer based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter: @ruthetam.
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