14 Sep 2013

US 'reserves right to strike Syria'

3:31 pm on 14 September 2013

United States President Barack Obama will drop his insistence that the threat of a military strike be included in a United Nations resolution on Syria.

The move could clear the way for a compromise between Russia and the US at talks in Geneva.

Prior to Friday's round of talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Mr Obama had rejected the removal of the threat of force from a UN resolution on Syria's chemical weapons, DPA reports.

But late on Friday at the White House senior administration officials told reporters that Mr Obama recognised that Russia would use its veto power in the UN Security Council to block a resolution that authorised a military strike against Syria.

But Mr Obama will not agree to renounce force altogether, reserving the right to order a punitive military strike on his own without UN backing.