Nightly News   |  September 08, 2013

Kerry wins support from Arab countries for Syrian strike

Secretary of State John Kerry convinced Arab nations to condemn the Syrian president for chemical attacks. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> one of the key players making america's case on syria 's use of chemical weapons is u.s. secretary of state , john kerry . today he remained in europe and picked up support from arab countries , nbc 's chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell is in paris tonight, andrea, good evening.

>> good evening, carl. secretary kerry here in paris did win support unanimously from arab countries that assad, no matter what he said, did kill hundreds and hundreds of innocent civilians, in a massive chemical attack . in syria , the war continues. with an horrific toll on both sides this video, not confirmed by nbc news, is graphic. it claims to show chaos, people running, screaming after government forces allegedly shelled a suburb of homs. other online video shows rebel forces blowing up government tanks. light years from paris and the elegant guard of the u.s. ambassador 's residence, where secretary kerry persuaded arab ministers to condemn assad for using chemical weapons . kerry has been pointing to those devastating images, not verified by nbc news and very hard to watch. a girl barely able to move. a boy paralyzed. men foaming at the mouth. row after row of bodies.

>> those videos make it clear to people that these are real human beings . real children, parents, being affected in ways that are unacceptable to anybody, anywhere, by any standards.

>> kerry also said the saudis, who met with kerry here today, support air strikes , although the saudis have not said that publicly. in a weekend of intense diplomacy, the only country to openly support u.s. air strikes is france. ready to fight last week, now dismayed by the resistance in congress.

>> if the same president and his congress decide that well, i didn't really mean it, that is a signal which will be heard by your allies, your partners and your enemies. as a sign of great weakness.

>> but now, france, where public opinion is also against using force, wants the u.s. to try again for u.n. approval despite russia's certain veto. and in rome today, after a prayer vigil for peace last night, pope francis prayed for an end to the devastation in syria . and called for a renewed effort for a just solution to the civil war . on his way home, kerry is stopping in london where the parliament has already rejected britain's request for approval to join a u.s.-led strike force . then russia is home to rejoin the lobbying effort