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      Syria Strike: Nine Arab Countries on Board

      Kerry meets Arab League ministers, as US mounts diplomatic offensive to secure support for attack on Syria.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 9/9/2013, 7:25 AM

      Kerry with Arab League ministers
      Kerry with Arab League ministers
      Reuters

      As US President Barack Obama attempts to rally support in Congress for a strike on Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry is waging a diplomatic offensive with the same objective.

      Kerry held talks with Arab League ministers in Paris on Sunday, in which Syria was the main topic. Kerry said afterward that the sides had agreed that Bashar al-Assad's regime had crossed a "global red line" with the August 21 chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds. Participants in the talks included officials from the Arab League, and nine Arab countries.

      "Today we discussed the possible and necessary measures that can be taken," Kerry said. "All of us agree, not one dissenter, that Assad's deplorable use of chemical weapons... crosses an international global red line."

      According to Al Jazeera, Kerry said a number of Arab countries were willing to sign a statement issued by 12 countries of the G20 summit earlier this week, which called for a response to the chemical weapons attack. Announcements regarding this decision would be made in the next 24 hours, he added.

      He said Saudi Arabia was among those who had signed on.

      "They have supported the strike and they have supported taking action," Kerry said.

      Kerry also said Sunday that Washington has not ruled out attempting to get the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution on Syria after UN inspectors complete their report regarding the Syrian army's alleged use of chemical weapons in an August 21 attack.

      Speaking at a news conference in Paris on Sunday with his Qatari counterpart, Khaled al-Attiya, Kerry said US President Barack Obama had yet to make a decision.