By Mick Krever, CNN
U.S. President Barack Obama would have 30 days to work out a “credible plan” on Syria’s chemical weapons before he would be allowed to use force under a new proposed House resolution, House Democrat Chris Van Hollen told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.
The revision comes on the back of fast-moving developments over a Russian plan to have Syria turn over control of its chemical weapons to an international body, which Van Hollen called a “very positive development.”
“There is this opportunity to accomplish our goal,” the House Democrat said, which he described as preventing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons again.
“We all have an obligation to take this seriously,” Van Hollen told Amanpour. “But we also have an obligation to make sure that this is not a distraction.”
To that end, he said, a proposed House resolution would allow the president to use military action if after 30 days there were no agreement.
“I do think it’s important to have a backstop of a credible use of force,” Van Hollen said.
“If after thirty days the president says that we have either secured that chemical stockpile or that’s there’s a credible plan to do it, then you would not proceed with limited force,” he told Amanpour. “But if he makes another determination, he would be allowed to go forward.”
Any military strikes, he said, would need “to be very limited.”