Pics – Protests: US must keep its hands off Syria!

As US President Barack Obama lobbies Congress to back a military strike against Syria, anti-war activists have started organising protests against the proposal. Above: A demonstrator in San Francisco, California, chants in opposition to the proposed military intervention. Picture: Stephen Lam/Reuters
A poll released by the PEW Research Center found that 48% of Americans surveyed oppose conducting military air strikes against Syria in response to reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons. Only 29% said they favoured military action. Above: Demonstrators hold signs during a rally in San Francisco, California. Picture: Stephen Lam/Reuters
The waning support defied Obama’s public relations blitz. He sent Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel to the Senate committee on foreign relations. They have said there is clear proof that the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad had used nerve gas on neighbourhoods controlled by rebels. Picture: Larry Downing/Reuters
The poll found that 74% of Americans believe that a military strike would lead to a backlash against the US and its allies, while 61% said it would lead to a long-term military commitment there. Conversely, only 33% thought it would be effective in discouraging the use of chemical weapons. Above:  A protester waves signs as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin E Dempsey, Kerry and Hagel, Secretary of Defence, arrive to present the administration’s case for US military action against Syria to a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington. Picture: Joshua Roberts/Reuters
A Syrian-Venezuelan supporter of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad holds up his image during an anti-war rally in Caracas. Picture: Jorge Silva/Reuters
The Catholic Church in the US has also entered the debate, calling for more negotiations and appealing to its followers. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops supported Pope Francis’ call for Saturday to be a day of international fasting and prayer for peace. Above: A protester holds up a poster of Syrian president Bashar Assad near a placard reading “No to war” (right) during a demonstration in Hatay, Turkey. Picture: Gregorio Borgia/AP
A young girl in Pamplona, northern Spain, runs alongside a banner reading, “No to the War” during a protest against foreign intervention. Picture: Alvaro Barrientos/AP
Russian president Vladimir Putin urged President Obama not to rush into a decision on striking Syria, but to consider whether strikes would help end the violence and be worth the civilian casualties they would inevitably cause. Picture: RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service/AP
President Jacob Zuma has warned countries against becoming involved in action against Syria independently without UN sanction. He said individual countries can’t decide that another country has done wrong, and then unilaterally take action “because if you do so, you could have many wars”. Picture: Vladimir Astapkovich/RIA Novosti/Pool

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