U.S.: 14 more nations back "strong" response to Syria

Clockwise from left: Enrico Letta, President of the Italian Council of Ministers; U.S. President Barack Obama; German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande talk during the the G20 Summit, September 6, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. All four countries have now signed onto a White House statement condemning the Syrian government for using chemical weapons.
Alexander Vilf/Host Photo Agency via Getty Images

WASHINGTON The White House says 14 more nations have signed onto a statement blaming Syrian President Bashar Assad's government for a chemical weapons attack and calling for a strong international response.

The statement put out at the G-20 economic summit in St. Petersburg last Friday doesn't explicitly call for military action against Syria, as President Barack Obama is advocating.

But administration officials say it's an implicit endorsement, because the U.S. is publicly discussing a potential military strike.

Among the new nations announcing support are Germany, Denmark, Morocco, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Honduras, Romania, Latvia, Albania and Lithuania.

The countries that initially backed the statement were Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

"We condemn in the strongest terms the horrific chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21st that claimed the lives of so many men, women, and children," the statement read in part. "The evidence clearly points to the Syrian government being responsible for the attack, which is part of a pattern of chemical weapons use by the regime.

"We call for a strong international response to this grave violation of the world's rules and conscience that will send a clear message that this kind of atrocity can never be repeated. Those who perpetrated these crimes must be held accountable."