Republican House Speaker vows to support Obama on Syria strikes

WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States Republican House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday said he would support President Barack Obama's call for military strikes against Syria.

In a potentially significant political move, Mr Boehner emerged from talks with Mr Obama at the White House saying the United States must respond to the use of chemical weapons, adding: "I am going to support the President's call for action."

"This is something that the United States as a country needs to do," he said, adding that he believed his colleagues should also support Mr Obama's request for authorisation to use military force.

"We have enemies around the world that need to understand we are not going to tolerate this type of behavior," he told reporters.

"We also have allies around the world and allies in the region who also need to know America will be there and stand up when necessary."

Mr Obama shocked the world on Saturday when he decided to ask Congress for support on military strikes which had then seemed imminent, in a move which represented a significant political gamble.