EDISON - The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, says the conflict in Syria cannot go on undeterred.

As the crisis nears a boiling point, President Barack Obama says he understands the American public's deep skepticism about military action.

Seeking congressional authority to act, Obama says our nation's experience with the Iraq War has made the public weary.

Menendez has had a direct hand in deciding what, if any, military action will be taken in Syria.

The senator says Syria's leadership has used chemical weapons on civilians

"In addition to punishing him in a way that does not allow him to use chemical weapons in the future against innocent civilians, the national security interest of the United States is not to let this conflict extend within the region,” says Menendez.

The president is expected to address the nation Tuesday night on his plans for the crisis in Syria.