Sept 1 (Reuters) - Here is a snapshot of Reuters news about the crisis in Syria:
* U.S. Senator John McCain say that a vote by Congress against President Obama's proposal for using military force in Syria would be catastrophic.
* President Obama and his aides press U.S. lawmakers to approve military force against Syria but many members of Congress are worried that an attack would only drag America into another Middle Eastern conflict with no end in sight.
* The president's abrupt decision to halt plans for a strike against Syria and instead wait for congressional approval has generated a raging debate just as the president prepares to go to Sweden and Russia this week.
* Assad denies his forces were behind the attack and warned French military action would lead to "negative repercussions".
* If Obama has disappointed Syrian rebels by deferring to Congress before bombing Damascus, he has also dismayed the United States' two main allies in the Middle East.
* Nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and its strike group sails into Red Sea to help support any U.S. strike.
* Russian lawmakers want to travel to Washington to urge Congress not to back Obama's plan for military strikes.
* Senior members of France's ruling party rebuff opposition calls for a parliamentary vote on whether to take military action against Syria.
* Forces loyal to Assad carried out chemical attack in Damascus, according to a French intelligence report.
* Syria hails "historic American retreat," mockingly accuses Obama of hesitation, confusion after he delays military strike to consult Congress.
* U.S. Secretary of State Kerry says tests have shown sarin nerve gas was fired on rebel-held areas near Damascus.
* Comments from Republicans and Democrats indicate how complex debate will be - and raise doubts whether Obama will win authorization.
* Kerry tips his hand on one tactic administration will use - linking congressional vote to safeguarding Israel from Syrian chemical weapons threat.
* U.N. says Obama's move could be seen as part of effort to forge global consensus on responding to use of chemical arms anywhere.
* China says it had been briefed by the United States about evidence on the use of chemical weapons.
* Poll shows most French people do not approve of military action against Syria.
* Syrian opposition says Assad has moved military equipment, personnel to civilian areas and put prisoners in military sites as human shields.
* European, Asian stock markets comforted by delay in any action against Syria.
* "If the Congress were to reject a resolution like this after the president of the United States has already committed to action, the consequences would be catastrophic" - U.S. Senator John McCain.
* "The Middle East is a powder keg and the fire is approaching ... We shouldn't just talk about a Syrian response, but what will happen after the first strike. Everybody will lose control of the situation when the powder keg blows." - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to French newspaper Le Figaro.
* Obama departs late on Tuesday for Sweden and a G20 summit in Russia. (Compiled by Xavier Briand and Pravin Char)