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President Obama Seeks Congressional Support on Syria

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President’s red line with Syria seen as his first major test on foreign policy

By BVN Staff

President Obama will face arguably the biggest test of his second term as he seeks support from Congress to exercise possible military strikes against Syria following reported evidence of chemical weapons used against civilians.

Obama will reach out to the mostly Republican congress amid growing public concern about the U.S. engaging in military use, despite the atrocities accused of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Recent polls indicate many Americans are fatigued by war, citing past military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ahead of his appeal to congress, Republican senator John McCain (R-Ariz), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) pledged their support for action against Syria. According to Obama’s plan, the possible “limited” military strike would compromise Assad's military capabilities. To date, more than 100,000 deaths have been reported in Syria as violence intensifies among Syrian authorities, rebels and civilians caught in the middle.

Support from the United Nations and NATO allies an unlikely scenario as the U.S. prepares for a unilateral military strike. Several world powers, including Britain, have opted out of any military engagements in Syria while Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken a more pronounced stance against the possibility of a lone U.S. strike against Syrian without U.N. approval. Putin has said proof of the alleged chemical weapons used in Syria should be submitted to the U.N.

"This is something that the United States, as a country, needs to do. I'm going to support the president's call for action. I believe that my colleagues should support this call for action," said Boehner.

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