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White House tries to gain support for strike on Syria

Updated: Thursday, September 12 2013, 03:29 PM CDT
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is making a big push to rally members of Congress and the American public behind President Barack Obama's plan for a U.S. military strike against Syria.
   His administration says the government of Syrian President Bassar Assad used chemical weapons in an attack last month near Damascus, and that a strong U.S. response is needed to deter the future use of deadly chemicals.
   Syria claims rebels carried out the Aug. 21 attack.
   Obama's chief of staff, Denis McDonough, is set to make the White House's case during interviews on five Sunday talk shows.
   Vice President Joe Biden plans to host a dinner Sunday night for a group of Senate Republicans. And lawmakers should expect more phone calls from top officials.
   Obama is giving a national address Tuesday night.
White House tries to gain support for strike on Syria


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The Syrian civil war, (also known as the Syrian uprising or Syrian crisis) is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Ba'ath government and those seeking to oust it. A part of the larger Middle Eastern protest movement known as the Arab Spring, the conflict began March 15th, 2011 with local demonstrations that grew in scope to become nationwide by April 2011.

Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971, as well as the end of Ba'ath Party rule, which began in 1963.

The Syrian Army was deployed in April of 2011 to stop the uprising, and soldiers fired on demonstrators across the country. After months of cities and neighborhoods being cut-off by the Army the protests evolved into an armed rebellion.

The Arab League, United States, European Union, and other countries condemned the use of violence against the protesters. The Arab League suspended Syria's membership as a result of the government's response to the crisis, but granted the Syrian National Coalition, a coalition of Syrian political opposition groups, Syria's seat on 6 March 2013.

According to the UN, about 4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country and 2 million have fled to other countries.

Syrian government supporters include Russia and Iran, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing material and weapons to the rebels.


 

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