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Obama To Try To Convince Americans On Syria

Updated: Tuesday, September 10 2013, 10:20 AM CDT

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner says President Barack Obama is going to have to make a convincing case when he speaks to the public Tuesday night to urge congressional approval of a military strike on Syria.

Surveys have shown a significant number of House Republicans and Democrats opposed to military action or leaning against it -- but officials in the leadership say it's premature to say the resolution can't be approved. At this stage, just a third of the House and Senate members have been given classified briefings.

At a news conference following the G20 summit in Russia, Obama acknowledged deep divisions at home and abroad over what action to take in response to Syria's use of chemical weapons.

Ten of the G20 members joined the U.S. in accusing the Syrian government of carrying out a chemical attack on civilians last month. They called for a strong international response but stopped short of endorsing military action.

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Obama To Try To Convince Americans 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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