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Hagel Urges Congress to Support Military Action Against Syria

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2013 – Emphasizing the need to protect U.S. national security interests, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today he supports President Barack Obama’s decision to seek congressional authorization for the use of force in Syria.

Hagel joined Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in making the administration's case for the use of force in response to a large-scale sarin gas assault which the administration says was carried out by the Syrian government against its own people. 

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Obama: Strike Syrian Regime, But Have Congressional Debate, Vote

By Karen Parrish - American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2013 – President Barack Obama said today he supports a U.S. military strike against Syrian regime targets in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own people, but he called on Congress to debate and vote on how America should react to “the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century.”

At the White House Rose Garden, Obama spoke of the Aug. 21 attack on Damascus suburbs that, he noted, killed more than 1,000 people, including several hundred children -- “young girls and boys gassed to death by their own government.” 

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Bombing Chemical Weapons Sites in Syria Could Endanger Civilians, Cause Environmental Catastrophe,

WASHINGTON -- You simply can't safely bomb a chemical weapon storehouse into oblivion, experts say. That's why they say the United States is probably targeting something other than Syria's nerve agents.

But now there is concern that bombing other sites could accidentally release dangerous chemical weapons that the U.S. military didn't know were there because they've lost track of some of the suspected nerve agents.

Bombing stockpiles of chemical weapons -- purposely or accidentally -- would likely kill nearby civilians in an accidental nerve agent release, create a long-lasting environmental catastrophe or both, five experts told The Associated Press. That's because under ideal conditions -- and conditions wouldn't be ideal in Syria -- explosives would leave at least 20 to 30 percent of the poison in lethal form. 

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Tobacco café in Syrian refugee camp offers a break from war

Syrian refugee sets up a "shisha" pipe cafe to help his fellow refugees socialize and temporarily forget about their worries as violence escalates in their country. --Video-- 

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Rebels attack Syria's Pentagon-like military facility CNN News report

(CNN News) -- With explosives and gunfire, rebels attacked a Syrian building akin to the Pentagon on Wednesday, the second such strike on a military facility in two days. Four guards were killed and 14 people were injured, including civilians and soldiers, state television reported. see news video

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Syrian city in flames

Opposition groups say the Syrian city of Aleppo is in flames after an attack by military forces

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Syrian helicopter down in capital

The burned remains of a helicopter Syrian rebels claim they shot down over Damascus on Monday. Amateur footage Reuters cannot independently verify reportedly shows a helicopter falling out of the sky while on fire. 

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Many flee for Lebanon to escape fighting in Damascus

July 23 - Fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels appears to rage in Aleppo, as many flee for Lebanon to escape fighting in Damascus. Sarah Sheffer reports. ( Transcript )

Gunfire in an Aleppo neighborhood. Amateur video purports to show Syrian government tanks around intelligence headquarters in Aleppo, as pro-Assad forces try to push back rebel gains. Another shot is said show residents of Aleppo fleeing as gunfire is heard in the background. Reuters cannot independently verify the content of the videos, mainly due to Syrian media restrictions. 

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Syrian army batters parts of Damascus, 40 killed

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis
AMMAN | Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:01am EDT

Syrian army shells crashed into southern Damascus on Wednesday and helicopters fired rockets and machineguns during an assault to shore up President Bashar al-Assad's grip on the capital, opposition activists said. They said at least 40 people had been killed in what they called the heaviest bombardment this month. "The whole of Damascus is shaking with the sound of shelling," said a woman in Kfar Souseh, one of several districts hit during the military offensive to root out rebel fighters. At least 22 people were killed in Kfar Souseh and 18 in the nearby district of Nahr Eisha, activists said.  See Video and more............

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Journalist Mika Yamamoto killed in the Syrian

Japanese journalist Mika Yamamoto in the Syrian city of Aleppo --- hours before she was killed in a gunfight. She was with fighters from the Free Syrian Army. When another part of the city came under attack, Yamamoto didn't hesitate


Joe Leonard photographer


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