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Obama addresses skeptics, lawmakers about Syria

Sep 3rd, 2013 - International News

— Congress is holding its first public hearing about U.S. plans for military intervention in Syria as the Obama administration tries to convince skeptical Americans and their lawmakers about the need to respond to last month's alleged Syrian gas attack outside Damascus.

Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other top officials appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today.

There's also a classified briefing open to all members of Congress.

Meanwhile, facing roadblocks at home and abroad, President Barack Obama will urge leaders attending a global summit in Russia this week to back an American-led strike against Syria even though the prospects for military action depend on the votes of a fractured U.S. Congress.

Hanging over Obama's three-day overseas trip will also be his tense relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the world leader who has perhaps done the most to stymie international efforts to oust Syria's Bashar Assad.

The timing of the international meetings pulls Obama away from Washington just as he's seeking to rally lawmakers to back military action against Syria in retaliation for what the Obama administration says was a chemical weapons attack.

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