Syria Crisis: Latest Updates On The Conflict

Sep 11, 2013 | Updated Nov 11, 2013
AP

Diplomats at the United Nations started negotiations on a draft resolution that would enforce a Russian proposal for Syria to give up its chemical weapons, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

Follow our live blog for the latest updates on the debates.

09/11/2013 6:02 PM EDT

U.S. Struggling To Destroy Its Own Chemical Weapons Stockpile

The Guardian reports that despite promising to destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons by 2012, the United States still has thousands of tons of lethal gas stored in facilities in Kentucky and Colorado.

According to reporter Paul Lewis, the most recent projections indicate that the weapons dump will not be complete until 2023 -- eight years after Russia said it will be fully rid of nerve agents.

"By missing its deadlines, the U.S. and other countries have arguably breached a founding principle of the same treaty cited as a reason to justify an attack on Syria," Lewis wrote.

Though Syria's chemical weapons stockpile is expected to be much smaller than those of Russia and the U.S., Lewis points out, the delays many countries have experienced in destroying their arsenals indicate the technological and political challenges likely in attempting to disarm Damascus.

Read the full story here.

--Kavitha A. Davidson

09/11/2013 5:24 PM EDT

Chomsky: 'The United States Is A Rogue State'

In an interview with Democracy Now!, Noam Chomsky takes issue with Obama's characterization of the United States as "the anchor of global security" in Tuesday night's address.

Pointing to America's use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War, as well as its role in overthrowing democratically elected leaders while ushering in dictatorships across Latin America, Chomsky fervently rejects the president's entire premise for taking military action in Syria.

"The United States is a rogue state," Chomsky said. "It doesn’t pay any attention to international law."

He notes the seeming hypocrisy in calling for Syria to adhere to internationally established norms against the possession of chemical weapons without demanding the same from other countries -- namely, Israel. (As Chomsky points out, the U.S. under Ronald Reagan vetoed UN Security Council resolutions that would have required all nations to observe international law.)

Chomsky sums up Obama's address thusly:

So what he said is, 'I’m going to lie like a trooper about history; I’m going to suppress the U.S. role, the actual U.S. role, for the last seven decades; I’m going to maintain the threat of force, which is, of course, illegal; and I’m going to ensure that the chemical weapons convention is not imposed on the region, because our ally, Israel, would be subjected to it.' And I think those are some of the main points of his address.

Watch the entire interview in the video below, and read the full transcript of the segment here.

--Kavitha A. Davidson

09/11/2013 5:10 PM EDT

Biden Holds Two Classified Briefings On Syria For House Republicans, Source Says

Vice President Joe Biden hosted two classified briefings in the White House Situation Room Wednesday for groups of House Republicans, an administration official confirmed to HuffPost. The meetings were not on Biden's public schedule, and according to an attendee, Syria topped the agenda.

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) said in a tweet this afternoon that his meeting with Biden lasted two hours, and Schock appreciated Biden's "frank discussion and personal outreach."

Just a day earlier, Schock expressed frustration with the Obama administration's shifting position on Syrian chemical weapons negotiations.

“There are so many moving parts,” Schock told Time. “The Administration’s statements continue to change over a 24-hour period. We’re going to strike, we’d like Congress’s approval, we don’t need Congress’s approval—that’s what we heard last week—to now we may not strike if Assad gives up his weapons to Russia.”

-- Christina Wilkie

09/11/2013 4:29 PM EDT

Are Americans Too Desensitized To Care About Syria?

David Nakamura posits that one of the toughest challenges Obama faces is getting Americans to care about Syria -- and not simply because of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Washington Post writer notes that the images of children writhing on hospital floors in the aftermath of the Aug. 21 chemical attack may not be informative or graphic enough to elicit the emotional response the administration has hoped for during its strike campaign.

Nakamura writes:

Images of dead bodies or men gasping for air and convulsing may produce a horrified reaction, but they do not necessarily explain to a viewer what happened or why, said Scott Sigmund Gartner, a scholar at Penn State University who has studied the affect of war imagery on the public.

"The images that are the most powerful tells [sic] a story that is understandable without captions, without additional explanation," Gartner said. "The images I’ve seen in the media are terrible; they are horrific. But they do not tell a story about the role of chemical weapons -- and it’s unfair to even ask ... that of an image because with chemical weapons, most of the time there’s nothing to see."

Additionally, Nakamura spoke to an expert who acknowledged that while humans are "hard-wired" to fear poisons and gases, the Syria attack videos "lack raw emotional power compared to bloodier photos and videos that the public has seen from other war zones."

Read the full story here.

--Kavitha A. Davidson

09/11/2013 3:35 PM EDT

New Details on U.S.-Russia Negotiations In Geneva

More details emerged Wednesday about Secretary of State John Kerry's trip to Geneva to meet with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and negotiate a plan to turn over Syria's chemical weapons to international control.

Kerry will depart late Wednesday night accompanied by a team of United States chemical weapons experts, and spend Thursday and Friday in Geneva, according to a State Department spokeswoman. He is scheduled to meet with Lavrov and with United Nations Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi. There were no plans Wednesday for Kerry to meet with members of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

The Geneva meetings will give the U.S. an opportunity to evaluate whether the Russian proposal is serious, said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. The U.S. scientists also will work with their Russian counterparts to "make this effort logistically and technically possible," Psaki said.

The safety of any weapons inspectors or removal teams while in Syria will certainly be part of the discussion, she said.

Psaki said the negotiations between Kerry and Lavrov are separate from early-stage negotiations on Syria held Wednesday in New York between representatives of the five permanent member nations on the U.N. Security Council. She acknowledged, however, that "all these pieces are linked together."

The U.N. negotiations grew tense Wednesday, when Russia rejected a proposal by France and the U.S. for a binding resolution. The resolution would strip Assad of his chemical weapons and impose "very severe consequences" if he failed to comply.

--Christina Wilkie

09/11/2013 2:59 PM EDT

Team Of Chemical Weapons Specialists To Travel With Kerry To Geneva

Secretary of State John Kerry will be accompanied during his two-day trip to Geneva this week by a team of United States chemical weapons experts. The team will help Kerry negotiate the details of a Russian plan to rid Syria of chemical weapons.

A State Department spokeswoman said the names of the experts would be released when the list was finalized, and that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kerry's counterpart in the negotiations, also will bring a team of scientists and specialists to the meeting.

Despite a bumpy road ahead for any multinational agreements on Syria's chemical weapons, the inclusion of logistics experts and scientists in what was initially called a diplomatic mission underscores how far the U.S. and Russia have come toward an agreement in just 72 hours.

-- Christina Wilkie

09/11/2013 1:50 PM EDT

Report: All Five Permanent Members Of UN Security Council To Meet Today On Syria

09/11/2013 1:45 PM EDT

John Boehner's Syria Stance Not Playing Well Back Home

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) declared early on his support for President Barack Obama's plan to take military action in Syria. But according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, that position is not playing well in Boehner's Republican district back in Ohio:

One political expert said Boehner’s support might cost him votes next session for Speaker of the House, but he doubts it would oust him from Congress.

Of the 20 people the Enquirer approached about Boehner, some didn’t even know who he was, much less what was his stance on an attack on Syria.

Other opinions ranged from applauding him for at least making a decision to questions about whether he’s still a conservative. One person said he staunchly agrees with what Boehner did and that politics shouldn’t be involved.

Patricia Harmon, 49, of Middletown, suggested Boehner was a turncoat.

“I thought he didn’t like Democrats. Why is he all of a sudden backing the president?” she said.

-- Amanda Terkel

09/11/2013 12:09 PM EDT

Damascus Residents Line Up For Passports

Despite President Obama's call for Congress to delay a vote on a military strike against Syria, dozens of Syrians lined up in Damascus for passports to leave the country. Reuters reports that many residents of the Syrian capital appear wary of current negotiations at the U.N. to force Syria to give up its chemical weapons.

"We just decided it was time we got passports for the whole family," Raghad, a mother of three in her thirties, told Reuters. Raghad explained that while the family would not need a passport to cross the border into neighboring Lebanon, it would require documents to leave for a third country. "Now with all this news, what if we went to Lebanon and couldn't return? We need passports in case we have no choice but to travel to a third country," Raghad said. "For now, based on the latest news, we're staying until something changes."

Read the full story here.

09/11/2013 11:51 AM EDT

Israel: Syria Must Be Stripped Of Chemical Weapons

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the international community to strip Syria of its chemical weapons, Reuters reports:

Netanyahu said Syria had carried out a "crime against humanity" by killing innocent civilians with chemical weapons and that Syria's ally Iran, who is at odds with the West over its nuclear program, was watching to see how the world acted.

Read the full story here.

Ryan: "It will merely curse the past, when we need to protect the future. For all these reasons, I cannot support it."

— Charles Sykes (@SykesCharlie) September 11, 2013

Ryan: "President’s ill-conceived, half-hearted proposal will do little to help. It will make America look weak, when we need to be strong."

— Charles Sykes (@SykesCharlie) September 11, 2013

In any event, President Barack Obama has asked congressional leaders to delay a vote on the resolution to allow time for a potential diplomatic solution to play out.

-- Luke Johnson

","short_text":"

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday he would vote against a resolution authorizing the use of force in Syria, according to Wisconsin talk radio host Charlie Sykes.

BREAKING Rep. Paul Ryan says he will vote No ...Read More"},{"id":"153","created":"09/11/2013 9:35 AM EDT","title":"Negotiations Over UN Resolutions Started On Wednesday ","tweet_link":"153_negotiations-over-un-resolutions-started-on-wednesday-","entry_text":"

A French official told the Associated Press that negotiations over a United Nations resolution on Syria started on Wednesday.

The negotiations come in the wake of Damascus' acceptance of a Russian plan that would force Syria to put its chemical weapons under international control. France, Britain and the United States welcomed the plan on Tuesday, but insisted that a binding U.N. resolution should set a timetable for Assad to execute the plan and should stipulate punitive measures in case of non-compliance.

According to the AP, the negotiations over the U.N. resolution are extremely tense. Russia reportedly objects to making the resolution militarily enforceable. Moscow also does not want the resolution to explicitly blame the Assad regime for the chemical attack in Damascus on Aug. 21.

Read more on the negotiations here.

","short_text":"

A French official told the Associated Press that negotiations over a United Nations resolution on Syria started on Wednesday.

The negotiations come in the wake of Damascus' acceptance of a Russian plan that would force Syria to put its chemical ...Read More"},{"id":"152","created":"09/11/2013 9:26 AM EDT","title":"U.N.: Assad Regime Responsible For At Least 8 Massacres","tweet_link":"152_un-assad-regime-responsible-for-at-least-8-massacres","entry_text":"

A U.N. commission announced on Wednesday it believes the regime of President Bashar Assad is responsible for at least eight massacres perpetrated in Syria in the past 18 months. The commission accuses rebel forces of one massacre.

More from the Associated Press:

The commission's probe highlights the worsening pattern of violence against civilians, including executions and hospital bombings, as the government battles to retake lost territory from the rebels, including Islamist foreign fighters who also have carried out war crimes.

\"The perpetrators of these violations and crimes, on all sides, act in defiance of international law. They do not fear accountability. Referral to justice is imperative,\" says the report by the U.N. commission investigating human rights abuses in Syria.

Read the full story here.

","short_text":"

A U.N. commission announced on Wednesday it believes the regime of President Bashar Assad is responsible for at least eight massacres perpetrated in Syria in the past 18 months. The commission accuses rebel forces of one massacre.

More from the A...Read More"},{"id":"151","created":"09/11/2013 9:22 AM EDT","title":"What You Need To Know About Syria's Turbulent History And Why It Matters Today","tweet_link":"151_what-you-need-to-know-about-syrias-turbulent-history-and-why-it-matters-today","entry_text":"

As the members of the United Nations debate a Russian proposal to force the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad to surrender its chemical weapons, HuffPost World looks back at the history of conflict in the Middle Eastern country.

Learn more about Syria's past, present and future in our explainer.

","short_text":"

As the members of the United Nations debate a Russian proposal to force the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad to surrender its chemical weapons, HuffPost World looks back at the history of conflict in the Middle Eastern country.

Learn more...Read More"},{"id":"150","created":"09/11/2013 9:07 AM EDT","title":"U.N. Panel Cites Evidence Of War Crimes On Both Sides","tweet_link":"150_un-panel-cites-evidence-of-war-crimes-on-both-sides","entry_text":"

The New York Times reports:

As the United States and Russia searched for a diplomatic solution to the crisis over Syria’s chemical weapons, a four-person United Nations rights panel presented detailed evidence on Wednesday of what they said were war crimes and crimes against humanity still being committed by both sides in the 30-month-old conflict.

Bolstered by arms and money from regional and global powers waging a proxy war, Syria’s government and rebel forces have committed murder, torture, rape and indiscriminate attacks on civilians on a huge scale, believing they can win a military victory and without fear of future punishment, the panel, a Commission of Inquiry, said in a report to be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

The New York Times reports:

As the United States and Russia searched for a diplom...Read More"},{"id":"149","created":"09/11/2013 9:00 AM EDT","title":"Looking At The Reality Of Disarming Syria","tweet_link":"149_looking-at-the-reality-of-disarming-syria","entry_text":"

NYT, WaPo, WSJ all front stories on how tough disarming Syria would be. http://t.co/8Xu8iiVbbg http://t.co/t3hc0YYiSJ http://t.co/hXpZ3YvEj5

— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) 3 years ago

","short_text":"

NYT, WaPo, WSJ all front stories on how tough disarming Syria would be. http://t.co/8Xu8iiVbbg http://t.co/t3hc0YYiSJ http://t.co/hXpZ3YvEj5

— Peter Baker (@peterbakerny...Read More"},{"id":"148","created":"09/11/2013 8:57 AM EDT","title":"McCain Says He Feels 'Very Badly' For Free Syrian Army","tweet_link":"148_mccain-says-he-feels-very-badly-for-free-syrian-army","entry_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

Sen. John McCain says the cause of rebels fighting Syria's President Bashar Assad has been obscured in the rapid-fire military and diplomatic events following a chemical weapons attack near Damascus.

McCain says, quote, \"I feel very badly for my friends in the Free Syrian Army today.\"

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

Sen. John McCain says the cause of rebels fighting Syria's President Bashar A...Read More"},{"id":"147","created":"09/11/2013 8:56 AM EDT","title":"Code Pink Leader Celebrates Birthday At White House Syria Protest","tweet_link":"147_code-pink-leader-celebrates-birthday-at-white-house-syria-protest","entry_text":"

The Huffington Post's Jen Bendery reports:

Medea Benjamin, the leader of the anti-war group Code Pink and perhaps the most easily recognizable protester in Washington, celebrated her 61st birthday in true form on Tuesday night: at a large protest outside the White House during President Barack Obama's national address on Syria.

The scene on the closed-off street was half party and half war protest. At least 100 people swarmed around a table set up in honor of Benjamin's birthday with free cupcakes and lemonade for anyone who walked up. Two women sang peace songs and played guitar; another guy hauled out a popcorn machine. But nearly everyone was also holding a sign or wearing a sticker opposing a military intervention in Syria.

\"It seems very apropos to have a birthday out in front of the White House at a time when we're trying to mobilize for peace, but they're a little nervous about us,\" Benjamin told HuffPost, referring to police officers' response to the gear Code Pink brought to the scene. \"They've got some 9/11 jitters.\"

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

The Huffington Post's Jen Bendery reports:

Medea Benjamin, the leader of the anti-war group Code Pink and perhaps the mo...Read More"},{"id":"146","created":"09/11/2013 8:54 AM EDT","title":"How To Destroy Syria's Chemical Weapons","tweet_link":"146_how-to-destroy-syrias-chemical-weapons","entry_text":"

Time reports:

Hunting down Syria’s chemical weapons — assuming the Russian-brokered deal to avert a U.S. strike pans out — is going to be a challenge. Destroying them after they are located, assuming that is the path to be followed, will be no day at the incinerator, either.

No one knows that better than the Pentagon.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

Time reports:

Hunting down Syria’s chemical weapons — assuming the Russian-brokered deal to avert a U.S. strike pans out "},{"id":"145","created":"09/11/2013 8:53 AM EDT","title":"Kerry To Host Henry Kissinger, Foreign Affairs Experts","tweet_link":"145_kerry-to-host-henry-kissinger-foreign-affairs-experts","entry_text":"

The Huffington Post's Christina Wilkie reports:

Secretary of State John Kerry will spend much of Wednesday meeting with senior members of the U.S. foreign policy establishment, as he attempts to press the case for U.S. engagement in Syria.

Kerry is scheduled to meet one-on-one with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Wednesday afternoon, and address a meeting of the 25-member Foreign Affairs Policy Board Wednesday morning. On Wednesday evening, Kerry will host a dinner for FAPB members at the State Department, according to an official schedule.

Widely considered a godfather of U.S.-Russia relations, Kissinger served as Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon and President Gerald Ford. As the nation's top diplomat, he pioneered the idea of developing a détente, or cooperation based on shared interests, between the leaders of the world's two nuclear superpowers.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

The Huffington Post's Christina Wilkie reports:

Secretary of State John Kerry will spend much of Wednesday meeting with senior members ...Read More"},{"id":"144","created":"09/10/2013 11:06 PM EDT","title":"Poll Of Speech-Watchers Finds Support For President's Position, Division On Taking Action","tweet_link":"144_poll-of-speechwatchers-finds-support-for-presidents-position-division-on-taking-action","entry_text":"

A CNN/ORC survey of Americans who watched President Barack Obama speak Tuesday night found many optimistic about a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Syria. But respondents were split on whether Obama had made the case for taking action should negotiations fail. CNN's Paul Steinheuser writes:

A CNN/ORC International survey of speech-watchers conducted immediately after the conclusion of Obama's Tuesday address indicates that 61% support the president's position on Syria, with 37% opposing his response to the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons against its own citizens ... The poll indicates that nearly two-thirds of those who watched the speech think that the situation in Syria is likely to be resolved through diplomatic efforts, with 35% disagreeing ... According to the poll, those who watched the president were divided on whether Obama made a convincing case in his speech for U.S. military action in Syria, with 47% saying he did and 50% saying he didn't.\"

The poll's results were influenced by the fact that more Democrats chose to tune in to the speech: The sample was 37 percent Democrats, 20 percent Republicans, and 43 percent independents. Nearly all public polling to date among the general public has found wide opposition to intervention against Syria. In a CNN/ORC survey released Monday, only 39 percent of Americans said Congress should pass a resolution that authorized limited military action.

--Ariel Edwards-Levy

","short_text":"

A CNN/ORC survey of Americans who watched President Barack Obama speak Tuesday night found many optimistic about a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Syria. But respondents were split on whether Obama had made the case for taking action should nego...Read More"},{"id":"143","created":"09/10/2013 9:59 PM EDT","title":"Jimmy Carter: Don't Bomb Syria, Pursue Diplomatic Solution","tweet_link":"143_jimmy-carter-dont-bomb-syria-pursue-diplomatic-solution","entry_text":"

The AP reports:

ATLANTA — Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday he believes the best path forward in Syria is for the United States to work out a deal with Russia for Syria to give up its chemical weapons.

Carter, in an event at The Carter Center, said it would not be a catastrophe if Congress were to vote against President Barack Obama's call for military action against Syria while diplomatic efforts are pursued.

\"A lot of presidents have submitted things that were extremely important to us, maybe even more important than bombing Syria, and we've been rejected by Congress,\" Carter said. \"It's just something you have to live with in a democracy.\"

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

The AP reports:

ATLANTA — Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday he believes the best path forward in...Read More"},{"id":"142","created":"09/10/2013 9:58 PM EDT","title":"Boehner Stays Quiet","tweet_link":"142_boehner-stays-quiet","entry_text":"

Speaker Boehner will not issue a statement on President Obama's Syria address, per his spox.

— Sabrina Siddiqui (@SabrinaSiddiqui) 4 years ago

","short_text":"

Speaker Boehner will not issue a statement on President Obama's Syria address, per his spox.

— Sabrina Siddiqui (@SabrinaSiddiqui) 4 y...Read More"},{"id":"141","created":"09/10/2013 9:48 PM EDT","title":"Obama Asks Congress To Postpone Vote On Syria Authorization And Military To Maintain Posture","tweet_link":"141_obama-asks-congress-to-postpone-vote-on-syria-authorization-and-military-to-maintain-posture","entry_text":"

HuffPost reports:

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he has ordered the military to maintain its posture with respect to striking Syria even as Congress postpones a vote authorizing that strike.

Speaking from the East Wing, he said, \"I've ordered our military to maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on Assad and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails.\"

Click here for more.

","short_text":"

HuffPost reports:

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he has ordered the military to maintain its posture with respect ...Read More"},{"id":"140","created":"09/10/2013 9:47 PM EDT","title":"Politicians React To Obama Speech","tweet_link":"140_politicians-react-to-obama-speech","entry_text":"

HuffPost is gathering reactions from politicians to Obama's speech.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

HuffPost is gathering reactions from politicians to Obama's speech.

Read More"},{"id":"139","created":"09/10/2013 9:47 PM EDT","title":"Read Full Text Of Obama's Speech","tweet_link":"139_read-full-text-of-obamas-speech","entry_text":"

Click here to read the full text of Obama's speech.

","short_text":"

Click here to read the full text of Obama's speech.

"},{"id":"138","created":"09/10/2013 9:17 PM EDT","title":"Obama Asks Viewers To View Videos Of Syrian Attack","tweet_link":"138_obama-asks-viewers-to-view-videos-of-syrian-attack","entry_text":"

Obama: \"Sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are simply not enough.\"

— Stefan Becket (@stefanjbecket) 4 years ago

","short_text":"

Obama: \"Sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are simply not enough.\"

— Stefan Becket (@stefanjbecket) 4 years agoRead More"},{"id":"137","created":"09/10/2013 9:14 PM EDT","title":"Obama Asks Congressional Leaders To Postpone Vote On Use Of Force","tweet_link":"137_obama-asks-congressional-leaders-to-postpone-vote-on-use-of-force","entry_text":"

Obama: \"I have...asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path\" #Syria

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) 4 years ago

","short_text":"

Obama: \"I have...asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path\" #Syria

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) Read More"},{"id":"136","created":"09/10/2013 9:13 PM EDT","title":"Russia Mention Made By Obama","tweet_link":"136_russia-mention-made-by-obama","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

President Obama: \"The Russian government has indicated a willingness to join...in pushing Assad to give up his chemical weapons.\" #Syria

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) Read More"},{"id":"135","created":"09/10/2013 9:12 PM EDT","title":"No Mention Of Russian Proposal So Far","tweet_link":"135_no-mention-of-russian-proposal-so-far","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

Obama has not mentioned the Russian proposal at all.

— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) 2 years ago

"},{"id":"134","created":"09/10/2013 9:12 PM EDT","title":"Who Obama's Speaking To","tweet_link":"134_who-obamas-speaking-to","entry_text":"

RT @matthewjbell So far, the speech is aimed at people who've been paying no attention to Syria news for the last few weeks.

— Joshua Hersh (@joshuahersh) 3 years ago

","short_text":"

RT @matthewjbell So far, the speech is aimed at people who've been paying no attention to Syria news for the last few weeks.

— Joshua Hersh (@joshuahersh) Read More"},{"id":"133","created":"09/10/2013 9:10 PM EDT","title":"'Even A Limited Strike Will Send A Message'","tweet_link":"133_even-a-limited-strike-will-send-a-message","entry_text":"

Obama: \"The U.S. military doesn't do pin pricks. Even a limited strike will send a message to Assad that no other nation can deliver.\"

","short_text":"

Obama: \"The U.S. military doesn't do pin pricks. Even a limited strike will send a message to Assad that no other nation can deliver.\"

"},{"id":"132","created":"09/10/2013 9:10 PM EDT","title":"O: No Boots On The Ground","tweet_link":"132_o-no-boots-on-the-ground","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

Obama: \"My answer is simple: I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria.\"

— Daniel Strauss (@DanielStrauss4) 3 years ago<...Read More"},{"id":"131","created":"09/10/2013 9:09 PM EDT","title":"Obama Addresses War-Weary","tweet_link":"131_obama-addresses-warweary","entry_text":"

\"I have spent 4.5 years trying to end wars—not start them. Our troops are out of Iraq. Our troops are coming home from Afghanistan.\"

","short_text":"

\"I have spent 4.5 years trying to end wars—not start them. Our troops are out of Iraq. Our troops are coming home from Afghanistan.\"

"},{"id":"130","created":"09/10/2013 9:08 PM EDT","title":"Why Obama Looked To Congress","tweet_link":"130_why-obama-looked-to-congress","entry_text":"

Obama: \"I believe our democracy is stronger when the president acts with the support of Congress.\"

","short_text":"

Obama: \"I believe our democracy is stronger when the president acts with the support of Congress.\"

"},{"id":"129","created":"09/10/2013 9:07 PM EDT","title":"Obama On Why U.S. Should Take Stand","tweet_link":"129_obama-on-why-us-should-take-stand","entry_text":"

\"A failure to stand against the use of chemical weapons would weaken prohibitions against other weapons of mass destruction,\" Obama said.

\"This is not a world we should accept,\" Obama said.

","short_text":"

\"A failure to stand against the use of chemical weapons would weaken prohibitions against other weapons of mass destruction,\" Obama said.

\"This is not a world we should accept,\" Obama said.

"},{"id":"128","created":"09/10/2013 9:04 PM EDT","title":"Obama: No One Disputes Use Of Chemical Weapons","tweet_link":"128_obama-no-one-disputes-use-of-chemical-weapons","entry_text":"

\"No one disputes that chemical weapons were used in Syria,\" Obama said.

\"Moreover, we know the Assad regime is responsible,\" Obama continued.

\"The facts cannot be denied. The question now is what the U.S. and international community is prepared to do about it.\"

","short_text":"

\"No one disputes that chemical weapons were used in Syria,\" Obama said.

\"Moreover, we know the Assad regime is responsible,\" Obama continued.

\"The facts cannot be denied. The question now is what the U.S. and international community is prep...Read More"},{"id":"127","created":"09/10/2013 9:04 PM EDT","title":"Obama: Can't Solve This Through Force","tweet_link":"127_obama-cant-solve-this-through-force","entry_text":"

Obama: \"We cannot resolve someone else's civil war through force.\"

— Ethan Klapper (@ethanklapper) 6 years ago

","short_text":"

Obama: \"We cannot resolve someone else's civil war through force.\"

— Ethan Klapper (@ethanklapper) 6 years ago

"},{"id":"126","created":"09/10/2013 9:03 PM EDT","title":"Obama On What 'Changed' The Situation","tweet_link":"126_obama-on-what-changed-the-situation","entry_text":"

\"The situation profoundly changed though on August 21, when Assad’s government gassed to death over 1,000 people.\"

","short_text":"

\"The situation profoundly changed though on August 21, when Assad’s government gassed to death over 1,000 people.\"

"},{"id":"125","created":"09/10/2013 9:03 PM EDT","title":"Obama: Images 'Sickening'","tweet_link":"125_obama-images-sickening","entry_text":"

Obama: \"The images from this massacre are sickening\" #Syria

— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) 5 years ago

","short_text":"

Obama: \"The images from this massacre are sickening\" #Syria

— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) 5 years ago

"},{"id":"124","created":"09/10/2013 8:55 PM EDT","title":"'NO WAR ON SYRIA'","tweet_link":"124_no-war-on-syria","entry_text":"

White House Syria protest: http://t.co/RIg2z7f5dT

— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) 6 years ago

","short_text":"

White House Syria protest: http://t.co/RIg2z7f5dT

— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) 6 years ago

...Read More"},{"id":"123","created":"09/10/2013 8:13 PM EDT","title":"White House Jumbotron?","tweet_link":"123_white-house-jumbotron","entry_text":"

Code Pink somehow worked it out to have Jumbotron (and popcorn machine) in front of WH to watch O's speech! http://t.co/JSRyOFr2rO

— jennifer bendery (@jbendery) 5 years ago

","short_text":"

Code Pink somehow worked it out to have Jumbotron (and popcorn machine) in front of WH to watch O's speech! http://t.co/JSRyOFr2rO

— jennifer bendery (@jbendery) Read More"},{"id":"122","created":"09/10/2013 8:02 PM EDT","title":"Outside The White House...","tweet_link":"122_outside-the-white-house","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

Outside the WH right now... http://t.co/oAeqkiYaDO

— jennifer bendery (@jbendery) 5 years ago

Read More"},{"id":"121","created":"09/10/2013 7:16 PM EDT","title":"Chris Murphy: Obama Wants An Alternate Way Out","tweet_link":"121_chris-murphy-obama-wants-an-alternate-way-out","entry_text":"

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told CNN on Tuesday that President Barack Obama has no interest in military strikes if there is another way to deal with Syria's chemical weapons.

\"What the president told us today in our caucus meeting with the Democrats, is that he has no interest in going to war. He has no interest in military strikes if he can find a way out of it,\" Murphy said.

Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, voted against a resolution to authorize strikes on Syria last week.

--Luke Johnson

","short_text":"

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told CNN on Tuesday that President Barack Obama has no in...Read More"},{"id":"120","created":"09/10/2013 7:03 PM EDT","title":"House Democrats Unveil Revised Syria Resolution With Diplomatic Provisions","tweet_link":"120_house-democrats-unveil-revised-syria-resolution-with-diplomatic-provisions","entry_text":"

Democratic Reps. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Gerry Connolly (Va.) have amended their House resolution calling for strikes on Syria to include new diplomatic provisions aimed at averting military action.

In a Tuesday evening letter to Democratic colleagues, Van Hollen and Connolly say Russia's recent proposal -- to require the Syrian government to turn over chemical weapons to international control -- is \"a positive development.\" As such, they re-crafted their resolution to call for military force only if Syria refuses to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention or if the plan to move Syria's weapons to international control doesn't pan out.

\"We believe this proposal has a strong chance of accomplishing the objective set out by the President -- to deter the further use of chemical weapons in Syria and in future conflicts, including those where American forces would be at risk,\" the congressmen wrote.

Read the full letter below:

Dear Colleague:

The recent Russian proposal -- in response to Secretary Kerry's comments -- is a positive development. It is important to recognize that this proposal only resulted from President Obama's determination to use limited force to deter Syria from the future use of chemical weapons.

Clearly, if Syria puts its chemical weapons under international control, then the Assad regime would be unable to use them again in the future and we will have achieved the important goal of stopping poison gas attacks in Syria and deterring the use of chemical weapons in future conflicts. We believe we can accomplish this goal if we maintain the pressure that caused the Russians to embrace the proposal in the first place. Therefore, we have amended our Resolution to give these recent proposals a chance to succeed.

Our revised Resolution:

1) Would authorize the limited use of force (as defined in section 3 below) starting 30 days after passage if the President certifies to Congress that: a) Syria has refused to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention or b) there is no credible plan to place the Syrian chemical weapons stockpile under verifiable international control.

2) Would authorize the President to use limited force (as defined in section 3 below) if the President certifies to Congress that he has determined with high confidence that Syria has used chemical weapons again, since August 21, 2013. The Congress would have five days to pass a resolution to disapprove this factual determination--and block the use of force--if it found the evidence inadequate.

3) Any use of force under this Joint Resolution would be limited in the following way:

a) the purpose of the use of force is to deter the future use of chemical weapons;

b) the force must be limited, proportional and directed at legitimate military targets;

c) no US military personnel on the ground in Syria except to rescue Americans;

d) this authority shall expire 60 days after passage;

e) during that 60 day period, it prohibits the President from continuing the use of force beyond the initial deterrent military strikes the President has called for unless he certifies to Congress that the Assad regime has repeated its use of chemical weapons;

f) subject to a vote of congressional disapproval, the President may request a 30 day extension of this authority for the purpose of completing a plan to place the Syrian chemical weapons stockpile under verifiable international control.

We believe this proposal has a strong chance of accomplishing the objective set out by the President--to deter the further use of chemical weapons in Syria and in future conflicts, including those where American forces would be at risk.

--Jennifer Bendery

","short_text":"

Democratic Reps. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Gerry Connolly (Va.) have amended their House resolution calling for strikes on Syria to include new diplomatic provisions aimed at averting military action.

In a Tuesday evening letter to Democratic co...Read More"},{"id":"119","created":"09/10/2013 6:18 PM EDT","title":"Obama's Syria Pitch Fails To Sway Senators","tweet_link":"119_obamas-syria-pitch-fails-to-sway-senators","entry_text":"

HuffPost's Sabrina Siddiqui and Michael McAuliff report:

With support among lawmakers dwindling for a resolution to let Obama launch a bombing campaign aimed at curbing Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons, Senate leaders agreed to delay a Wednesday vote on the authorization, in order to wait and see if a Russian effort to solve the standoff bears fruit.

Russian leaders said Tuesday they would work with Syria and the United Nations to determine whether Assad -- who allegedly killed some 1,400 Syrians in an Aug. 21 gas attack -- could hand over his chemical weapons to international forces.

Nevertheless, while lawmakers said they welcomed the new effort, few who opposed granting Obama authority for military strikes seemed inclined to change their positions, even if the authorization to use force is somehow tied to the international effort.

\"As far as I'm concerned, that wouldn't move me in any way,\" said Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho).

\"I think bombing Syria will destabilize the area, it makes it more likely that chemical weapons could be used on other countries, or fall into the hands of terrorists,\" said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who guessed that 25 Republicans -- a majority of the Senate conference -- would vote against a resolution to use force. \"I don't see a valid American interest in supporting a side of the war that's allied with al Qaeda.\"

Read more here.

","short_text":"

HuffPost's Sabrina Siddiqui and Michael McAuliff report:

With support among lawmakers dwindling for a resolution to let Obama ...Read More"},{"id":"118","created":"09/10/2013 5:48 PM EDT","title":"West Rails Against Obama","tweet_link":"118_west-rails-against-obama","entry_text":"

Allen West railed against Obama ahead of his speech in a Facebook post on Tuesday:

Thanks to Obama’s ineptitude, the balance of power is shifting in the Middle East, and it’s not in our favor. In a couple hours, we’ll watch the President take credit for avoiding military action no one supported – thanks to his “deft diplomatic touch.”

The fact is, Syria is not our problem, it is the problem of Vladimir Putin and Russia, and whether or not they want Syria to fall into the hands of Islamists. Strategically, if Obama wanted to have had an influence, he would have maintained a residual force in Iraq. But campaign promises override strategic vision.

The real fight in the Middle East for America is against the Muslim Brotherhood and their spawn -- and Iran. They must be defeated.

","short_text":"

Allen West railed against Obama ahead of his speech in a Facebook post on Tuesday:

Thanks to Obama’s ineptitude, the balance of power is shifting in the Middle East, and it’s not in our favor. In a couple hours, we’ll watch the ...Read More"},{"id":"117","created":"09/10/2013 5:30 PM EDT","title":"GOP Congressman: Putin Wins The Syria Image Bump","tweet_link":"117_gop-congressman-putin-wins-the-syria-image-bump","entry_text":"

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeing a bump in stature after drafting a resolution for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons, Capitol Tonight reported.

Collins, a first-term Republican from outside of Buffalo, said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday that by letting Russia take the lead with its proposal, President Barack Obama has damaged the United States.

Putin taking credit for the plan is \"the most unfortunate piece\" of the solution, he added.

-- John Celock

","short_text":"

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeing a bump in stature after drafting a resolution for Syria to turn over its chemical weapons, Read More"},{"id":"116","created":"09/10/2013 5:26 PM EDT","title":"Former WMD Official: Be Skeptical","tweet_link":"116_former-wmd-official-be-skeptical","entry_text":"

Gary Samore, former weapons of mass destruction coordinator under President Barack Obama, offers several reasons to remain skeptical of the emerging Russia-backed plan for Syria to relinquish its chemical weapons.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Samore commends Obama for trying to reach such a deal, but doubts an agreement could realistically be achieved given the \"fundamental differences\" between Washington and Moscow.

\"If we want to execute this idea in a meaningful way, you need a binding UN Security Resolution under Chapter 7 authority -- you want the threat of force as a requirement, not optional,\" Samore said. \"The fact that the Russians are not willing to support that is a pretty bad indication that they will not go along with a deal that we would require to be confident we can achieve the objective of disarming Syria.\"

Read the full story here.

--Kavitha A. Davidson

","short_text":"

Gary Samore, former weapons of mass destruction coordinator under President Barack Obama, offers several reasons to Read More"},{"id":"115","created":"09/10/2013 5:23 PM EDT","title":"Report: Obama Will Say In Speech He's Weighing Russian Proposal","tweet_link":"115_report-obama-will-say-in-speech-hes-weighing-russian-proposal","entry_text":"

NBC News reports:

President Barack Obama will tell the nation Tuesday night that he is pursuing a last-minute Russian proposal to remove chemical weapons from Syria, and will argue that military force may be necessary, a senior administration official told NBC News.

Hours before the president was to speak in prime time from the East Room, the official said that Obama had updated his remarks to reflect the developments of a furious day of international diplomacy.

The characterization by the senior official — using conditional language and saying that an attack may be required — appeared to represent a significant shift from the White House’s public statements on Syria last week.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

NBC News reports:

President Barack Obama will tell the nation Tues...Read More"},{"id":"114","created":"09/10/2013 5:10 PM EDT","title":"GOP Sen. Richard Shelby A 'No' On Syria Resolution After Obama Meeting","tweet_link":"114_gop-sen-richard-shelby-a-no-on-syria-resolution-after-obama-meeting","entry_text":"

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) says he will \"firmly oppose\" the Senate resolution calling for limited military strikes in Syria.

Shelby, who had remained undecided, made up his mind after leaving a Tuesday meeting with President Barack Obama, who met separately with Senate Republicans and Democrats to make the case for keeping a military option on the table.

\"I have heard the president’s argument. It is weak and vague, in my judgment,\" Shelby said in a statement.

During their meeting, which lasted more than an hour, the Alabama senator said Obama \"failed to articulate a clear American interest\" in the Syrian conflict and didn't explain what he intends to achieve with a military strike or how he intends to achieve it.

\"I will vote against President Obama's plan because it appears that he does not really have one,\" Shelby said.

He said he is also skeptical of the Russian-backed proposal to negotiate the removal of Syria's chemical weapons.

\"My first impression is that Vladimir Putin probably decides to involve himself when it benefits Vladimir Putin,\" he said. \"But it's mainly all talk right now. We’ll see whether there’s any meaningful, verifiable substance to it. I'm guarded.\"

--Jennifer Bendery

","short_text":"

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) says he will \"firmly oppose\" the Senate resolution calling for limited military strikes in Syria.

Shelby, who had remained undecided, made up his mind after leaving a Tuesday meeting with President Barack Obama, who m...Read More"},{"id":"113","created":"09/10/2013 5:04 PM EDT","title":"Talk Is Cheap?","tweet_link":"113_talk-is-cheap","entry_text":"

As Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moallem announced the country's plans to surrender its chemical weapons arsenal and sign the international treaty banning their use, many have responded with guarded skepticism, noting the empty rhetoric from Damascus in the past.

Al Jazeera America's Azmat Khan has put together a timeline of President Bashar Assad's broken promises over the years.

In 2011, for example, Assad agreed to an Arab League ceasefire proposal that required him to withdraw his troops, release political prisoners, negotiate with the opposition and end violence against peaceful protesters in Syria. A day later, government forces reportedly killed seven people in Homs, leading to the suspension of Syria from the Arab League.

Read about more of Assad's broken promises here.

--Kavitha A. Davidson

","short_text":"

As Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moallem announced the country's plans to surrender its chemical weapons arsenal and sign the international treaty banning their use, many have responded with guarded skepticism, noting the empty rhetoric from Damascu...Read More"},{"id":"112","created":"09/10/2013 4:52 PM EDT","title":"The Strongman Behind The Strongman","tweet_link":"112_the-strongman-behind-the-strongman","entry_text":"

CNN's Brian Rokus and Brian Todd profile Maher Assad, Bashar's younger brother, who is described by analysts as even more ruthless than the Syrian president.

Ted Kattouf, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria, characterizes Maher as a \"Mafia wannabe\" who \"thinks of himself as the family enforcer.\" He is in charge of two elite military units and a minority-sect militia, and is believed to be behind the most brutal massacres of civilians.

Rokus and Todd write:

With secrecy comes legend. One of the most widely circulated stories about Maher involves his sister, Bushra, who wanted to marry a man who had children from a previous marriage. While the entire family was scandalized by the marriage, it was Maher who reportedly shot his future brother-in-law in the stomach during an argument.

The story, widely reported but never confirmed, is indicative of his overall character, Kattouf said. \"What the story does tell us is that he's impulsive, impetuous and brutal.\"

Read the full profile here.

--Kavitha A. Davidson

","short_text":"

CNN's Brian Rokus and Brian Todd profile Maher Assad, Bashar's younger brother, who is described by analysts as even more ruthless th...Read More"},{"id":"111","created":"09/10/2013 4:32 PM EDT","title":"White House Announces More Nations Backing Syria Action","tweet_link":"111_white-house-announces-more-nations-backing-syria-action","entry_text":"

The White House on Tuesday announced that eight more countries have signed on to a joint statement on Syria that was first issued during the G-20 conference last week in St. Petersburg, Russia. The new signatories are Georgia, Guatemala, Kuwait, Malta, Montenegro, Panama, Poland and Portugal.

The statement \"condemns in the strongest terms the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons on August 21 in the suburbs of Damascus and calls for a strong international response,\" the White House said, and \"explicitly supports the efforts undertaken by the United States and other countries to reinforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons.\"

As a declaration of purpose, the joint statement still falls far short of the international coalition President Barack Obama hoped would support a military intervention in Syria. Still, the list has grown from 11 to 33 nations in under a week, reflecting an ongoing international lobbying effort.

The list still lacks two of the most important players in the ongoing debate over Syria: Russia and China, both permanent members of the UN Security Council.

For a complete list of the signatory nations click here.

","short_text":"

The White House on Tuesday announced that eight more countries have signed on to a joint statement on Syria that was first issued during the G-20...Read More"},{"id":"110","created":"09/10/2013 4:26 PM EDT","title":"A History Of Syria And International Human Rights Treaties","tweet_link":"110_a-history-of-syria-and-international-human-rights-treaties","entry_text":"

In light of Syria's announcement that it is willing to sign the chemical weapons treaty, the University of Minnesota's Human Rights Library has compiled a comprehensive list of that country's involvement in ratifying international treaties on human rights.

Check out the full list here.

(h/t Carlos Lozada)

","short_text":"

In light of Syria's announcement that it is willing to sign the chemical weapons treaty, the University of Minnesota's Human Rights Library has compiled a comprehensive list of that country's involvement in ratifying international treaties on human rig...Read More"},{"id":"109","created":"09/10/2013 4:25 PM EDT","title":"Harry Reid Doesn't Mince Words On 'Demon' Assad","tweet_link":"109_harry-reid-doesnt-mince-words-on-demon-assad","entry_text":"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he's all for the United States aiding rebel fighters in their effort to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom he likened to an otherworldly creature.

\"Assad is a demon, a tyrant, and the sooner he goes the better,\" Reid told reporters Wednesday. \"So I'm all in favor of helping the rebels all we can.\"

He clarified, \"I'm speaking only for me.\"

--Jennifer Bendery

","short_text":"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he's all for the United States aiding rebel fighters in their effort to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom he likened to an otherworldly creature.

\"Assad is a demon, a tyrant, and the so...Read More"},{"id":"108","created":"09/10/2013 4:24 PM EDT","title":"The Figures On Syria That You Should Know","tweet_link":"108_the-figures-on-syria-that-you-should-know","entry_text":"

HuffPost World has compiled a few significant figures to help put the Syrian crisis into perspective. Here are the numbers we think you ought to know:

\"syria

Take a look at the full infographic here.

","short_text":"

HuffPost World has compiled a few significant figures to help put the Syrian crisis into perspective. Here are the numbers we think you ought to know:

Read More"},{"id":"107","created":"09/10/2013 4:21 PM EDT","title":"John Kerry To Meet Top Russian Official Thursday In Geneva","tweet_link":"107_john-kerry-to-meet-top-russian-official-thursday-in-geneva","entry_text":"

Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to Geneva on Thursday to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to continue talks about a possible diplomatic solution to Syria's use of chemical weapons, a State Department official confirmed to HuffPost.

--Jennifer Bendery

","short_text":"

Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to Geneva on Thursday to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to continue talks about a possible diplomatic solution to Syria's use of chemical weapons, a State Department official confirmed to HuffP...Read More"},{"id":"106","created":"09/10/2013 4:18 PM EDT","title":"Sen. Harry Reid: No Schedule For Senate Vote On Syria","tweet_link":"106_sen-harry-reid-no-schedule-for-senate-vote-on-syria","entry_text":"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that the Senate is still moving forward with a resolution in support of the president's call for military strikes on Syria, but offered no timeline on when a vote may happen.

\"It's important we do this well, not quickly,\" Reid told reporters after a meeting with President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats.

Read more on the Senate vote here.

-- Jen Bendery

","short_text":"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that the Senate is still moving forward with a resolution in support of the president's call for military strikes on Syria, but offered no timeline on when a vote may happen.

\"It's important...Read More"},{"id":"105","created":"09/10/2013 4:01 PM EDT","title":"Details From UNSC Resolution","tweet_link":"105_details-from-unsc-resolution","entry_text":"

The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza reports on the five points detailed in the UN Chapter 7 resolution proposed by the U.S., UK, and France:

Details of US-UK-French UN res., from diplomatic source: 1. Condemns 8/21 massacre & specifies it was committed by the Syrian regime. 1/5

— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) September 10, 2013

2. Demands that Assad give up all elements of his chemical weapons program and places them under international control for dismantling. 2/5

— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) September 10, 2013

3. Puts in place an international mechanism for monitoring by Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. 3/5

— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) September 10, 2013

4. Specifies there will be "extremely serious consequences" for noncompliance, meaning the use of force. 4/5

— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) September 10, 2013

5. Says perpetrators of 8/21 attack will be tried at the International Criminal Court. 5/5

— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) September 10, 2013

--Kavitha A. Davidson

","short_text":"

The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza reports on the five points detailed in the UN Chapter 7 resolution proposed by the U.S., UK, and France:

Details of US-UK-French UN res., from diplomatic source: 1. Condemns 8/21 massa...Read More"},{"id":"104","created":"09/10/2013 3:55 PM EDT","title":"Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister To Meet","tweet_link":"104_kerry-russian-foreign-minister-to-meet","entry_text":"

BREAKING: AP source: Kerry to meet Russian foreign minister in Geneva on Thursday to discuss Syria.

— The Associated Press (@AP) 4 years ago

","short_text":"

BREAKING: AP source: Kerry to meet Russian foreign minister in Geneva on Thursday to discuss Syria.

— The Associated Press (@AP) 4 years agoRead More"},{"id":"103","created":"09/10/2013 3:21 PM EDT","title":"UN Postpones Security Council Meeting","tweet_link":"103_un-postpones-security-council-meeting","entry_text":"

AFP has reported that the UN Security Council meeting has been postponed at Russia's request. Moscow had called the emergency, closed-door meeting, which was slated for 4 p.m. EDT today.

","short_text":"

AFP has reported that the UN Security Council meeting has been postponed at Russia's request. Moscow had cal...Read More"},{"id":"102","created":"09/10/2013 3:20 PM EDT","title":"Sen. Jeff Merkley Outlines Syria Concerns In Constituent Letter","tweet_link":"102_sen-jeff-merkley-outlines-syria-concerns-in-constituent-letter","entry_text":"

Like many lawmakers, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) has heard overwhelming opposition to the possible use of military force in Syria from his constituents. The Oregon Democrat has yet to take a formal position on the matter but told The Huffington Post Tuesday he is \"extremely skeptical\" about the Syria resolution that passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week.

Merkley's questions mostly have to do with the effectiveness of Obama's plan for targeted strikes, as well as the possibility of escalation. The senator outlined his concerns in a letter to constituents, which his office provided to HuffPost. Read it below:

Thank you for contacting me to share your concerns and views about the events unfolding in Syria and the proposed American response. I appreciate hearing from you.

President Obama, as required under the War Powers Act, is consulting Congress before taking action related to the use of chemical weapons by the Government of Syria. I applaud him for pursuing this consultation, since various Presidents have at times ignored this requirement.

I take the events in Syria and the consultation process extremely seriously. There are many aspects of this that I am reviewing. One is to understand the full scope of evidence pertaining to the reported use of nerve agents by Syria. In addition, why isn't there more of a coordinated international response since, as President Obama has pointed out, the \"red line\" on chemical weapons is an \"international\" red line?

Another aspect is to understand the full range of potential policy instruments that might both bring the international community together and deter future use of chemical weapons. Have we fully explored non-military options including statements of condemnation, ejection from international organizations, economic sanctions, and war crime tribunals?

Moreover, what are the risks of escalation and retaliation of largely unilateral actions? And what is the consequence of the U.S. and the international community failing to respond substantively, whether in a military or non-military manner, to the use of chemical munitions?

These are some of the issues that I am intently examining to understand the pros and cons of the options before us. I deeply appreciate knowing your views on this very important issue.

--Sabrina Siddiqui

","short_text":"

Like many lawmakers, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) has heard overwhelming opposition to the possible use of military force in Syria from his constituents. The Oregon Democrat has yet to take a formal position on the matter but told The Huffington Post Tue...Read More"},{"id":"101","created":"09/10/2013 3:00 PM EDT","title":"No Comment From Obama","tweet_link":"101_no-comment-from-obama","entry_text":"

No comment from President Obama as he leaves the just-concluded meeting with Senate Republicans.

— Mike O'Brien (@mpoindc) 4 years ago

","short_text":"

No comment from President Obama as he leaves the just-concluded meeting with Senate Republicans.

— Mike O'Brien (@mpoindc) 4 years ago

...Read More"},{"id":"100","created":"09/10/2013 2:47 PM EDT","title":"Kerry: Syria Deal Must Be In Binding U.N. Resolution","tweet_link":"100_kerry-syria-deal-must-be-in-binding-un-resolution","entry_text":"

The AP reports:

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry says a proposed Russian deal with Syria to give up its chemical weapons stockpiles must be enshrined in a binding U.N. Security Council resolution that sets consequences for Syrian non-compliance.

Kerry said Tuesday that Russian suggestions that the U.N. endorsement come in the form of a non-binding statement from the rotating president of the Security Council would be unacceptable to the Obama administration. Kerry said the U.S. has to have \"a full resolution from the Security Council in order to have confidence that this has the force that it has to have.\" He added that the resolution must have \"consequences if games are played and somebody tries to undermine this.\"

Kerry's comments came during an online Google+ roundtable.

","short_text":"

The AP reports:

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry says a proposed Russian deal with Syria to give up its chemical weapons stockpiles must be enshrined in a binding U.N. Security Council resolution that sets consequences for...Read More"},{"id":"99","created":"09/10/2013 2:44 PM EDT","title":"Senate Candidate's Syria Fundraising Email Sparks Outrage","tweet_link":"99_senate-candidates-syria-fundraising-email-sparks-outrage","entry_text":"

The Huffington Post's Ashley Woods reports:

Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land has so far declined to apologize for an email she sent asking supporters to sign a petition urging her opponent Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) to vote against military action in Syria. The reason critics are demanding an apology? Land, former Michigan secretary of state, also used the email to ask for donations.

The email, which can be seen below, outlined Land's position against Syria (\"I want to be very clear -- If I were in the Senate today, I would vote 'No' on a resolution authorizing military action in Syria\") -- but it was the large red button at the bottom labeled \"DONATE NOW!\" that has incited controversy.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

The Huffington Post's Ashley Woods reports:

Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land has so far declined to apologize for ...Read More"},{"id":"98","created":"09/10/2013 2:27 PM EDT","title":"Syrian FM: Syria Will Sign Chemical Weapons Convention","tweet_link":"98_syrian-fm-syria-will-sign-chemical-weapons-convention","entry_text":"

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian FM: #Syria will declare its chemical weapons arsenal, sign chemical weapons convention

— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) 4 years ago

","short_text":"

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian FM: #Syria will declare its chemical weapons arsenal, sign chemical weapons convention

— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) Read More"},{"id":"97","created":"09/10/2013 2:25 PM EDT","title":"Syria Wants To Join Chemical Weapons Ban Treaty","tweet_link":"97_syria-wants-to-join-chemical-weapons-ban-treaty","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

BREAKING: Syria wants to join chemical weapons ban treaty: FM

— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) 1 year ago

"},{"id":"96","created":"09/10/2013 2:25 PM EDT","title":"AFP: Russian FM To Send Syria Proposal To Sec. Kerry Today","tweet_link":"96_afp-russian-fm-to-send-syria-proposal-to-sec-kerry-today","entry_text":"

BREAKING: Russian FM to send US proposals on Syria on Tuesday: Kerry

— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) 1 year ago

","short_text":"

BREAKING: Russian FM to send US proposals on Syria on Tuesday: Kerry

— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) 1 year ago

"},{"id":"95","created":"09/10/2013 2:19 PM EDT","title":"Obama Wants Delay On Vote","tweet_link":"95_obama-wants-delay-on-vote","entry_text":"

#Breaking: Obama wants to delay a vote on authorizing force in Syria until a diplomatic solution has a chance to play out.

— POLITICO (@politico) 5 years ago

","short_text":"

#Breaking: Obama wants to delay a vote on authorizing force in Syria until a diplomatic solution has a chance to play out.

— POLITICO (@politico) Read More"},{"id":"94","created":"09/10/2013 2:14 PM EDT","title":"Israel Cautiously Hopeful For Syria Plan","tweet_link":"94_israel-cautiously-hopeful-for-syria-plan","entry_text":"

Lawmakers in Jerusalem remain skeptical yet optimistic about Russia's plan for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons.

According to Reuters, Israeli officials credit the United States' apparent readiness to strike Damascus as the catalyst for Moscow's proposed diplomatic solution. \"This would never have happened without the credible threat of American military action,\" said Itamar Rabinovich, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington.

Furthermore, it seems that President Barack Obama's call for a military strike has also eased Israel's uneasiness with regard to the situation in Tehran. \"Confidence in an American commitment that Iran won't get the bomb has been strengthened,\" said Zalman Shoval, another former Israeli ambassador to Washington and a member of the ruling Likud party.

Read the full story here.

--Kavitha A. Davidson

","short_text":"

Lawmakers in Jerusalem remain skeptical yet optimistic about Russia's plan for Syria to surrender its chemical weapons.

According to Re...Read More"},{"id":"93","created":"09/10/2013 1:53 PM EDT","title":"LOOK: Obama Leaves Meeting With Senate Dems","tweet_link":"93_look-obama-leaves-meeting-with-senate-dems","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

"},{"id":"92","created":"09/10/2013 1:51 PM EDT","title":"GOP Gives Obama Warm Welcome","tweet_link":"92_gop-gives-obama-warm-welcome","entry_text":"

Obama gets applause (!) walking into Senate GOP lunch just now.

— jennifer bendery (@jbendery) 5 years ago

","short_text":"

Obama gets applause (!) walking into Senate GOP lunch just now.

— jennifer bendery (@jbendery) 5 years ago

"},{"id":"91","created":"09/10/2013 1:42 PM EDT","title":"Russia Calls Emergency UN Security Council Meeting","tweet_link":"91_russia-calls-emergency-un-security-council-meeting","entry_text":"

Reuters is reporting that a closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council will be held Tuesday at 4 p.m. EDT to discuss Russia's proposal to have Syria surrender its chemical weapons.

--Kavitha A. Davidson

","short_text":"

Reuters is reporting that a closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council will be held Tuesday at 4 p.m. EDT t...Read More"},{"id":"90","created":"09/10/2013 1:32 PM EDT","title":"Putin: Syrian Chemical Weapons Handover Can Only Work If U.S. Renounces 'Use Of Force'","tweet_link":"90_putin-syrian-chemical-weapons-handover-can-only-work-if-us-renounces-use-of-force","entry_text":"

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that a plan to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control for their eventual destruction could work, but only if the U.S. renounces the \"use of force.\"

\"Certainly, this is all reasonable, it will function and will work out, only if the U.S. and those who support it on this issue pledge to renounce the use of force, because it is difficult to make any country -- Syria or any other country in the world -- to unilaterally disarm if there is military action against it under consideration,\" he told the state-controlled English-language network RT (formerly known as Russia Today).

The U.S., however, has shown no indication that it would do so. White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday on MSNBC that the threat of a strike has compelled Syria to agree to put its chemical weapons under international control. He also said that President Barack Obama would continue to push Congress to vote on authorizing the use of force, even if a strike does not happen immediately.

--Luke Johnson

","short_text":"

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that a plan to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control for their eventual destruction could work, but only if the U.S. renounces the \"use of force.\"

\"Certainly, this is all reasonable,...Read More"},{"id":"89","created":"09/10/2013 1:20 PM EDT","title":"U.N. To Hold Urgent Meeting","tweet_link":"89_un-to-hold-urgent-meeting","entry_text":"

BREAKING UN Council to hold urgent Syria meeting at 2000 GMT

— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) 1 year ago

","short_text":"

BREAKING UN Council to hold urgent Syria meeting at 2000 GMT

— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) 1 year ago

"},{"id":"88","created":"09/10/2013 1:15 PM EDT","title":"Hagel: No Attack Before Mid-October","tweet_link":"88_hagel-no-attack-before-midoctober","entry_text":"

If there is any military attack, not before mid october, says Pentagon chief, Chuck Hagel #Syria

— Javier Espinosa (@javierespinosa2) 4 years ago

","short_text":"

If there is any military attack, not before mid october, says Pentagon chief, Chuck Hagel #Syria

— Javier Espinosa (@javierespinosa2) ...Read More"},{"id":"87","created":"09/10/2013 1:08 PM EDT","title":"Obama Consults With Britain, France On Russia's Syria Proposal","tweet_link":"87_obama-consults-with-britain-france-on-russias-syria-proposal","entry_text":"

President Barack Obama placed separate calls to British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday to discuss the viability of a proposal from Russia to put Syrian chemical weapons in international custody. The White House released a readout on the call:

This morning, the President spoke separately with French President Hollande and British Prime Minister Cameron. They agreed to work closely together, and in consultation with Russia and China, to explore seriously the viability of the Russian proposal to put all Syrian chemical weapons and related materials fully under international control in order to ensure their verifiable and enforceable destruction. These efforts will begin today at the United Nations, and will include a discussion on elements of a potential UN Security Council Resolution. The leaders discussed their preference for a diplomatic resolution but stressed the importance of continuing to develop a full range of responses by the international community to the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons near Damascus on August 21. France and the United Kingdom are valued allies of the United States, and the three countries will continue to consult closely in the coming days.

-- Sabrina Siddiqui

","short_text":"

President Barack Obama placed separate calls to British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday to discuss the viability of a proposal from Russia to put Syrian chemical weapons in international custody. The White...Read More"},{"id":"86","created":"09/10/2013 1:01 PM EDT","title":"Obama Meets With Dems, Then GOP","tweet_link":"86_obama-meets-with-dems-then-gop","entry_text":"

According to a White House pool report, Obama is meeting first with Dems in the Mansfield room. He will meet with GOP conference afterward.

","short_text":"

According to a White House pool report, Obama is meeting first with Dems in the Mansfield room. He will meet with GOP conference afterward.

"},{"id":"85","created":"09/10/2013 12:36 PM EDT","title":"Obama Arrives At Capitol","tweet_link":"85_obama-arrives-at-capitol","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

Pres. Obama has arrived at the Capitol for his meetings with Senate Democrats, then Senate Republicans. Both no press coverage.

— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) Read More"},{"id":"84","created":"09/10/2013 12:25 PM EDT","title":"U.S., Britain And France To Submit New U.N. Resolution","tweet_link":"84_us-britain-and-france-to-submit-new-un-resolution","entry_text":"

Reuters reports that Britain, France and the U.S. will submit a proposal for a U.N. resolution on Syria's chemical weapons later on Tuesday. The move comes in the wake of the announcement by Syria's foreign minister that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime has accepted a Russian proposal to surrender its chemical weapons stockpiles.

The new U.N. resolution is aimed at setting a timetable for the Russian plan and defining punitive measures in case the Assad regime fails to comply. \"We need to know that there's a proper timetable for doing this, we need to know there'd be a proper process for doing it, and crucially there'd have to be consequences if it wasn't done,\" British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday, referring to the Russian plan.

However, it appears there's not much chance that Russia, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, will accept the new resolution. According to AFP, the French foreign minister has already said that Russia would not support a binding resolution.

-- Eline Gordts

","short_text":"

Reuters reports that Britain, France and the U.S. will submit a proposal for a U.N. resolution on Syria's chemical weapons later on Tuesday. The move comes...Read More"},{"id":"83","created":"09/10/2013 12:08 PM EDT","title":"Ed Markey Says He Opposes Syria Resolution","tweet_link":"83_ed-markey-says-he-opposes-syria-resolution","entry_text":"

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said Tuesday that he opposes the resolution to authorize the use of force in Syria, marking a blow to the Obama administration's efforts to court skeptical Democratic senators to back it.

\"After weighing all the information, I do not dispute the evidence that the administration has presented about Assad’s use of chemical weapons,\" he said in a statement. \"However, I do not believe that the resolution as currently written is the most effective way for our country to accomplish its objectives in Syria. Moreover, I believe that such a military strike could actually make it more difficult for our nation to achieve its goals in this volatile region of the world.\"

During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote last week on the resolution, Markey voted \"present,\" leading to criticism by former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and many in the Boston media for appearing to waffle on the issue.

Markey occupies the seat formerly held by Secretary of State John Kerry, who is making the case to Congress to pass the military authorization bill. Markey's colleague, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), is undecided on the measure.

--Luke Johnson

","short_text":"

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said Tuesday that he opposes the resolution to authorize the use of force in Syria, marking a blow to the Obama administration's efforts to court skeptical Democratic senators to back it.

\"After weighing all the informati...Read More"},{"id":"82","created":"09/10/2013 11:53 AM EDT","title":"Nancy Pelosi: Russian Proposal Is 'Victory' For Obama","tweet_link":"82_nancy-pelosi-russian-proposal-is-victory-for-obama","entry_text":"

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that Russia's proposed response to violence in Syria -- having the Syrian government put its chemical weapons under international control to avoid U.S. military strikes -- is not a blow to President Barack Obama's push for military action there. To the contrary, it's a huge win for the president.

\"I think this is a victory for President Obama, if it is real,\" Pelosi said at a Capitol Hill press conference.

Read more of her remarks here.

-- Jen Bendery

","short_text":"

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that Russia's proposed response to violence in Syria -- having the Syrian government put its chemical weapons under international control to avoid U.S. military strikes -- is not a blow to Pres...Read More"},{"id":"81","created":"09/10/2013 11:24 AM EDT","title":"Obama Agrees To Work Through The United Nations","tweet_link":"81_obama-agrees-to-work-through-the-united-nations","entry_text":"

A White House official emailed The Huffington Post confirmation that the president will try to work through the United Nations to find a resolution to the crisis in Syria:

This morning, the President spoke separately with President [Francois] Hollande and Prime Minister [David] Cameron. They agreed to work closely together, and in consultation with Russia and China, to explore seriously the viability of the Russian proposal to put all Syrian chemical weapons and related materials fully under international control in order to ensure their verifiable and enforceable destruction. These efforts will begin today at the United Nations, and will include a discussion on elements of a potential UN Security Council Resolution.

-- Sam Stein

","short_text":"

A White House official emailed The Huffington Post confirmation that the president will try to work through the United Nations to find a resolution to the crisis in Syria:

This morning, the President spoke separately with President [...Read More"},{"id":"80","created":"09/10/2013 11:21 AM EDT","title":"Where Religious Leaders Stand On A Military Strike On Syria","tweet_link":"80_where-religious-leaders-stand-on-a-military-strike-on-syria","entry_text":"

American religious leaders have been mixed in their support of whether or not the U.S. should use force in its response to the Syrian crisis, with some hesitant to weigh in on how best to respond to Bashar Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons.

Read the round-up of religious groups that have made statements on the proposed Syrian strikes.

--Yasmine Hafiz

","short_text":"

American religious leaders have been mixed in their support of whether or not the U.S. should use force in its response to the Syrian crisis, with some hesitant to weigh in on how best to respond to Read More"},{"id":"79","created":"09/10/2013 11:13 AM EDT","title":"HRW: Syrian Regime Likely Behind Chemical Attack","tweet_link":"79_hrw-syrian-regime-likely-behind-chemical-attack","entry_text":"

Human Rights Watch announced on Tuesday it believes new evidence suggests the Assad regime is responsible for an attack with chemical weapons on Aug. 21 in Damascus.

\"Rocket debris and symptoms of the victims from the attacks on Ghouta provide telltale evidence about the weapon systems used,\" said emergencies director at HRW Peter Bouckaert. \"This evidence strongly suggests that Syrian government troops launched rockets carrying chemical warheads into the Damascus suburbs that terrible morning,\" he added.

The type of rockets and launchers used in these attacks are weapon systems known and documented to be only in the possession of, and used by, Syrian government armed forces, Human Rights Watch said.

Read more on the report here.

","short_text":"

Human Rights Watch announced on Tuesday it believes new evidence suggests the Assad regime is responsible for an attack with chemical weapons on Aug. 21 in Damascus.

\"Rocket debris and symptoms of the victims from the attacks on Ghouta provide t...Read More"},{"id":"78","created":"09/10/2013 11:08 AM EDT","title":"Obama Agrees To U.N. Discussion Of Syria Compromise","tweet_link":"78_obama-agrees-to-un-discussion-of-syria-compromise","entry_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

A White House official says President Barack Obama has agreed to discussions at the United Nations Security Council on a proposal from Russia to secure Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles.

The official says Obama discussed the proposal Tuesday with French President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH' oh-LAWND') and British Prime Minister David Cameron. France's foreign minister says France will float a resolution in the U.N. Security Council aimed at forcing Syria to make public its chemical weapons program, place it under international control and dismantle it.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

The Associated Press reports:

A White House official says President Barack Obama has agreed to discussions at the ...Read More"},{"id":"77","created":"09/10/2013 11:06 AM EDT","title":"Portman Opposes Syria Strike","tweet_link":"77_portman-opposes-syria-strike","entry_text":"

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that he opposes a U.S. military strike on Syria.

“I do not believe the administration’s proposal is the right answer,\" he said on the Senate floor.

Click here to read more on Portman's remarks from the Associated Press.

","short_text":"

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that he opposes a U.S. military strike on Syria.

“I do not believe the administration’s proposal is the right answer,\" he said on the Senate floor.

Read More"},{"id":"76","created":"09/10/2013 10:48 AM EDT","title":"Pelosi On Russia Proposal","tweet_link":"76_pelosi-on-russia-proposal","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

Pelosi says Russian proposal doesn't take wind out of Obama's call for military strikes. To the contrary, it \"validates\" what he's doing.

— jennifer bendery (@jbendery) Read More"},{"id":"75","created":"09/10/2013 10:43 AM EDT","title":"John Boehner 'Skeptical' Of Russia's Syria Proposal","tweet_link":"75_john-boehner-skeptical-of-russias-syria-proposal","entry_text":"

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Tuesday that he is \"skeptical\" of a proposal from Russia to have the Syrian government turn over custody of its chemical weapons to the international community.

\"Clearly diplomacy is always a better outcome than military action, but I will say that I'm somewhat skeptical of those that are involved in the diplomatic discussions today,\" Boehner said at a press conference with members of House GOP leadership.

The Ohio Republican was asked why he's skeptical, but declined to elaborate. \"I'm skeptical of it because of the actors involved. Simple as that,\" he said.

Boehner has supported President Barack Obama's plan for targeted, military strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and said Obama's address to the nation Tuesday night would be critical for garnering support for U.S. intervention.

-- Sabrina Siddiqui

","short_text":"

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Tuesday that he is \"skeptical\" of a proposal from Russia to have the Syrian government turn over custody of its chemical weapons to the international community.

\"Clearly diplomacy is always a better out...Read More"},{"id":"74","created":"09/10/2013 10:41 AM EDT","title":"McConnell Voting 'No' On Syria Resolution","tweet_link":"74_mcconnell-voting-no-on-syria-resolution","entry_text":"

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced on the Senate floor Tuesday that he will vote \"no\" on the resolution authorizing an attack on Syria. McConnell had been noncommittal on the resolution in recent days, in contrast to other GOP leaders like House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who have backed the resolution.

McConnell is facing a difficult reelection in 2014. Matthew Bevin, his tea-party baked challenger, is strongly against intervention in Syria. His likely Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes, is undecided on a strike.

-- Luke Johnson

","short_text":"

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced on the Senate floor Tuesday that he will vote \"no\" on the resolution authorizing an attack on Syria. McConnell had been noncommittal on the resolution in recent days, in contrast to other GOP lea...Read More"},{"id":"73","created":"09/10/2013 10:36 AM EDT","title":"Greg Walden, Boehner Ally, To Vote No","tweet_link":"73_greg-walden-boehner-ally-to-vote-no","entry_text":"

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), whom House Speaker John Boehner put in charge of the House transition from Democratic to Republican in 2010, will oppose the Syria strike resolution, he told a constituent.

His letter, which was forwarded to HuffPost, follows:

Dear Virginia:

Thank you for getting in touch with me about the situation in Syria. The U.S. House will soon vote on this very important issue, and I appreciate your input before the vote.

Today, I attended a classified briefing to listen very carefully to top Administration officials make their case in person. They did not persuade me that the United States has a clear or achievable objective in Syria that can only be obtained through military force. And they have not made the case that dragging America into a civil war in the Middle East is in our national security interests. Absent a direct threat to the United States or our allies and a clear goal and definition of victory, I must oppose using military force in Syria.

It is a very serious matter anytime the President asks Congress for the authority to use military force overseas. The situation in Syria is complex and dangerous, and what's happened to innocent civilians there is a tragedy. From day one, though, the Administration has mishandled this situation. The President has not shown strong leadership in the region or on the world stage.

The United States should work with the international community to continue to pressure the Assad regime through sanctions and other diplomatic means. And we should make it clear that a direct threat to the United States or our allies in the region will not be tolerated. But, at this time, I believe that using military force in Syria will make the situation in the Middle East worse, not better, and will not make our nation safer.

Thank you again for contacting me. It's an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden

Member of Congress

","short_text":"

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), whom House Speaker John Boehner put in charge of the House transition from Democratic to Republican in 2010, will oppose the Syria strike resolution, he told a constituent.

His letter, which was forwarded to HuffPost, f...Read More"},{"id":"72","created":"09/10/2013 10:27 AM EDT","title":"McConnell Opposes Syria Action","tweet_link":"72_mcconnell-opposes-syria-action","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

McConnell is alone among top congressional leaders in opposing -- breaks with Cantor, Boehner on House side.

— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) 5 years agoRead More"},{"id":"71","created":"09/10/2013 10:08 AM EDT","title":"Freed Italian Journalist Warns Against Intervention On Behalf Of Rebels","tweet_link":"71_freed-italian-journalist-warns-against-intervention-on-behalf-of-rebels","entry_text":"

Domenico Quirico, the Italian war correspondent who was released this week after nearly six months of captivity in rebel-held Syria, said in a recent interview that western intervention on behalf of the rebels he encountered would be a mistake.

\"The revolution betrayed me,\" Quirico said in an interview with the Italian ANSA news agency.

His adventures began with a mission to report on the conflict in Qusayr, in Northwestern Syria, and ended, he said, when he was sold by the Free Syrian Army fighters with whom he was traveling. He has also spoken about his experiences with the French newspaper Le Monde (French).

\"Maybe this sounds too moralistic, but truly, in Syria I met the country of Evil,\" he said. Quirico added that he was badly treated by the rebel forces who held him, only receiving kindness, ironically, from a group affiliated with al Qaeda.

The composition of the forces fighting against the regime of Bashar Assad has a been a point of major contention, as the U.S. debates whether to inject itself into the conflict militarily and possibly help tilt the scales of the battle toward the rebel factions.

On Capitol Hill last week, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that \"extremists\" and \"bad guys\" only make up about 15 percent to 25 percent of the rebel forces. But experts say the composition of the fighters is far murkier than this, and includes a large proportion of fighters with which the U.S. would be loathe to affiliate itself.

\"I was a hostage in Syria, betrayed by the revolution that no longer exists and has become fanaticism and the work of bandits,\" Quirico said.

--Joshua Hersh

","short_text":"

Domenico Quirico, the Italian war correspondent who was released this week after nearly six months of captivity in rebel-held Syria, Read More"},{"id":"70","created":"09/10/2013 10:04 AM EDT","title":"Syrian Opposition Group Urges Strikes Despite Russian Proposal","tweet_link":"70_syrian-opposition-group-urges-strikes-despite-russian-proposal","entry_text":"

One of Syria's leading opposition groups, the Syrian National Council, has dismissed a statement by Syria's foreign minister that the Assad regime has agreed to relinquish its chemical arms. The SNC still seeks a punitive strike by Western forces.

In a statement, the group said the Russian proposal only \"aims to procrastinate and will lead to more death and destruction of the Syrian people,\" and that \"a violation of international law should lead to an international retaliation that is proportional in size.\"

Read the full story here.

--Ryan Craggs

","short_text":"

One of Syria's leading opposition groups, the Syrian National Council, has dismissed a statement by Syria's foreign minister that the Assad regime has agreed to relinquish its chemical arms. The SNC still seeks a punitive strike by Western forces.

...Read More"},{"id":"69","created":"09/10/2013 10:02 AM EDT","title":"Senate Vote May Not Vote On Syria This Week","tweet_link":"69_senate-vote-may-not-vote-on-syria-this-week","entry_text":"

NEW: US Senate may not vote this week on the authorization for the use of military force in Syria, congressional aides say - @Reuters

— NewsBreaker (@NewsBreaker) 1 year ago

","short_text":"

NEW: US Senate may not vote this week on the authorization for the use of military force in Syria, congressional aides say - @Reuters

— NewsBreaker (@NewsBreaker) Read More"},{"id":"68","created":"09/10/2013 9:47 AM EDT","title":"GOP Sen. Roger Wicker A 'No' Vote","tweet_link":"68_gop-sen-roger-wicker-a-no-vote","entry_text":"

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who had been leaning yes, told local media that he will oppose Obama's resolution.

\"The President has not made a clear case about his strategic or tactical goals in making a military strike against the Assad regime. He has not engaged in a full diplomatic effort to mobilize international opinion in responding to Assad's use of banned chemical weapons, and proposes to enforce an international norm without any substantive support from the international community,\" Wicker said.

Read his full statement.

","short_text":"

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who had been leaning yes, told local media that he will oppose Obama's resolution.

\"The President has not made a clear case about his strategic or tactical goals in making a military strike against the Assad regime. H...Read More"}]