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Kerry makes case to House for action in Syria

September 4, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says that when chemical weapons were used in Syria last spring, President Obama did not have a “compelling” enough case to push for a U.S. military response.

Testifying to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Kerry said that while Obama did not have a strong enough case then, it does now after the Aug. 21 attack that killed more than 1,400 people outside Damascus.

Asked why Obama didn’t call for military action in the spring, Kerry replied that Obama had to struggle then just to get congressional backing to upgrade support to the Syrian opposition.

The House and Senate next week are expected to debate Obama’s request for congressional authorization for limited military strikes against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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