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AP Sources: Senators Craft Syria Alternative

Updated: Tuesday, September 10 2013, 10:34 AM EDT

Senior congressional aides say a bipartisan group of senators is working on an alternative measure to a resolution authorizing U.S. military force against Syria.

The group met late Monday on a plan that would call on the U.N. Security Council to state that Syria has chemical weapons and require a U.N. team to remove them within a specific time period, possibly 60 days. If this cannot be done, then President Barack Obama would have the authority to launch military strikes.

The senators working on the proposal are Republicans John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss along with Democrats Chris Coons, Bob Casey, Chuck Schumer, Carl Levin and Bob Menendez.

The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the plan.

AP-WF-09-10-13 1422GM

AP Sources: Senators Craft Syria Alternative


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The Syrian civil war, (also known as the Syrian uprising or Syrian crisis) is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Ba'ath government and those seeking to oust it. A part of the larger Middle Eastern protest movement known as the Arab Spring, the conflict began March 15th, 2011 with local demonstrations that grew in scope to become nationwide by April 2011.

Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971, as well as the end of Ba'ath Party rule, which began in 1963.

The Syrian Army was deployed in April of 2011 to stop the uprising, and soldiers fired on demonstrators across the country. After months of cities and neighborhoods being cut-off by the Army the protests evolved into an armed rebellion.

The Arab League, United States, European Union, and other countries condemned the use of violence against the protesters. The Arab League suspended Syria's membership as a result of the government's response to the crisis, but granted the Syrian National Coalition, a coalition of Syrian political opposition groups, Syria's seat on 6 March 2013.

According to the UN, about 4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country and 2 million have fled to other countries.

Syrian government supporters include Russia and Iran, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing material and weapons to the rebels.


 
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