Senate panel OKs resolution of force against Syria

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution Wednesday authorizing President Barack Obama to conduct military strikes against Syria. The vote came after the panel added a provision to the resolution stating that the U.S. policy aims to "change the momentum on the battlefield" in the Syrian civil war.

By Corey Boles and Siobhan Hughes
Sept. 4, 2013, 4:24 p.m. EDT
Market Watch

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution Wednesday authorizing President Barack Obama to conduct military strikes against Syria.

The 10-7 vote came after the panel added a provision to the resolution stating that U.S. policy aims to “change the momentum on the battlefield” in the Syrian civil war, in order to force President Bashar al-Assad to agree to a negotiated settlement that ends the conflict and paves the way for a democratic government.

Obama is seeking congressional approval for strikes in Syria that he has described as “limited.” Some lawmakers, including Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), have said the use of force must be part of a broader objective of changing the dynamic on the battlefield in the civil war.

McCain had insisted the resolution state that U.S. policy is to “change the momentum” in the war. An amendment which added that language, sponsored by McCain and Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.), also called for an increase in U.S. efforts to provide lethal and nonlethal support for vetted elements of the Syrian rebel opposition.

The amendment was adopted by a voice vote by panel members.

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