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Latest developments on the crisis in Syria

11:41 AM, Sep 2, 2013   |    comments
An anti-Assad protester holds a picture of the Syrian president during a march in demand for US attacks on Syria in front of the White House in Washington, DC on August 31, 2013. US President Barack Obama said Saturday he will ask the US Congress to authorize military action against Syria, lifting the threat of immediate strikes on President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Obama said he had decided he would go ahead and launch military action on Syria, but he believed it was important for American dem
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President Obama is expected to invite Sen. John McCain to the White House to help sell to Congress the idea of a U.S. military intervention in Syria.

Members of Congress in both parties said they would not be able to support the current draft of a resolution authorizing Obama to launch a military strike.

- Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, called U.S. information on the alleged chemical attack in Syria that may have killed 1,429, including at least 426 children, "absolutely unconvincing." Lavrov said: "Yes, they showed us some findings but there was nothing specific there: no geographic coordinates, no names, no proof that the tests were carried out by the professionals."

- Secretary of State John Kerry said on news programs Sunday that the U.S. has received hair and blood samples that have "tested positive for signatures of sarin," a deadly nerve agent first developed in Germany in the 1930s.

- Lawmakers in France are to be shown a declassified report on Syria's chemical weapons to back up France's claim that the Assad regime was responsible for the attack.

- China said it is opposed to the U.S. acting alone in Syria and thinks any response must conform to the U.N. Charter and the basic principles underlying international relations.

- Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg ruled out another vote in Parliament over action in Syria. Speaking to the BBC on Monday, Clegg said he could not "foresee any circumstances" under which MPs could be asked to vote again after rejecting a motion for a military strike last week. Clegg's comments came after London Mayor Boris Johnson said a new vote could take place if new and "better" evidence emerged.

- Australia said it supports the U.S. taking action in Syria but didn't offer to provide military assistance.

- The United Nations said that around five million people inside Syria have now been displaced and two million have fled to neighboring countries as a result of the civil war.

- NATO's chief says he is convinced that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its people and insists a strong reaction is needed to show dictators around the world that such weapons cannot be used with impunity.


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