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Obama asks Congress to delay vote on Syria war

 
 
 
 
 
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President Barack Obama (L), House Speaker John Boehner (R)

US President Barack Obama has asked Congress to delay a vote on authorizing military action against Syria in order to give a Russian diplomatic proposal a chance to play out.

On Tuesday, the Syrian government said it would accept a proposal offered a day earlier by Russia to put its chemical weapons under international control.

At lunch meetings with US senators on Tuesday, Obama called on members of Congress to delay voting on an administration-proposed resolution for a military strike on Syria.

“We’re going to continue to work moving forward on this but keeping pronounced – and I pronounce it now – that the credible threat of our doing something about this attack is going to remain,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said after Obama’s meeting with Senate Democrats.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also told a congressional hearing on Tuesday that US lawmakers should keep “the threat” of attacking Syria “on the table.”

Meanwhile, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has announced that he would not support the Obama administration’s war resolution against Syria.

A number of recent polls have revealed a growing opposition to US war plans against Syria among America’s war-weary public.

A Reuters-Ipsos poll released on Monday showed that 63 percent of Americans oppose attacking Syria. A CNN/ORC International poll has also shown that almost six in 10 Americans, 59 percent, believe US Congress should not authorize even limited military action against the Middle Eastern country.

The Obama administration has accused the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons in an attack near capital Damascus on August 21.

Damascus has categorically rejected the accusations. In an interview with CBS News on Sunday, the Syrian president rejected the allegations that he was behind the deadly chemical attack in August.

Obama’s top aide, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, has also admitted that Washington’s claims are based on a “common-sense test” not any “irrefutable beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence.”

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