Syria Intervention: Obama Makes Case To U.S. Congress For Military Force

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WASHINGTON - Congress is holding its first public hearing about U.S. plans for military intervention in Syria as the Obama administration seeks to convince skeptical Americans and their lawmakers about the need to respond to last month's alleged sarin gas attack outside Damascus.

Secretary of State John Kerry, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and other top officials were scheduled to appear Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A classified briefing open to all members of Congress was to take place as well.

Obama's request for congressional authorization for limited military strikes against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad is at the centre of the discussions planned in Washington over the next several days.

The House and Senate are expected to debate Obama's request next week.

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