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Senator Cardin Weighs in on Syria

Updated: Sunday, September 1 2013, 10:34 PM EDT
Senator Ben Cardin is weighing in on the president's plan for a potential strike directed at Syria and the lack of foreign support.

Senator Cardin says he will wait to decide whether to support President Obama's plan until he's seen and heard all the evidence from the White House, but hopes that if America strikes, more nations will be on board.

By seeking congressional support, Senator Cardin believes Obama is taking the right approach. "We need stronger international support. We need the president to make the case to the American people. And I think by bringing this to Congress, we'll have that national debate which will help bring consensus as to the appropriate action," Cardin said.

But Congress does not return to the hill until September 9 and some fear that will give Syrian President Assad enough time to hide any stockpile of chemical weapons, or worse, use them against his own people.

If that happens, John Kerry says Obama will take action, even without congressional support.

Senator Cardin believes that if the US strikes, it should be a specific and very targeted attack without placing troops on the ground. Senator Cardin Weighs in on Syria

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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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