Knowing Your Government: 3 Things To Understand About Syria & U.S. Position

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    Syria is a hot topic in news for many reasons.

    One reason is that it has close proximity to our friends in Israel. The other obvious reason is because the theorized “gassing” of its people is greatly immoral. The United States has long been a voice of dealing with things that are immoral and suspect in the world community.

    The United States and other governments have accused Assad’s military of launching a chemical weapons attack Aug. 21 on Damascus suburbs. Assad has denied that his forces were involved.

    President Obama said:

    “The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98 percent of the world’s population said the use of chemical weapons are and passed a treaty forbidding their use, even when countries are engaged in war. Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty. Congress set a red line when it indicated that in a piece of legislation entitled the Syria Accountability Act that some of the horrendous things happening on the ground there need to be answered for.”

    Congress Votes were as follows:

    The vote was 10 to 7, with Democrats and Republicans on each side. Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) supported the measure, as did ranking member Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has repeatedly urged President Obama to do more to aid the Syrian opposition.

    Opponents included conservative Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and liberals Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

    The resolution, which was shaped by Menendez and Corker, called for a more limited use of force than Obama had proposed Saturday, when he announced that he would seek congressional blessing to strike Syria.

    Some rebel groups are closely allied with al Qaeda. Syria’s al Qaeda wing is known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and it’s been gaining a greater foothold. And analysts say al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, is generally the most effective force fighting al-Assad. The group’s name means “Victory Front.” It was listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department in December.

    They’re not just fighting al-Assad’s regime — they’re fighting Hezbollah militants. Early on in the Syrian conflict, reports surfaced that Hezbollah fighters were helping Syrian government forces. In May, the Lebanon-based Shiite militant group’s leader confirmed it. “Syria is the backbone of the resistance (in the region) and its main supporter,” Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech. “The resistance will never stand by while its backbone is exposed.”

    It started as peaceful protesting. Peaceful protests against President Bashar al- Assad’s government are how it all started in February 2011, after authorities arrested 15 schoolchildren for painting anti-government graffiti on the walls of a school in the city of Daraa.Syrian security forces opened fire at one demonstration, killing at least four protesters — the first casualties, activists say, in Syria’s civil war.As anti-government protests spread across Syria that year, calls for reforms quickly escalated into calls for the removal of the entire al-Assad regime.

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