News

Senate panel approves resolution on Syria strikes

Senate panel approves resolution on Syria strikes

(L-R) U.S. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testify at a U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Syria on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 4, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Jason Reed

By Rachelle Younglai and Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution on Wednesday authorizing a limited U.S. military intervention in Syria, setting the stage for a debate in the full Senate next week on the use of military force.

The committee voted 10-7 in favor of a compromise resolution that sets a 60-day limit on any engagement in Syria and bars the use of U.S. troops on the ground for combat operations.

The compromise is more limited than President Barack Obama’s original proposal but meets the administration’s goal of punishing Syria for what the U.S. government says is the use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians, killing more than 1,400 people.

The authorization still faces significant resistance in Congress, where many lawmakers fear it could lead to a prolonged U.S. military involvement in Syria’s civil war and spark an escalation of regional violence.

The full Senate is expected to vote on the resolution next week. The House of Representatives also must approve the measure.

Obama and administration officials have pushed Congress to act quickly, saying U.S. national security and international credibility is at stake in the decision whether to use force in Syria to punish President Bashar al-Assad’s government for chemical weapons use.

“If we don’t take a stand here today, I guarantee you, we are more likely to face far greater risks to our security and a far greater likelihood of conflict that demands our action in the future,” Secretary of State John Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee at a separate meeting on Wednesday.

“Assad will read our silence, our unwillingness to act, as a signal that he can use his weapons with impunity,” Kerry said.

The committee vote came after the two panel leaders – Democratic Chairman Robert Menendez and senior Republican Bob Corker – crafted a compromise to meet concerns from some lawmakers that Obama’s resolution was too open-ended.

Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona had objected to the more narrow wording. But the committee adopted amendments proposed by McCain with policy goals of degrading Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons, increasing support for rebel forces and reversing battlefield momentum to create conditions for Assad’s removal.

Many lawmakers have said they are worried the resolution could lead to U.S. ground troops, or “boots on the ground,” in Syria – which administration officials said would not happen.

“It’s very clear on the House side there is no support for boots on the ground,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce told Kerry at Wednesday’s hearing, which also featured testimony from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Kerry answered flatly, “There will be no boots on the ground. The president has said it again and again.”

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: March 27

Fresh
beatles

A look back on Hollywood headlines of years past.

in Local Sports

Gonzaga and UCLA prepare for rematch in NCAA Sweet 16

Fresh
FILE - At left in a Feb. 28, 2015, file photo, Gonzaga head coach Mark Few instructs his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against BYU in Spokane, Wash. At right, in a Feb. 11, 2015, file photo, UCLA head coach Steve Alford directs his team against Oregon State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles. Gonzaga and UCLA play on Friday, March 27, 2015, in the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament in Houston.

The Bulldogs battle the Bruins at 4:15pm on KPUG 1170AM.

in Local Sports

Avalanche end 3-game skid, top Canucks

FILE - In this file photo taken Sept. 17, 2012, the NHL logo is seen on a goal at a Nashville Predators practice rink in Nashville, Tenn. The NHL eliminated 16 more days from the regular-season schedule Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, and if a deal with the players' association isn't reached soon the whole season could be lost. The league wiped out all games through Dec. 30 in its latest round of cancellations. Negotiations between the league and the players' association broke off last week, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Sunday the sides are trying to restart talks this week.

Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay each had a goal and an assist, and Reto Berra made 33 saves to lead the Colorado Avalanche past the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Thursday night.

in Local Sports

Mariners drop 2 Cactus League split squad games

Updated
Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon swings against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game Monday, March 23, 2015, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Hernandez throws 6 sharp innings in Mariners' loss to Royals. Davis, Jimenez hit grand slams as Brewers beat Mariners 15-1

in Local

Ferndale WWII POW profiled in advance of French award

Joe Moser in WWII

Seventy-one years ago, Ferndale resident Joe Moser was shot down over France, captured by Germans and sent to Buchenwald Concentration Camp.