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US Lawmakers: Put More Pressure on Gadhafi, Encourage Syrian Opposition


Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (File Photo)

Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (File Photo)

Some leading U.S. lawmakers are calling for increased pressure on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to step down.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on U.S. television CNN's State of the Union Sunday that the way to end the conflict in Libya is to "cut the head of the snake off," by bombing Gadhafi supporters in Tripoli.

Republican Senator John McCain and independent Senator Joe Lieberman appeared on the same program. All three lawmakers are members of the Senate Armed Services committee.

McCain, who visited the Libyan city of Benghazi last week, said the United States should reassume a leadership role in the NATO coalition on Libya. Lieberman agreed and added that every time the coalition pulls back, it sends a message to Gadhafi that he can "tough this thing out" [survive].

A different set of lawmakers spoke out on Syria Sunday, with members of both parties urging greater support for Syria's embattled opposition.

Republican Senator Mark Kirk said on CBS's Face the Nation the United States should use its diplomatic weight to undermine the Syrian dictatorship. He said he believes the dictatorship of Syria's Bashar al-Assad is coming to a "slow end."

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said the opposition movement in Syria should be encouraged. He and Kirk agreed that the U.S. should not send its troops into the country.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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