World News

Senate Panel OKs Military Strike on Syria



A key U.S. Senate panel has voted in favor of a possible military strike against Syria.

The Foreign Relations Committee voted 10 to 7 Wednesday to give President Barack Obama the authority to take military action against Syria for using chemical weapons on civilians.

The Senate resolution calls for limited action lasting no more than 90 days. It says no U.S. soldier would be put on the ground - an assurance to lawmakers who do not want the United States to become embroiled in another war.

The measure now goes to the full Senate. The House of Representatives must also vote on it.

Before the vote, Mr. Obama said in Stockholm that the international community's credibility is at stake if nothing is done about Syria..

The president said he did not set a "red line" in Syria but that the world did when it outlawed poison gas after World War One.



U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the Syrian situation is unpredictable, complicated, and dangerous and that there is no guarantee about the outcome.

But he said Syria's weapons are a serious threat to America's national interests and a grave risk to its allies in the region. He also said he is concerned that Hezbollah, the terrorist group that backs the Assad regime, can get its hands on such weapons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday the U.S. Congress would be sanctioning "aggression" by approving the use of force against Syria. Mr. Putin also said Secretary of State John Kerry lied when he said the Syrian opposition had not become more infiltrated by al-Qaida.

However, the Kremlin leader said he might support a U.N. authorization of military force against Syria, if there is what he called "convincing" proof that Syrian forces used chemical weapons against civilians.

Syria denies using chemical weapons, and charges that any poison gas was used by rebels against Syrian troops.

((OPTIONAL SOUNDBITE

President Barack Obama:
"I do think we have to act, because if we do not, we are effectively saying that even though we may condemn it and issue resolutions and so forth and so on, somebody who is not shamed by resolutions can continue to act with impunity. And those international norms begin to erode, and other despots and authoritarian regimes can start looking and saying, 'That's something we can get away with.'"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs