Syria Crisis: 6 Crucial Developments from Today
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Here's a summary of where things stand:
1. Members of the House leadership from both parties have pledged their support for military strikes in Syria. House speaker Boehner, majority leader Cantor and minority leader Pelosi made coordinated statements backing the president. Senator John McCain applauded Boehner's statement.
It's not a done deal, however. The House rank-and-file is notoriously difficult to manage.
2. President Obama began a full-scale push to bring Congress behind his Syria war plan. Obama hosted congressional leaders for a morning meeting at the White House. This afternoon the secretaries of defense and state, and the chair of the joint chiefs of staff, will appear before the Senate foreign relations committee to make the administration's case.
3. Obama described the US mission as twofold: to "send a message to Assad," and to "[degrade] his ability to use chemical weapons" now and in the future.
4. Israel and the United States conducted a missile test over the eastern Mediterranean, news of which emerged when the Russian defence ministry said it has detected two ballistic 'objects'.
6. Western leaders plan to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg with new evidence from France that reportedly links Assad to the 21 August chemical attack. The summit runs Sept. 5-6.