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Local representatives weigh in on Syria

Updated: Saturday, September 7 2013, 11:30 AM EDT

ALBANY -- Millions accross the nation stood by and watched as the president called on congress to to decide whether or not we use force in Syria. Now, the torch has been passed to our local representatives to make their voices heard.

"There is a reason for the president to want to make this stand. President Obama has gotten himself into a very difficult position, yes it looks like chemical weapons have been used, but the simple fact of the matter is, the president of the united states does not have the support of the American people to do this," says Dr. Steven Leibo, professor of international Politics at SAGE College.

Representative Chris Gibson issued this statement, saying he "urges a no vote on authorization to use military force."

Representative Paul Tonko agrees.

"I'm very hesitant about our efforts to do this on our own, to further saddle the american tax payer and to reach the troops that have been quite exhausted," he tells us.

"We have lost already too many people in the Capital Region and in America in the middle east, frankly in struggles that did not have to happen," Leibo adds.

Experts say the American people are fed up with our intervening in the Middle East, which is why the president's hands are tied.

"All the college students of this generation have lived in a period when we have been at war for their entire lives in the middle east. there is no stomach in america for this," Leibo says.

"But the core issue is do we have the ability to intervene in a positive fashion in Syria. no we don't. and then the separate issue, does the president have the support of the american people to do so, and we know the answer to that," he goes on to say.

Members of Congress will be back to debate action as early as next week.

Local representatives weigh in on Syria

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The Syrian civil war, (also known as the Syrian uprising or Syrian crisis) is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Ba'ath government and those seeking to oust it. A part of the larger Middle Eastern protest movement known as the Arab Spring, the conflict began March 15th, 2011 with local demonstrations that grew in scope to become nationwide by April 2011.

Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971, as well as the end of Ba'ath Party rule, which began in 1963.

The Syrian Army was deployed in April of 2011 to stop the uprising, and soldiers fired on demonstrators across the country. After months of cities and neighborhoods being cut-off by the Army the protests evolved into an armed rebellion.

The Arab League, United States, European Union, and other countries condemned the use of violence against the protesters. The Arab League suspended Syria's membership as a result of the government's response to the crisis, but granted the Syrian National Coalition, a coalition of Syrian political opposition groups, Syria's seat on 6 March 2013.

According to the UN, about 4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country and 2 million have fled to other countries.

Syrian government supporters include Russia and Iran, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing material and weapons to the rebels.


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Should the president forgo military strikes on Syria, if Congress opposes the attack?


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