US diplomats demand Syria strikes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dozens of State Department employees have endorsed an internal document that advocates US military action to pressure Syria’s government into accepting a cease-fire and engaging in peace talks, officials said Thursday. The position is at odds with US

policy. The “dissent channel cable” was signed by about 50 mostly mid-level department officials who deal with US policy in Syria, according to officials who have seen the document. It expresses clear frustration with America’s inability to halt a civil war that has killed perhaps a half-million people and contributed to a worldwide refugee crisis, and goes to the heart of President Barack Obama’s reluctance to enter the fray. Obama called for regime change early on in the conflict and threatened military strikes against Syrian forces after blaming President Bashar Assad for using chemical weapons in 2013. But Obama only has authorized strikes against the Islamic State and other US-designated terror groups in Syria.



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