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Hagel: Military threat vital for Syria diplomacy

  • Article by: LOLITA C. BALDOR
  • Associated Press
  • September 10, 2013 - 9:55 AM

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says that in order for Syria to feel enough pressure to turn its chemical weapons over to international controls the U.S. must present a credible threat of military action.

Hagel told a congressional committee Tuesday that lawmakers must endorse military action in order to give the diplomatic effort more urgency and energy. Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry continued the Obama administration's campaign to get congressional approval of a limited military action in Syria. The U.S. says it's necessary to deter the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad from using chemical weapons against its own people.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says the military has an initial set of targets in Syria, and additional targets for subsequent attacks if needed.

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