Wednesday Aug 28, 201306:13 AM GMT
Potential military strike in Syria sparks concerns in US Congress
Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:12AM
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A number of US Congress members have called on President Barack Obama to get congressional authorization for a possible attack on Syria.


In a letter to the president, Republican Congressman Scott Rigell, urged him to seek congressional approval for any military action against the Syrian government.

American officials say Washington is planning to launch missile strikes on targets in Syria “as early as Thursday” in order to punish Damascus over the alleged use of chemical weapons against militants, an allegation the Syrian government has strongly rejected.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press on Tuesday, Rigell also wrote that President Obama would be abusing his power if he decides to launch a strike without congressional approval.

"Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution," Rigell argued.

Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia also urged Obama to get an approval from lawmakers first.

"Absent an imminent threat to United States national security, the US should not be engaged in military action without congressional approval," Kaine said.

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce warned that an intervention in Syria could escalate the crisis in the Arab country.

Tea party favorite Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich. issued a series of tweets arguing that unauthorized strikes against Syria would be unconstitutional and illegal.

Russia has warned that a possible US military intervention will have "catastrophic consequences" for the entire region.

AHT/ARA
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