We're following several stories regarding Syria Sunday, including new comments from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. There are also reports that an Islamist group with ties to al-Qaida has seized a town with a large Christian population. Elsewhere, officials in the U.S. and its allies are debating how to respond to the conflict that began in 2011, as President Obama's administration tries to shore up support for military action.
We'll update this post with news as it emerges today.
From 'Morning Edition': White House adviser Tony Blinken talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep
"The president of course has the authority to act" even if Congress does not support his plan for a military strike on Syria, White House deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep earlier today.
But Blinken also said of the president that it is "neither his desire nor his intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him."
This won't be a standard party-line vote. Big factions within both parties remain skeptical about President Obama's plans to launch punitive airstrikes against Syria.
If the vote were held today, it might not pass. Obama and his allies — including top House leaders of both parties — have a big selling job yet to do to persuade a majority of members to authorize military action.