From VOA Learning English, this is In The News.
This week, a United States Senate committee voted in support of a possible American military strike against Syria. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a proposed resolution by a vote of 10 to seven. The resolution gives President Barack Obama power to take military action against Syria because the United States says the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians. The resolution calls for limited U.S. action lasting no more than 90 days. It does not permit the use of American ground troops in Syria.
The resolution now goes to the full Senate. The House of Representatives must also vote on it.
The Senate committee vote came less than a week after United Nations chemical weapons inspectors left Syria. U.N. officials sent the inspection team to investigate an attack that took place 10 days earlier. American officials say more than 1,400 people were killed in the attack, near Damascus.
The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad denies using chemical weapons. It says Syrian rebels used them against government soldiers.
Last Saturday, President Obama spoke to Americans and the world about Syria. He said U.S. intelligence is clear that “well over 1,000 people” were killed -- gassed to death by their own government. He denounced what he called the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century.
President Obama and some leading lawmakers have expressed strong support for military strikes against Syria. But a recent study found that 59 percent of Americans questioned oppose the idea.
Christopher Hill is a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and a former special representative to Kosovo. He supports limited military action against Syria. He says the world needs to send a strong signal that anyone who uses chemical weapons will be punished.
“But the problem is we don’t have an overall way forward on Syria. People are out there fighting in Syria, either on Assad’s forces or against Assad, because they have no idea what the future of the country is going to hold and therefore they feel that in order to safeguard their future, they need to fight.”
Retired U.S. Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni agrees with Mr. Hill. General Zinni headed “Operation Desert Fox,” a series of strikes against Iraq in 1998. He says American military action will strengthen rebel forces allied with al-Qaida.
“Any strikes on Assad weaken him. When you weaken him, you strengthen the opposition. Those extremists are also part of the opposition.”
Some experts say a U.S. military strike might incite the Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah to attack Western targets or Israel. Others say the Syrian military might use more chemical weapons against rebels and civilians.
General Zinni says the situation is like a theatrical production.
“Once Assad goes -- when, and if -- this could even be a greater mess than it is now. I mean, this civil war isn’t over because it will have an ‘Act Two’ to it.”
The former general says that “act” could see Syrian opposition groups fighting each other after President Assad is gone.
And that’s In the News, from VOA Learning English. I’m Steve Ember.
1.inspection n. 视察，检查
Inspection is cordially invited.
2.lawmaker n. 立法者；立法议员，立法机关的成员
On Monday, gunmen on motorcycles shot and killed lawmaker Raza Haider and his bodyguard as they attended the funeral for one of Haider's relatives in the Nazimabad area of the city.
3.safeguard vt. [安全] 保护，护卫
A strong effort to safeguard world peace and stability, China will not pose a threat to any country.
4.incite vt. 煽动；激励；刺激
You incite them to outrage for bad purposes of your own.
1.The resolution now goes to the full Senate. The House of Representatives must also vote on it.
vote on 就…表决
he chairman asked us to vote on the plan.
As we can't all agree on this matter, let's vote on it.
2.This week, a United States Senate committee voted in support of a possible American military strike against Syria.
in support of 支持；拥护
They decided to stay in support of the new leadership.
I'll mention some facts in support of my argument.
本周，美国参议院委员会通过投票支持美军对叙利亚可能的军事打击。参议院外交关系委员会以10:7的投票通过决议，因为美国称叙利亚政府使用化武对付平民，该决议给总统巴拉克·奥巴马对叙利亚采取军事行动的权力 。该决议呼吁将美国的行动限制在90天之内，同时不允许对叙利亚派出美国地面部队 。
上周六，总统奥巴马就叙利亚向美国和全世界发表讲话。他说美国情报明确表明，有1000多人被杀，被自己的政府用毒气杀死 。他谴责称这是21世纪最残暴的化学武器袭击 。