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Intervention in Syria: Is It Legal?

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) (AP)

Activists in Syria said this week that the death toll has reach over 100,000, in the civil war there that has now gone on for over two years. Despite military support from Arab and western nations, including the U.S. just a few weeks ago, opposition forces against the government of Bashar al-Assad have been losing ground over the last month. Reuters reports: 

The fall of Tel Kalakh, two miles from the border with Lebanon, marks another gain for Assad after the capture of the rebel stronghold of Qusair this month, and consolidates his control around the central city of Homs, which links Damascus to his Alawite heartland overlooking the Mediterranean coast.

Like Qusair, Tel Kalakh was used by rebels in the early stages of the conflict as a transit point for weapons and fighters smuggled into Syria to join the fight against Assad.


Six months ago, Assad's opponents were challenging the president's grip on parts of Damascus, but are now under fierce military pressure there, while their supply lines from neighboring Jordan and Lebanon have steadily been choked off.

As the bloodshed continues, and the U.S. begins shipping arms to the rebels, some in Congress and the media have questioned the legality of U.S. intervention directed by the Obama administration.

A bipartisan group of Senators including Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee have introduced a bill that would ban direct or indirect aid for military or paramilitary operations in Syria (but not humanitarian aid), until Congress has had the chance to debate and vote on whether or not the U.S. should intervene in another foreign conflict.

On 'Real News' Thursday the panel discussed the escalating violence in Syria and the bill on intervention being pushed forward in Congress.

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