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White House praises Senate for backing Syria plan

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JOSH LEDERMAN | September 4, 2013 05:29 PM EST | AP

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STOCKHOLM — The White House is praising a Senate panel for backing President Barack Obama's call for a military strike in Syria.

White House press secretary Jay Carney says the measure approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would uphold U.S. national security interests. He says it would degrade Syrian President Bashar Assad's chemical weapons capabilities and deter future use while working toward a political transition in Syria.

The resolution backing the use of force in response to a chemical weapons attack the U.S. blames on Assad's government won approval Wednesday on a 10-7 vote. The measure is expected to reach the Senate floor next week.

The vote came hours after Obama, traveling in Sweden, left open the possibility he would order a strike even if Congress withheld its approval.