Congressional hearing planned on potential U.S. military strike in Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) - UNITED STATES-SYRIA: Obama addresses skeptics, lawmakers about Syria

Congress is holding its first public hearing about U.S. plans for military intervention in Syria as the Obama administration tries to convince skeptical Americans and their lawmakers about the need to respond to last month's alleged sarin gas attack outside Damascus.

Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other top officials appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today.

There's also a classified briefing open to all members of Congress.

OBAMA: Obama seeks support for Syria strike at G20

Facing roadblocks at home and abroad, President Barack Obama will urge leaders attending a global summit in Russia this week to back an American-led strike against Syria even though the prospects for military action depend on the votes of a fractured U.S. Congress.

Hanging over Obama's three-day overseas trip will also be his tense relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the world leader who has perhaps done the most to stymie international efforts to oust Syria's Bashar Assad.

The timing of the international meetings pulls Obama away from Washington just as he's seeking to rally lawmakers to back military action against Syria in retaliation for what the Obama administration says was a chemical weapons attack.

UN-SYRIA-REFUGEES: UN says Syria refugees top 2 million mark

The United Nations' refugee agency says the number of refugees fleeing Syria's violence has surpassed the 2 million mark.

The Office for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says almost 5,000 citizens a day leave Syria for bordering countries, and many of them have little more than the clothes they're wearing.

Nearly 1.8 million of the refugees have fled in the past 12 months alone.

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