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White House believes Congress will support Syria military strike: officials

A general view of the U.S. Capitol is seen from the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A general view of the U.S. Capitol is seen from the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House believes Congress will vote in favor of a U.S. military strike against Syria because of the threat that chemical weapons pose to the security of Israel and other allies in the region, senior administration officials told reporters on Saturday.

President Barack Obama decided late on Friday he wanted to seek the approval of Congress - a step that is not legally required, and an option his advisors had not been advocating - because he believes the debate and vote will unite a war-weary country behind the action, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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