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Higgins opposes U.S. military intervention in Syria

HIGGINS
By Mark Sommer

Rep. Brian Higgins said Friday his mind is made up against military intervention in Syria.

“I am very clear that I am a firm no, and I am not looking for a call from the president to be persuaded otherwise,” Higgins told The Buffalo News editorial board.

The Democratic congressman, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the strife that has overtaken Syria and claimed more than 100,000 lives “a national civil war that is a sectarian,
ethnic conflict.”

“There are no good military options for the United States,” Higgins said.”

His preference is for President Obama to mobilize the international community in branding Syrian leader Bashar Assad a “war criminal” who should be brought up on charges at an international tribunal in the Hague.  Higgins also is calling for tougher sanctions, internationally, to weaken Assad’s grip on power.

Higgins said he didn’t believe the United States or Obama needed to lose credibility by choosing other means than a military response to punish the Assad government.  The “red line” the
president warned Assad not to cross, he said, never specified a military response.

“The world community and the people of the United States, I think, would be more supportive of something less than a military strike that could have the same potential outcome,” Higgins said.

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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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