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Protesters Rally In Boston; Obama Seeks Congressional Approval For Syrian Military Action

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Protesters in Boston and around the world are taking to the streets to either protest against or to support a possible U.S.-led attack on Syria.

The protests came on Saturday as President Barack Obama delayed the possibility of military action by announcing that he has decided the U.S. should take military action against Syria, but will seek congressional authorization for any attack. Congress does not return to session until Sept. 9, and Republican leaders indicated they would take up the matter upon their return.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

President Obama has said that any possible attack would be limited and aimed at punishing Syrian President Bashar Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons.

The U.S. has said Assad’s regime launched a deadly chemical attack this month, killing more than 1,420 people, including more than 400 children.

President Obama speaks at the White House. (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)

President Obama speaks at the White House. (Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar-Pool/Getty Images)

In Boston, several hundred protesters turned out on the Common, while a crowd also gathered in front of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Beacon Hill home.

In London, more than 1,000 protesters carrying Syrian flags and placards reading “Hands Off Syria,” marched to Downing Street and rallied in Trafalgar Square on Saturday.

About 700 people turned out for an anti-war demonstration in Frankfurt, Germany, police said. Organizers of the protest said only a “sovereign, independent Syria free of foreign interference” would make it possible for the Syrian people to shape the country’s future.

At a protest organized by left-wing opposition parties in Amman, Jordan, Kawthar Arrar described any military intervention as “an aggression on the whole Arab world.”

The protesters gathered outside the U.S. embassy there chanted slogans and set fire to American and Israeli flags.

“Syria is the heart of the Arab world. Syria is facing an unprecedented American conspiracy,” she said.

The protesters in London hailed as a victory the U.K. parliament vote on Thursday against British participation in any U.S.-led attack.

“Today is a victory of British public opinion over those who want war,” former Labour Party lawmaker Tony Benn told the protesters. “Chemical weapons are terrible weapons, but when you think of all the thousands of people that have been killed by British and American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq you realize that it isn’t true that another war would solve the problem.”

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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