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Dozens of US Diplomats Press Obama to Strike Assad: Reports

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    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gestures during an exclusive interview with AFP in the capital Damascus on Feb. 11, 2016.

    Dozens of State Department employees have signed an internal document that calls for airstrikes against the government of Syria's President Bashar Assad, a position that's in contrast with the White House policy, NBC News reported.

    The "dissent channel cable" was signed by 51 State Department officers who have been involved with U.S.-Syria policy, an official familiar with the memo told The Wall Street Journal.

    The document repeatedly called for "targeted military strikes" against Assad, who has been fighting rebels and ISIS for over five years, the newspaper reported.

    Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford told Reuters the dissent channel cables are not unusual but the number of signatures on this latest document is very large.