In internal document, US officials demand Syria action

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say dozens of State Department employees have signed an internal document that advocates U.S. military action to pressure Syria’s government into accepting a cease-fire and engaging in peace talks.

The position is at odds with that of the Obama administration, which has provided assistance to Syria’s anti-government rebels but limited America’s armed intervention there to fighting the Islamic State and al-Qaida.

Officials say the confidential paper is supported by about 50 mostly mid-level State Department employees who deal with U.S. policy in Syria.

Spokesman John Kirby says the department is reviewing the “dissent channel cable,” which allows officials to convey alternative views on policy issues.

The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times both quoted from the document Thursday, saying they had seen or obtained copies.