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Syria sanctions bill sparks renewed debate over Assad and Christians

The House Foreign Affairs panel voted for new sanctions on anyone helping Bashar al-Assad's regime.
A part of a church is seen amid the damage in the government-controlled area of the Old City of Aleppo, Syria December 10, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki - RTX2UEEY
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A key House panel easily voted to slap new sanctions May 3 on Syria, but not before an acrimonious debate over President Bashar al-Assad's role in defending the region's beleaguered Christians.

The bill from House Foreign Affairs ranking member Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., targets anyone who does business with the Assad regime while evaluating the feasibility of a no-fly zone. It cleared the House late last year but not the Senate. 

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