People recover the body of a child from the rubble of a building in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo follwoing an air strike on February 4, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / ZEIN AL-RIFAI)
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Last year's agreement to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons left President Bashar al-Assad in a strengthened position, and there appears little chance rebels will soon force him from power, the U.S. intelligence chief told Congress on Tuesday.Clapper, testifying at a U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee hearing, did not specify why the September agreement on chemical arms had boosted Assad's position.Asked about Clapper's testimony, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. government has been "pretty clear and consistent" in acknowledging that Assad has been aided by an influx of foreign fighters and support from Iran.As for the chemical weapons deal, Psaki noted that a U.N. Security Council resolution calls on Syria to abide by it.
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