Obama told Netanyahu of plan on Syria before public announcement: Officials
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Top Israeli officials say US President Barack Obama has secretly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about his plan on Syria prior to a public announcement. On Sunday, the officials, who were speaking on condition of anonymity, said the US president telephoned Netanyahu ahead of his speech in the White House on Saturday to inform him of the plan to delay a possible military attack against Syria. According to the officials, Obama also spoke to the Israeli premier regarding a congressional vote on the military intervention. The telephone conversation aimed at coordinating the two allies' next moves regarding Syria, the officials said. On Saturday, Obama said he would seek a congressional authorization for an attack against the Arab state as Washington "cannot and will not turn a blind eye" to an alleged chemical attack in Syria. The call for military action against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million of others displaced due to the violence.