Obama on Syria: The World Has an Obligation to Maintain the Norm Against Chemical Weapons Use

Posted: Aug 30, 2013 2:46 PM
Speaking from the White House Friday afternoon, President Obama said he is considering military action in Syria that does not involve boots on the ground but stressed a final decision about whether to strike has not been made.

"I have not made a final decision about various actions that might be taken," Obama said. "As you've seen today we released our unclassified assessment detailing with high confidence that the Syrian regime carried out the chemical weapons attack that killed well over a thousand people including hundreds of children. This follows the horrific images that shocked us all. This kind of attack is a challenge to the world. We cannot accept a world where women and children and innocent civilians are gased on a terrible scale. This kind of attack threatens our national security interests by violating well established international norms against the use of chemical weapons by further threatening friends and allies in the region like Israel and Turkey and Jordan and it increases the chance of chemical weapons being used in the future and falling into the hands of terrorists who might use them again us."

Obama said he has been consulting allies and Congress about how to proceed with the Assad regime.

"I have said before and I meant what I said, the world has an obligation to make sure we maintain the norm against the use of chemical weapons," Obama said. "I've had my military and my team look at a wide range of options. We have consulted with allies, we have consulted with Congress and have been in conversations with all the interested parties and in no event are considering any kind of military action that would involve boots on the ground, that would involve a long-term campaign but we are looking at the possibility of a limited, narrow act that would help make sure that not only Syria but others around the world understand that the international community cares about maintaining this chemical weapons ban and norm." 

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