Friday, August 30, 2013
President Barack Obama says he recognizes the world and the U.S. are war-weary in the face of potential military action against Syria.
But he says the United States has an obligation "as a leader in the world" to hold countries accountable if they violate international norms.
President Obama says he has strong preference for multilateral action. But he says, quote, "we don't want the world to be paralyzed."
Regarding the U.N., President Obama says, quote, "there is an incapacity for the Security Council to move forward."
Despite a vote in Britain against taking action in Syria, the president indicates that France is with him.
President Obama's comments came as his administration made its intelligence case against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad for a chemical attack against civilians earlier this month.
President Barack Obama says he hasn't made a final decision about a military strike against Syria. But he says he's considering a limited and narrow action in response to a chemical weapons attack that he says Syria's government carried out last week.
President Obama says that attack was a challenge to the world and threatens U.S. national security.
The president's comment came after the U.S. released an intelligence assessment that found with "high confidence" that Syrian President Bashar Assad's government carried out a chemical weapons attack last week.
The U.S. says the attack killed more than 1,400 people.
President Obama spoke before meeting at the White House with three Baltic leaders.
The Obama administration says it has "high confidence" that Syria's government carried out a chemical weapons attack last week outside Damascus, the capital -- killing 1,429 people.
The U.S. chemical weapons assessment says Syrian President Bashar Assad's government used an unidentified nerve agent in the attack. The report cites human and satellite intelligence that it says backs up publicly available videos and other evidence.
The unclassified report says at least 426 children died.
The report says the "high confidence" assessment is the strongest position that U.S. intelligence agencies can take short of confirmation.
It dismisses the Assad government's contention that rebels were responsible.
The U.S. says additional intelligence remains classified but is being provided to allies and Congress.