President Barack Obama is exploring a diplomatic solution to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The US president made his announcement on Tuesday in an address to the nation.
The news comes on the same day as Syria announced it would be willing to give up its chemical weapons if the US halts its plan to strike.
The issue began with an alleged chemical weapons attack on August 21. Reported death tolls have varied from 200 to more than 1,400. In response, President Obama asked Congress to authorize a limited strike aimed at punishing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who the US believes is responsible for the attack.
While Obama explores a diplomatic solution in Syria with other countries, CBS News reports that the president wants the threat of a military strike to remain on the table.
So, while he asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote on using force in the Middle Eastern nation, he stated that a strike could still happen if Syria doesn’t give up its chemical weapons.
Reuters notes that Obama has seen a lot of resistance to military action in Syria, from both Congress and the people of the United States. Quite possibly because of this, Obama used much of the speech to explain the case against Syria.
Obama laid out evidence the administration has for the attack and argued that Syria should face consequences for allegedly using chemical weapons on its own people. He added that, should the world do nothing in response, it will make US adversaries and others more likely to use chemical weapons in the future.
The US president also assured that any attack against Syria would be limited and nothing like Iraq or Afghanistan. Rather, the president explained, “This would be a targeted strike to achieve a clear objective, deterring the use of chemical weapons and degrading Assad’s capabilities.”
Obama plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the coming days to discuss a diplomatic solution to Syria’s chemical weapons use. US Secretary of State John Kerry will also travel to Moscow to speak with his counterpart there.
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