News / USA

Obama Weighs Syria Decision

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a ceremony at the White House, Aug. 26, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a ceremony at the White House, Aug. 26, 2013.
When President Barack Obama makes a decision about a response to the August 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria, the White House says he will lay out the case to the American people and the world.  

After Secretary of State Kerry's statement Monday on Syria and the chemical attacks, Obama's spokesman faced a barrage of questions from reporters at the White House news briefing.

When might President Obama make his decision?  What response would be proportional to the reported chemical weapons attack?   And how will Congress be involved?

White House spokesman Jay Carney refused to speculate about a potential military response to what the U.S. calls a violation of an international norm against the use of chemical weapons.  

White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures during the daily press briefing at the White House, Aug. 26, 2013.White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures during the daily press briefing at the White House, Aug. 26, 2013.
x
White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures during the daily press briefing at the White House, Aug. 26, 2013.
White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures during the daily press briefing at the White House, Aug. 26, 2013.
Carney said Obama still envisions a response that would not involve U.S. personnel on the ground in Syria.

He said the president will consult with allies and partners and members of Congress, although the White House is not, for the moment, revealing details about conversations with lawmakers.

Carney said Obama agrees with Kerry who said he believes the August 21 chemical attack was carried out by the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

"It demonstrates a disregard for international norms of behavior, and a disregard for innocent life, and in this case for the innocent life of fellow Syrians that is appalling," he said. "Indiscriminate killing of innocent women and children in an attempt to maintain his bloody grasp on to power is despicable, but that is what we have come to expect from Bashar al-Assad."

Carney said any U.S. response would be specific to the chemical weapons attack as opposed to a wider involvement in the Syrian conflict.  

He said a solution to Syria's civil war must ultimately involve a negotiated settlement, but he acknowledged that negotiations have become more unattainable.  

"The fact that Assad has continued to barbarically attack his own people using means now that boggle the mind, and violate international norms, makes the potential for that kind of negotiated solution more difficult," Carney said. "But there is no solution as we have long made clear, for Syria's future, that includes Assad."

Asked about the legal basis for a military strike, the White House spokesman declined to speculate about a decision that has not been made.  He said Obama will eventually explain his decision to the American people.

Related video report by Luis Ramirez at the Pentagon

US Weighs Military Options in Syria i
X
August 27, 2013 9:31 AM
The Obama administration is weighing whether to launch strikes against Syria, following a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of civilians last week. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs