President Obama says he asked Congress to postpone votes on Syria action to pursue diplomatic solution.
President Barack Obama says he long resisted calls for military action in Syria because he didn't think force could solve the Syrian civil war. But he says he changed his mind after Syria's government gassed its own citizens.
Obama on Tuesday used a televised address to the nation to explain his thinking on the ongoing fighting in Syria. He said the use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21 shifted his thinking and that the United States must respond with a military strike to deter future use of such weapons.
Obama said no one disputes that chemical weapons were used and said thousands of Syrians have died from them. He said the images and videos of men, women and children are sickening and demand a response.
President Barack Obama is pledging that he won't deploy ground combat troops or wage a prolonged air campaign against Syria.
In his speech to the nation Tuesday the president also promised he would not pursue an open-ended military action.
Obama said he realized that many Americans were weary of military action after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said the limitations he was imposing on the potential strike would ensure against the U.S. sliding down a slippery slope into another prolonged war.
Obama made his remarks as U.S. officials explore whether a Russian proposal to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control might work, and as the administration seeks congressional support for an attack.