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.
Obama says he asked Congress to postpone votes on Syria action to pursue diplomatic solution and ordered military to maintain current posture to keep pressure on Assad.