For weeks, President Obama has pushed for a military strike in Syria in the wake of a chemical weapons attack. However, in a speech Tuesday night, President Obama spoke of a potentially different course of action for the United States in Syria.
President Obama started his speech by laying out United States intelligence that he says proved Syrian President Bashir Al Assad killed more than 1,000 Syrians last month in a series of chemical weapons attack. The use of chemical weapons is a violation of international law.
Mr. Obama said he’s pushed for a military strike, which would include no boots on the ground, to send a message that the use of chemical weapons won’t be tolerated and to deter terrorists from thinking they could operate out of Syria to strike the United States.
While President Obama said the United States should not always be the world’s policeman, he said there are times when the United States and the world need to stand together to do the right thing.
“But when with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death and thereby make our own children safer in the long run. I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional. With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth,” said President Obama.
However, Tuesday night, President Obama asked Congress to delay any vote to strike. He says he and Secretary of State John Kerry will continue to pursue diplomatic solutions with Russia to peacefully remove chemical weapons from Syria.
If Syria doesn’t comply, President Obama said he has asked the military to maintain their positions if they do need to respond.