The Syrian presidents insists that the United States and other have not been able to back their claims that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons in an Aug. 21 attack. His remarks come as President Obama lobbies two key senators regarding his plan to use military force against Syria.
The Syrian president's supporters celebrated when President Obama announced he would seek Congress's approval for a military strike. But rebel forces fighting for President Bashar Assad's ouster were dismayed.
Members of Congress have been arguing for a week that the president should seek their approval on a military response to Syria. Now that Obama has agreed, it may be a case of "careful what you wish for." Guest host Wade Goodwyn asks NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson what Congress might do.
Military officials are concerned that a limited strike against Syria could prompt the Assad regime to target civilians with more conventional weapons. Guest host Wade Goodwyn speaks with NPR's Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman.
The president said has made up his mind that military action is required in Syria. And in a major surprise, he says he will seek permission from Congress to do it. Officials say that decision took him less than 24 hours to make.
Despite the end of the Cold War, U.S. presidents are sending the U.S. military into battle with great frequency. The military has carried out more than a dozen separate operations since the first Gulf War in Iraq in 1991.
Despite more than two years of fighting that has left 100,000 people dead, President Obama has resisted intervening in Syria. But he appears to have concluded that the use of chemical weapons demands a response, even if it risks drawing the U.S. deeper into the conflict.
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