Obama, addressing a war-weary country from the East Room of the White House, said that Syria’s use of chemical weapons presented a danger to American security and violated the world’s “sense of common humanity.”
He said he would work with other countries to pressure Syria to put its chemical weapons under international control and ultimately destroy them — a proposal that reshaped both the crisis and the president’s address over two furious days of diplomacy.
But Obama said he would order the military to stay in place in the region and to keep pressure on Bashar Assad, the Syrian leader, who the United States says ordered the attack against his opponents in Syria’s civil war.
Obama pledged not to send American troops into Syria but warned: “The United States military doesn’t do pinpricks. Even a limited strike will send a message to Assad that no other nation can deliver.”
Speaking in a calm, direct, almost fatherly tone, Obama repeatedly invoked images of more than 400 children killed in the attack, launched by Assad’s against rebels in the two-year Syrian civil war.
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