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Will U.S. strike Syria?

President Obama is weighing ‘limited and narrow’ action

Posted: August 30, 2013 11:00 p.m.
Updated: August 30, 2013 11:00 p.m.

In this image provided by The White House, President Barack Obama meets with his national security staff to discuss the situation in Syria.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Edging toward a punitive strike against Syria, President Barack Obama said Friday he is weighing “limited and narrow” action as the administration bluntly accused Bashar Assad’s government of launching a chemical weapons attack that killed at least 1,429 people — far more than previous estimates — including more than 400 children.

No “boots on the ground,” Obama said, seeking to reassure Americans weary after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

With France as his only major public ally, Obama told reporters he has a strong preference for multilateral action. He added, “Frankly, part of the challenge we end up with here is a lot of people think something should be done but nobody wants to do it.”

Halfway around the world, U.S. warships were in place in the Mediterranean Sea. They carried cruise missiles, long a first-line weapon of choice for presidents because they can find a target hundreds of miles distant without need of air cover or troops on the ground.

In what appeared increasingly like the pre-attack endgame, U.N. personnel dispatched to Syria carried out a fourth and final day of inspection as they sought to determine precisely what happened in last week’s attack. The international contingent left Syria early Saturday and crossed into Lebanon. They were heading later to laboratories in Europe with the samples they have collected.

 

 

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