Obama: 'I Have Not Made a Decision' on Syria
6:07 PM, Aug 28, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In an interview with PBS, President Obama says no decision has yet been made on Syria:
"I have not made a decision," said Obama. "I have gotten options from our military. I had extensive discussions with my national security team."
The president went on to say that "terrible things have been happening in Syria for quite some time" and that the "Assad regime there has been killing its own people."
Obama says that though he's "called for Assad to leave," he's "concluded is that direct military engagement, involvement in the civil war in Syria would not help the situation on the ground. So we've been very restrained. Although diplomatically we've been very active."
Importantly, he adds, "But what I also said was that if the Assad regime used chemical weapons on his own people that that would change some of our calculations. And the reason has to do with not only international norms but also America's core self-interest."
The president says that America believes the Assad regime carried out the recent chemical weapons attacks in Syria. "We have looked at all the evidence and we do not believe the opposition possessed nuclear weapons of that -- chemical weapons -- of that sort. We do not believe, given the delivery systems using rockets, that the opposition could have carried out these attacks. We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out. And if that's so, then there need to be international consequences."
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