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Obama: U.S. will take action against Syria with congressional approval
WASHINGTON (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A U.S. military strike against Syria is imminent. The question now is when.
President Obama says while he's ready to take action, but he will wait for congressional approval first.
"I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets," he said Saturday.
Obama says he's ready to give the order, but will ask Congress to authorize the use of military force against Syria.
"While I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific military authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course," he says.
The White House says evidence shows Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime launched a chemical attack that killed more than 14,000 people, including 426 children, on Aug. 21.
"My question for every member of Congress and every member of the global community: What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?"
The United Nations is also investigating what happened in Syria. The U-N team that went to the site of the alleged attack says it could take up to three weeks to complete its report.
According to a United Nations spokesman, "What they need to do is analyze the samples and work on all of the other material, evidence that they have collected so they can come up with their findings."
As the president announced he already has all the evidence he needs to launch an attack, hundreds demonstrated outside the White House gates against the use of force in Syria.
President Obama says any military action would be limited and would not include soldiers on the ground.
Following President Obama's announcement Saturday, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) issued this statement, saying, "There is no question that the Assad regime must be held accountable by the international community for its atrocious attack upon innocent civilians. But I await evidence from the president to decide whether a military attack on Syria is in the best interest of the United States."
And Newschannel 3 received this statement from U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.): "I have again urged the president to use this time to help the Syrian people defend themselves by assisting vetted elements of the Syrian opposition in obtaining more effective weapons such as anti-tank weapons."