President Obama addressed the nation on Tuesday night, stating that the United States will not yet use force in response to Syria's use of chemical weapons.
The President discussed Syria's use of chemical weapons, stating that the U.S. has obtained proof — through tests on site and from social media — that the Assad regime used sarin gas on its people. He vowed not to "put American boots on the ground in Syria," but has asked Congress to postpone their vote on whether to use force in order to pursue a diplomatic path.
"We cannot resolve somebody else's civil war through force, particularly after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said. However, the President also said that a failure to act would be a detriment to national security because it might encourage other regimes to use chemical weapons. But he also recognized the hesitancy people may feel about taking actions that may lead to another war. "I have spent four-and-a-half years trying to end wars, not start them. Our troops are out of Iraq. Our troops are coming home from Afghanistan," he said. "When dictators commit atrocities—they depend upon the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory."
The President's public address comes one day after he sat down for interviews with several major media outlets, including ABC, CBS and NBC, to discuss the situation in Syria. It also follows Charlie Rose's interview with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. In the interview, Assad warned that, should the U.S. decide to launch military strikes on Syria, the U.S. and its allies should "expect every action" in retaliation.
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