Obama to Address the Nation on Syria Tuesday

Sep 6, 2013 11:17 AM

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — President Barack Obama, facing hardened international opposition to a strike against Syria and returning home to a skeptical American public, will address the country Tuesday to make his case.

Obama made the announcement Friday at a press conference before leaving a summit of the Group of 20 world powers in Russia. He said that Syria’s use of chemical weapons “isn’t just a Syrian tragedy. It’s a threat to global peace and security.”

Obama cast military action in Syria as critical to upholding the world’s prohibition on chemical weapons.

“I want people to understand that gassing innocent people, delivering chemical weapons against children, is not something we do,” the president said. “It’s prohibited in active wars between countries. We certainly don’t do it against kids.”

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The United States says that Assad, more than two years into a civil war, gassed 1,400 people to death, including more than 400 children, in a rebel-controlled neighborhood Aug. 21.

“Obviously, my preference would be against to act internationally, in a serious way, and to make sure that Mr. Assad gets the message,” Obama said. “I’m not itching for military action.”

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