President Barack Obama told the PBS “NewsHour” Wednesday he has concluded that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its people and that the regime must be held accountable.
But he repeatedly insisted that he hasn’t yet decided how to respond and he said he was continuing to consult allies. He did not mention any consultations with Congress.
“We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out,” Obama said, noting that the rebels did not have the capability to carry out such a chemical weapons attack.
Obama also suggested that any military action would be aimed at convincing the Assad regime to “stop” using chemical weapons rather than to change the outcome in that country’s civil war.
“I have no interest in any kind of open-ended conflict in Syria, but we do have to make sure that when countries break international norms on weapons like chemical weapons that could threaten us that they are held accountable,” he said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.