Obama still mulling Syria decision - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Obama still mulling Syria decision

President Barack Obama said he has not made up his mind about military action in Syria. (Source: CNN) President Barack Obama said he has not made up his mind about military action in Syria. (Source: CNN)
Secretary of State John Kerry says almost 1,500 people were killed in Syria on Aug. 21. (Source: CNN) Secretary of State John Kerry says almost 1,500 people were killed in Syria on Aug. 21. (Source: CNN)
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(RNN) – President Barack Obama has not yet made a decision on military action against Syria, but is considering a "limited narrow act."

Five Navy carriers with cruise missiles are in the Mediterranean Sea, along with a few submarines, according to CNN.

Speaking at the White House, the president said he is "not considering any military action that would have boots on the ground or a long-term campaign."

Obama said any military action taken by the U.S. would send a message that the international community stands against chemical weapons.

The president said the Aug. 21 chemical attack that killed 1,429 Syrians threatens U.S. security and is "a challenge to the world."

The administration is providing a classified briefing to members of congress and international partners.

Obama spoke shortly after Secretary of State John Kerry held a news conference on the chemical attack, citing an recently unclassified report.

In making a case for military intervention, Kerry said of those killed, 426 were children.

"Even the first responders, the doctors, nurses, and medics who tried to save them ... they became victims themselves," Kerry said Friday.

The report dismisses the Syrian government's assertion that the rebels gassed themselves.

Kerry acknowledged the U.S. was war-weary after Afghanistan and Iraq.

A team from the United Nations is investigating the reports of a chemical attack by Syrian president Bashar Assad on Friday. Videos of the attack were released online and have not been verified.

Syria has been engaged in a civil war for a little more than two years.

"We will continue talking to the Congress, talking to our allies, and most importantly talking to the American people. President Obama will ensure that the United States of America makes our own decisions on our own time lines based on our own values and our interests," Kerry said.

Obama has said that chemical weapons would be a "red line," and change his mind about U.S. involvement in Syria.

On Thursday in Britain, Parliament voted no to any involvement in Syria, a setback for Prime Minister David Cameron and Obama, who counts on the British as allies. France has said they will stand by the U.S.

Former President George W. Bush said Obama has a "tough call" to make on Syria, but acknowledged he is no fan of Assad's regime.

"He's an ally of Iran, and he's made mischief."

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