FULL: President Obama Decides US to Take Military Action on Syria - Statement 8/31/2013
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Published on Aug 31, 2013
In his Speech on Syria, Obama Speaks over Attack against Assad's Government: We are the USA, we can not and must not turn a blind eye on the massacre of countless civilians in Damascus. "We cannot raise children in a world where we will not follow through on the things we say."
President Obama delivers a statement on Syria from the Rose Garden at the White House, today.
WASHINGTON--- President Obama said on Saturday that he was ready to take military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad, but that he will seek the approval of Congress before carrying out a military strike.
Obama says congressional leaders have agreed to schedule a debate and vote when they return to session. They are scheduled to return from their summer recess on Sept. 9.
The president did not say if he'd forgo a strike if Congress rejects his call to action.
"This attack is an assault on human dignity," Obama said with Vice President Biden standing by his. "It also presents a serious danger to our national security."
The remarks came amid a flurry of briefings for skeptical lawmakers by the president's national security team. The shouts from hundreds of activists outside the White House protesting against military action could be heard from the Rose Garden shortly before Obama spoke.
"Over the last several days, we've heard from several members of Congress who want their voices to be heard," Obama said. "I absolutely agree."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., welcomed the decision.
"The President's role as commander-in-chief is always strengthened when he enjoys the expressed support of the Congress," McConnell said.
The remarks came hours after U.N. experts, who had been collecting samples from last week's alleged chemical weapons strike outside Damascus, left the country bound for the Netherlands.
The chemical weapons experts were working to determine what occurred in the apparent chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Aug. 21, which U.S. intelligence reports say left 1,429 people dead, including 426 children. They have taken blood and urine samples from victims and soil samples from areas where chemical attacks have been reported. The samples will be tested in Europe.
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