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President Obama calls for military action against Syria

Eric Maze

President Obama calls for military action against Syria

CREATED Aug. 31, 2013

WASHINGTON -- On the day protesters are expected to gather in Southwest Florida and across the country to protest possible military action against Syria, President Obama said Saturday that he has authorized the use of military action against the Syrian regime but will seek Congression approval.

During a speech Saturday at the White House, the President said the State Department had presented a powerful case Syria was responsible for for attacking its own people. 

The President said the attack was an "assault on human dignity," a "danger to our national security," a "mockery of the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons", endangers our allies in the region, and could lead to the use of additional chemical weapons.

The President is calling for military action against regime targets in a closed-ended operation that does not require boots on the ground and is "limited in duration and scope."

Before the President executes that authorization to attack, he says he will ask for Congressional approval when they re-convene.  That could be several days or several weeks away.  It is uncertain whether Congress will go along with the President's wishes.

Many in Congress, including Southwest Florida Republican Trey Radel, have been demanding the President seek approval from U.S. lawmakers before taking any action against Syria.

The President's remarks come just one day after Secretary of State John Kerry outlined why he believes the U.S. government has a right to punish Syria for the use of chemical weapons against its own people.  He cited evidence that claims the attacks were carried out by the Syrian military and killed thousands of people, including more than three hundred children.  He argued the U.S. has a right to protect its interests in the region, despite protests and warnings from Russia that there is not enough evidence that Syria had actually carried out the attacks.