Obama delays vote on Syria

by Hailey Colwell

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he asked Congress to postpone a vote on legislation that would allow the use of U.S. military force in Syria, news sources reported. 

He said he would look into a Russian proposal to let international monitors destroy Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons, the New York Times reported.

In a nationally-televised speech from the East Room of the White House, Obama said diplomacy could mitigate the need to use force in Syria, according to the Star Tribune. He also said the U.S. military is prepared to strike against Syrian President Bashar Assad if other methods fail, according to the article.

He said this would not mean starting another war, the Star Tribune reported.

"I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria," Obama said in the Star Tribune article. "I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan. I will not pursue a prolonged air campaign like Libya or Kosovo."

If the United States does not respond to Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons in an Aug. 21 assault that killed more than 1,400 people near Damascus, his regime would see no reason to stop using them, the Washington Post reported. 

“What kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas and we choose to look the other way?” Obama said in the Washington Post article. “Our ideals and principles, as well as our national security, are at stake in Syria, along with our leadership of a world where we seek to ensure that the worst weapons will never be used."

A full transcript of the speech can be found here