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Quotes from President Obama's address on Syria situation

Updated: Tuesday, September 10 2013, 10:03 PM EDT

On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama updated the nation on what the U.S. response could be following the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government against its own civilians.
Speaking from the East Room of the White House, President Obama outlined his reasoning for why he believes a military strike is necessary if a diplomatic solution cannot be worked out.
Obama has asked Congress to postpone the vote on whether to use military force against Syria while a proposal by Russia to take control of Syria's chemical weapons is pursued.

Below are some of the key quotes made by President Obama during his address:

"The images from this massacre are sickening. Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas. Others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath. A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk. On that terrible night, the world saw in gruesome detail, the terrible nature of chemical weapons and why the overwhelming majority of humanity have declared them off limits -- a crime against humanity."

"America is not the world's policeman. But with modest effort and risk, if we can prevent children from being gassed...I believe we should act."

"The facts cannot be denied...We know the Assad regime was responsible" for the chemical attacks.

"If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons ... Over time our troops would again face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield."

I believe our democracy is stronger when the president acts with the
support of Congress, and I believe that America acts more effectively
abroad when we stand together.

"I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria. I will not pursue an open ended action. I will not pursue a long air campaign."

Syria's use of chemical weapons violates international law and is a "danger to our security."

"The US military doesn't do pin-pricks ..a A targeted strike can make any dictator, like Al-Assad, think twice before using chemical weapons."

"This is not a world we should accept. This is what's at stake."

"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?"

"For nearly seven decades the United States has been the anchor of global security. This has meant doing more than forging international agreements. It has meant enforcing them. The burdens of leadership are often heavy, but the world’s a better place because we have borne them."

Quotes from President Obama's address on Syria situation

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The Syrian civil war, (also known as the Syrian uprising or Syrian crisis) is an ongoing armed conflict in Syria between forces loyal to the Ba'ath government and those seeking to oust it. A part of the larger Middle Eastern protest movement known as the Arab Spring, the conflict began March 15th, 2011 with local demonstrations that grew in scope to become nationwide by April 2011.

Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency in Syria since 1971, as well as the end of Ba'ath Party rule, which began in 1963.

The Syrian Army was deployed in April of 2011 to stop the uprising, and soldiers fired on demonstrators across the country. After months of cities and neighborhoods being cut-off by the Army the protests evolved into an armed rebellion.

The Arab League, United States, European Union, and other countries condemned the use of violence against the protesters. The Arab League suspended Syria's membership as a result of the government's response to the crisis, but granted the Syrian National Coalition, a coalition of Syrian political opposition groups, Syria's seat on 6 March 2013.

According to the UN, about 4 million Syrians have been displaced within the country and 2 million have fled to other countries.

Syrian government supporters include Russia and Iran, while Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing material and weapons to the rebels.


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