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Obama Blends Threat of Attack, Hope of Diplomacy

Updated: Tuesday, September 10 2013, 10:49 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama said in a nationally
televised address Tuesday night that recent diplomatic steps offer "the
potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons" inside Syria without
the use of force, but he also insisted the U.S. military will keep the
pressure on President Bashar Assad "and be ready to respond" if other
measures fail.


Speaking from the East Room of the White House, Obama said he had
asked congressional leaders to postpone a vote on legislation he has
been seeking to authorize the use of military force against Syria.


Acknowledging the weariness the nation feels after a decade of war in
Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama said, "America is not the world's
policeman."


And yet, he added, "When with modest effort and risk we can stop
children from being gassed to death and thereby make our own children
safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That's what makes
America different. That's what makes us exceptional."

To read Obama's full speech click here.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Obama Blends Threat of Attack, Hope of Diplomacy


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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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