Roberta's Feed
Aug 31, 2013

Obama backs off imminent military action against Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Saturday backed away from an imminent military strike against Syria to seek the approval of the U.S. Congress, in a decision that likely delays U.S. action for at least 10 days.

Obama, in a statement from the White House Rose Garden, said he had authorized the use of military force to punish Syria for a chemical weapons attack August 21 that U.S. officials say killed 1,429 people. Military assets to carry out a strike are in place and ready to move on his order, he said.

Aug 31, 2013

Obama makes case to Congress for Syria military action

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s top advisers were to make their case for limited military strikes against Syria to the full Senate on Saturday, presenting evidence of a chemical weapons attack last week that the White House says killed more than 1,400 people.

Obama has broad legal powers to take military action. While he has said he has not made a final decision, he has made it clear that he believes the United States must do something to hold the Syrian government accountable for the attack.

Aug 30, 2013

U.S. says 1,429 Syrians killed in August 21 chemical weapons attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Syrian chemical weapons attack killed 1,429 Syrian civilians, including 426 children, an unclassified report by U.S. intelligence agencies concluded on Friday.

President Barack Obama is using the report to make the case for retaliation against the Syrian government.

Aug 30, 2013

U.S. looks to build support for Syria action with new intelligence report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Friday it would release an intelligence assessment of the apparent chemical weapons attack in Syria, as President Barack Obama faced growing pressure to win support for military action from a war-weary public, skeptical lawmakers and international allies.

The unclassified assessment, expected to be released later on Friday, could give more details about last week’s chemical attack that killed hundreds and provide more insight into why administration officials have said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government was responsible.

Aug 30, 2013

U.S. consults oil experts as it weighs action against Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Obama administration officials have contacted energy experts in recent days to discuss oil market conditions as the president weighs a military strike against Syria, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

There are no signs the government is preparing to tap emergency oil reserves soon in a bid to tame rising prices, according to the sources who spoke with Reuters this week, though the administration is closely monitoring the situation.

Aug 29, 2013

Obama changes rules to close two gun loopholes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House announced two changes to federal gun rules on Thursday to help keep weapons from criminals, but said it still wants to push Congress to pass new gun control measures in the wake of the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, last year.

The Justice Department will write a regulation requiring background checks for people who register machine guns or short-barreled shotguns through a trust or corporation, closing one loophole on background checks.

Aug 28, 2013

Obama meets new five-member panel reviewing surveillance programs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama met on Tuesday with a five-member panel he appointed to review the privacy issues involved with U.S. government surveillance programs, the White House said, part of an effort to rebuild public trust after leaks by a former spy agency contractor.

Obama has faced criticism since Edward Snowden, a contractor for the National Security Agency, exposed classified information about U.S. surveillance of telephone calls and emails to journalists, raising concerns about privacy and civil liberties.

Aug 25, 2013

Obama studies options after Syria gas attack, consults UK’s Cameron

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and his top military and national security advisers hashed out options on Saturday for responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria amid “increasing signs” that the government used poison gas against civilians.

Obama spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron, a top U.S. ally, and agreed that chemical weapon use by Syrian President Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces would merit a “serious response,” a spokesperson for the prime minister said in a statement.

Aug 24, 2013

Obama weighs possible military response after Syria chemical attack

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama considered options on Saturday for a possible military strike on Syria in response to a nerve gas attack that killed hundreds as Syria sought to avert blame by saying its soldiers had found chemical weapons in rebel tunnels.

A senior U.N. official arrived in Damascus to seek access for inspectors to the site of last Wednesday’s attack, in which opposition accounts say between 500 and well over 1,000 civilians were killed by gas fired by pro-government forces.

Aug 24, 2013

Obama, national security team hash out options on Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. military and national security advisers huddled with President Barack Obama at the White House on Saturday to consider options for responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government this week.

Obama has been reluctant to intervene in Syria’s 2-1/2-year civil war, which he has described as a “sectarian complex problem.” But a year ago he said chemical weapons would be a “red line” for the United States and he is now under pressure to take action.

    • About Roberta

      "Based on Capitol Hill, I help cover U.S. energy and environmental policy. I have reported on commodities since 1995, and have been with Reuters since 2002, moving to Washington from Canada in 2008."
    • Follow Roberta