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Aug 31, 2013

U.S. says world cannot let Assad get away with chemical attack

WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) – The United States made clear on Friday that it would punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the “brutal and flagrant” chemical weapons attack that it says killed more than 1,400 people in Damascus last week.

“We cannot accept a world where women and children and innocent civilians are gassed on a terrible scale,” President Barack Obama told reporters at the White House.

Aug 30, 2013

U.S. casts action in Syria as moral imperative but sets no timetable

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration made a forceful case on Friday for limited U.S. military action against Syria, releasing evidence the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians several times during the past year and saying the “indiscriminate, inconceivable horror” of a deadly attack last week could not go unpunished.

In separate statements, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry harshly condemned the Syrian government but said any military response by the United States would be measured to avoid open-ended commitments – a nod by the White House to most Americans’ reluctance to engage in another war.

Aug 30, 2013

Obama says Syria chemical weapons attack threatens Israel, Jordan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday the chemical weapons attack in Syria threatened U.S. allies Israel, Turkey and Jordan and that while “nobody ends up being more war weary than me” he is considering a narrow, limited U.S. response.

Obama, speaking to reporters at a meeting he held with Baltic leaders, said the United States must be prepared to act unilaterally if necessary to uphold what he called an international norm against the use of chemical weapons as part of U.S. obligations as a world leader.

Aug 30, 2013

Kerry makes forceful case for military action against Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration made a forceful case for limited U.S. military action against Syria on Friday, releasing evidence the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians multiple times in the past year and saying the “indiscriminate, inconceivable horror” could not go unpunished.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “a thug and a murderer” but said any military response by the United States would be carefully measured to avoid open-ended commitments.

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. and France prepare to act on Syria despite UK no vote

PARIS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – France said on Friday it still backed military action to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government for an apparent poison gas attack on civilians and Washington pushed ahead with plans for a response despite a British parliamentary vote against a military strike.

An aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, a close Assad ally, seized on Thursday’s British “no” vote which set back U.S.-led efforts to intervene against Assad, saying it reflected wider European worries about the dangers of a military response.

Aug 30, 2013

Once-brash Rice quietly builds Obama’s bridge to Congress on Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Susan Rice is facing her first key test as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser as she helps lead a White House effort to convince a skeptical Congress that the United States must respond to Syria’s apparent use of chemical weapons.

Rice has made an abrupt transition from a high-profile and sometimes combative U.S. ambassador, who scolded the U.N. Security Council for failing to agree on Syria sanctions, to a behind-the-scenes power player at the White House.

Aug 18, 2013

On Martha’s Vineyard, Obama seeks favor from the golf gods

OAK BLUFFS, Massachusetts (Reuters) – Teeing off for the fifth time on his Martha’s Vineyard vacation, President Barack Obama attempted yet again on Saturday to persuade the golf gods to pass favor on his game.

He is the latest in a long line of presidents, from Dwight Eisenhower to George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton, who have loved the game but found it a difficult sport to master.

Aug 16, 2013

August can play havoc with a president’s vacation

EDGARTOWN, Massachusetts (Reuters) – August has a way of interfering with a U.S. president’s best-laid plans for vacation. Just ask Barack Obama. Or Bill Clinton. Or either of the presidents named Bush.

Obama, determined to take a week off from his typically grinding schedule, interrupted his holiday briefly on Thursday to condemn the killing of hundreds of people in a violent crackdown on demonstrators by Egypt’s military government.

    • About Steve

      "A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Steve has worked for Reuters in Washington for 20 years, and spent 16 of those years at the White House covering Presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush. He covered the 2008 presidential campaign."
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