President Obama spoke out on Syria this morning, Friday, Aug. 23 exclusively on CNN. The president had some “tough talk” overnight about Syria’s reported use of chemical weapons against its own people, calling it “A big event of grave concern,” in the CNN interview. He said that America is considering a response on the potential use of chemical weapons.
“There is no doubt that when you start seeing chemical weapons used on a large scale and — again, we're still gathering information about this particular event, but — it is very troublesome,” the president said. The growing crisis caused the president’s national security team to spend more than three hours at a White House meeting this morning, according to CNN. “The latest attack on Syria which may have included chemical weapons requires immediate American attention,” reports ABC News’ Jim Avila.
“What we've seen indicates that this is clearly a big event — of grave concern. And, we are already in communications with the entire international community. We're moving, through the U.N., to try to prompt better action from them. And, we've called on the Syrian government to allow an investigation of the site because U.N. inspectors are on the ground, right now. We don't expect cooperation, given their past history,” said President Obama.
The president explained what America’s chief concerns were in insuring Syria’s compliance. “And, that starts getting to some core national interests that the United States has. Both, in terms of us making sure that weapons of mass destruction are not proliferating, as well as needing to protect our allies, our bases in the region,” the commander-in-chief told CNN this morning.
Avila expounded, “The president has told Syria that it must cooperate with the U.N. ... that the president is considering a wide range of options ... could include that we have cruise missiles that are available from ships in the Mediterranean and also a combat Air Corps craft which is in the Middle East.”
The president said he was being very cautious on how he responds and reacts to this latest crisis in Syria. Avila quoted the president, “The American people pay him, he says, to think.” President Obama told CNN, I quote: "But what I think the American people also expect me to do as president is to think through what we do from the perspective of what is in our long term national interests."