News

Obama says concerned about Syria, but cautious about costs

Obama says concerned about Syria, but cautious about costs

President Obama said in an interview more info is needed whether chemical weapons have been used in Syria. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said in an interview aired on Friday that the international community needs to find out more about whether chemical weapons have been used in Syria, and called on the Assad government to allow a full investigation.

“What we’ve seen indicates that this is clearly a big event, of grave concern,” Obama said in an interview with CNN.

“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,” the president said.

Obama said a chemical weapons attack would be “very troublesome.”

“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. This is something that is going to require America’s attention and hopefully the entire international community’s attention,” he said.

But Obama said the human and financial costs of the ongoing war in Afghanistan have made him cautious about moving forward too quickly.

“The notion that the U.S. can somehow solve what is a sectarian complex problem inside of Syria sometimes is overstated,” he said.

Syrian activists say they are smuggling out body tissue samples from victims of an alleged chemical weapons attack outside Damascus and are trying to get them to a team of United Nations inspectors staying in a hotel a few miles away.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

‘The Gambler’ remake turns toward redemption

Mark Wahlberg appears in a scene from "The Gambler."

A different Mark Wahlberg is on view from the scrappy, uninhibited characters he has traditionally played.

in Entertainment

‘Into the Woods’ goes darkly beyond happy ever after

intothewoods

Wishes are granted, dreams come true, and Cinderella is rescued by her prince, but it is not all happily ever after.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Dec. 25

deanmartin

A look back at some of the most memorable Hollywood headlines.

in Entertainment, National

NORAD Santa Tracker

17-overlay3

There are plenty of high-tech ways to track Santa's flight around the world.

in Entertainment

‘TIS THE SEASON: Holiday specials, bowl games to watch

homealone

Here's a look at Christmas classics, holiday favorites, and sports specials airing this week.

Weather

condition Condition: Partly Cloudy
Temperature: 43°
High: 43° - Low: 32°