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 National

Making headlines this week

AP792818563420

A look at the big stories that made news this week and the headlines you may have missed.

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

AP351363760471

A look at some of this week's best moments in sports.

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

jameis

A complete look at this weekend's sports schedule.

in Entertainment

It’s been 30 years since ‘The Cosby Show’ debuted

cosby

Here are some of our favorite moments from one of America's favorite TV families.

in National

Americans are really angry with Washington

america

Americans are angry with the handling of issues ranging from healthcare reform to the rise of Islamic State militants.