In the comments in Washington, he said he still believed the US military should take military action, but that he wanted Congress to authorize it.
Obama said: “We should have this debate [in Congress], because the issues are too big for business as usual,” adding that he personally supported a military strike “and I’m prepared to give that order.
He further said that the US had the capacity to carry out strikes on Syria and “it will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now.”
Reassuring an American public Obama acknowledged is tired of war, he promised that “We would not put boots on the ground.”
Senior Republican politician and speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner and other Republican politicians issued a statement which said: “Under the Constitution, the responsibility to declare war lies with Congress. We are glad the president is seeking authorization for any military action in Syria in response to serious, substantive questions being raised.”
Congress is currently in summer recess and will start its new session on September 9, when they will debate the issue.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Saturday that French president François Hollande has come under pressure to seek formal approval from the French parliament for military action.
Jean-Louis Borloo, the head of French opposition party UDI, said: “Like the US president, who decided to consult the US Congress in the name of democratic principles, the French president must organize, after the debate [on Wednesday], a formal vote in parliament.”
In Syria, Prime Minister Wa’il Al-Halqi said: “The Syrian army is totally prepared and its finger is on the trigger to confront all challenges and any scenarios.”
A senior Syrian security official told French news agency AFP that “we expect the attack any time and we are ready to reply.” He added that “we will defend our people and country with all our resources and all our power. This bullying will not go unanswered.”
In reference to US president Obama’s comments, the unnamed official said: “Everything they said was a joke. . . . Western public opinion is against them, and their cause is a lost one and is unjust, and has nothing to do with morality or international law.”