U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the nation last night on his immediate plans in Syria, asking Congress to delay its vote on military intervention while he explored a diplomatic resolution.
The world had been anticipating his decisive plans since disturbing reports emerged from Syria about the use of chemical weapons.
Russia proposed a diplomatic solution on Monday urging the Syrian government to put its chemical weapons under international control.
The reaction from lawmakers on both the left and right remained divided, according to news reports.
Obama began his speech by making the case for U.S. intervention in Syria while giving the disclaimer that Washington had been reluctant to engage militarily until learning of the horrific chemical attack that took place on August 21. The incident that shocked the world is believed to have been carried out by Syrian Government forces and it claimed the lives of almost 1,300 people, including dozens of innocent children.
Not forgetting to emphasize the importance of stopping a ‘tyrant’ who would dare to use chemical weapons on his people, he agreed to explore a diplomatic solution.
“The Assad regime has now admitted that it has these weapons, and even said they’d join the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits their use,” said Barack Obama.
Obama also said that despite skepticism regarding successful diplomacy with Bashar-al-Assad’s government it still seemed to be a better option than the use of force.
Congress reacted immediately after the address, which and members remained largely divided.
Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain said in a joint statement that Barack Obama’s address did not specify the details of the plan to ‘test the seriousness’ of the diplomatic proposal put forward by Russia.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that the President ‘justly made clear’ in his speech that U.S. will continue to work to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction.
The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner told Reuters that the American people were not supportive of the President’s position on Syria and he must make a stronger case. Boehner expressed his skepticism over Russia’s plan to bring Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.
What did you think about the Obama’s address? Do you agree with his decision to explore Russia’s diplomatic solution? You can share your opinion in the comments section below.