Obama to seek congressional approval before Syria attack
WASHINGTON -- Delaying what had appeared to be an imminent strike, President Barack Obama announced Saturday he will seek congressional approval before launching any military action meant to punish Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons in an attack that killed hundreds.
With Navy ships in the Mediterranean Sea ready to strike, Obama said he had decided the United States should take military action, but also determined "our country will be better off'' if Congress renders its own opinion.
At the same time, he challenged lawmakers to consider "what message will we send to a dictator'' if he is allowed to killed hundreds of children with chemical weapons without suffering any retaliation.
Obama said he spoke with congressional leaders from both parties and asked them to schedule debate and votes on a potential Syria attack as soon as Congress returns from recess.
Lawmakers will return to session on Sept. 9.