But president must persuade Congress, public on goals, tactics, cost
U.S. President Barack Obama is preparing for the possibility of launching unilateral American military action against Syria within days, White House aides say.
Despite roadblocks in forming an international coalition, including the stunning decision by the British Parliament on Thursday to keep the U.K. on the sidelines in any international military action, Obama appeared undeterred and advisers said he would be willing to retaliate against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on his own.
In Manila, U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said Friday the Obama administration was consulting with allies to “further develop the facts” about the attack, and options for a response. Hagel said the administration also would continue to seek input from members of Congress on how the U.S. should respond to the deadly attack.
Hagel said Thursday’s consultation by high-level Obama administration officials with congressional leaders was “not to convince anyone of anything.” He said it was intended as an update and a chance to solicit lawmakers’ views on possible U.S. military or other action. “As we continue to consult with our allies, we’ll further develop the facts and intelligence on what happened,” he said.