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

11 hours ago in Local

Central Illinois Mitsubishi Plant Sold to Liquidation Firm

mitsubishi

Maynards Industries will take possession of the property in Normal on June 1.

11 hours ago in Local

Illinois Man Charged With Threatening Prosecutor

arrest clipart

Travis Withers of Brooklyn, Illinois has been charged with threatening the life of St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly.

11 hours ago in Local

Flooding Leaves Behind Sand, Debris in Illinois County

flood clip art

Debris piles and massive sand deposits were left behind after waters went through the breach of the Len Small Levee.

11 hours ago in Local

U of Illinois Reaches Agreement with Non-tenured Faculty

university illinois

A contract ratification vote will be held later in the week.

1 day ago in Local

New Director Named to ALPLM

FILE - In this Feb. 10, 2012 file photo, school students enter the "White House" as a life-size Abraham Lincoln replica stands outside, while touring the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill. The chairman of the foundation behind the Library and Museum says fundraising is drying up because of tensions between library directors and the state agency that oversees it.

Governor Rauner announces two new appointees, one to the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library.