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Obama wants Assad punished for chemical attack: Paris waits on UN findings

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Obama wants Assad punished for chemical attack: Paris waits on UN findings

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US President Barack Obama has outlined the reasons why he believes a limited military response against Syria is necessary.

Speaking at the conclusion of a divided G20 summit in St Petersburg, Obama made it clear that the use of chemical weapons is illegal and cannot go unpunished: “Over 1400 people were gased. Over 400 of them were children. This is not something we’ve fabricated. This is not something we are using as an excuse for military action. As I said last night, I was elected to end wars, not to start them,” he said.

Obama is to address
the American people on Tuesday and seek backing from Congress in the coming weeks.

France backs military strikes against Assad’s Syria, but President Francois Hollande said he will await the results of the UN weapons inspectors before making a final decision on military action: “The mandate of the weapons inspectors is to find out if chemical weapons were used. We know that already. Maybe they have more information,” he said as the summit drew to a close.

The UN weapons inspectors are due to present their findings within the next two to three weeks.