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

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Oct. 31

Fresh
phoenix

A look back on some of Hollywood's most memorable moments.

in Local Sports

Canucks beat Canadiens

Fresh
Vancouver Canucks' Henrik Sedin (33), of Sweden, talks with Alexander Edler (23), of Sweden, during a timeout in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Phoenix Coyotes Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. The Coyotes defeated the Canucks 1-0.

Vancouver bounced back from a blown lead and beat Montreal 3-2 on Thursday night.

in Local Sports

No.9 Vikings swept at No.15 NNU

Fresh
western washington logo generic copy/wwu

The Vikings fell to 17-5 overall and 10-3 in GNAC play.

in Local Sports

WWU soccer: men & women win

Fresh
wwu western washington university congrats vikes vikings from kpug

The WWU men beat South Dakota School of Mines & the women beat Northwest Nazarene.

in Sports

TNF: Saints take over first after first road win

Fresh
New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees warms up before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, in Philadelphia.

The 4-4 Saints piled up 375 yards to snap a seven-game losing streak on the road that dated back to last November.