WASHINGTON (AP) -- Delaying what had appeared to be an imminent strike, President Barack Obama says 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 appeared in the Rose Garden this afternoon to announce he has decided the United States should take military action. But he added that he also has determined the country "will be better off" if Congress renders its own opinion on the matter.
At the same time, Obama challenged lawmakers to consider what message the U.S. will send to a dictator if he is allowed to kill hundreds of children with chemical weapons without suffering any retaliation.
Lawmakers are scheduled to return to session on Sept. 9.