Obama: More information needed on Syrian use of gas weapons

May 16, 2013 at 2:35 PM   |   Comments

4 of 8
| License Photo
WASHINGTON, May 16 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama Thursday again said more investigation is needed to determine whether the Assad regime in Syria has used poison gas on rebels.

Obama appeared at a joint White House news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been pressing the administration to take a stronger stand in Syria.

"It is important for us to get more specific information about what is happening" in Syria, Obama said.

"But what's going on now by itself is strong enough to prompt international action," such as sanctions and other pressure, Obama said. "I preserve the options of taking additional steps both diplomatic and military ... but this is also an international problem."

The president said he and Erdogan "both agree [Syrian President Bashar] Assad has to go."

Obama said he and Erdogan also agreed it is critical that Iran not acquire a nuclear weapon.

Erdogan called for cooperation on Syria and closer economic ties with the United States.

Before leaving Ankara, Erdogan said he planned to present evidence at the White House meeting with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden of Syrian chemical weapons use to strengthen his case.

Obama has said proof of chemical weapons use by Assad's forces would be a "red line" and a "game-changer," but has so far said the evidence of such use was insufficient to prompt U.S. action or enable him to unite U.S. allies behind such a response.

Turkey has NATO's second-largest army.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Pentagon releases video of U.S. air strikes against IS
Amish girls allegedly lured by captors with puppy
Ebola fears: Senegal closes border with Guinea
U.S. files formal complaint with China after 'dangerous' fighter jet incident
Brooklyn Bridge flags returned to U.S. Embassy in Berlin
Trending News