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Friday, December 9, 2016

President Barack Obama said he is confident that Congress will vote to authorize military action against Syria, and reiterated his desire for a “limited” mission against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, in comments to reporters before a Tuesday morning meeting with congressional leaders at the White House.

“I’ve made a decision that America should take action,” the president said, “but I also believe that we will be much more effective, we will be stronger, if we take action together as one nation.”

“I would not be going to Congress if I wasn’t serious about consultations and believing that by shaping the authorization to make sure we accomplish the mission, we will be more effective,” the president added.

Obama’s remarks suggest that he is willing to negotiate with Congress on the language of an authorization bill, which will likely be necessary to assemble a broad coalition in support of a military strike.

President Obama also reiterated that he has no desire to put American troops on the ground in Syria.

“This is not Iraq, this is not Afghanistan,” he said. “This is a limited proportional step that will send a message not only to the Assad regime, but to other countries that may be interested in testing some of these international norms, that there are consequences.”

Video of the president’s statement is below.

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