(CNN) - Targeted military strikes against Syria would deter Syria's government from using chemical weapons and make clear to the world that the use of such weapons won't be tolerated, President Barack Obama said Tuesday night in a televised address to the American public.
He also pointed to "encouraging signs" in diplomatic efforts to address the crisis, crediting these "in part because of the credible threat of U.S. military action." But if diplomacy fails, the U.S. and its military will "be in position to respond," Obama said, not ruling out military intervention in the war-torn country.
Read a transcript of his remarks below.
(CNN) – Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who previously favored potential military strikes in Syria, forcefully argued Tuesday on CNN's "Crossfire" the United States has no reason to take military action in the war-torn country.
"The bottom line here is we have no national security interest," the 2012 GOP presidential candidate said, just hours before President Barack Obama is set to explain in a televised address the stakes for the United States in Syria.
Washington (CNN) - The hardest job in Washington today belongs to President Barack Obama’s speechwriters - they have to craft an address calling for a vote in Congress that Obama may or may not abide by, over a military strike the president may or may not need, for a war he’s said he prefers not to wage.
So how do you make that one sing?
Washington (CNN) – After U.S. officials attempted to explain Secretary of State John Kerry's invitation to Syria to abandon its chemical weapons as "rhetorical," the Obama administration is now offering a timeline to make the case the top U.S. diplomat's remarks may have been less accidental than previously acknowledged.
At a news conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague Monday, Kerry appeared to give Syrian president Bashar al-Assad an opportunity to avoid a U.S. military strike.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama addressed the nation Tuesday night on the crisis in Syria from the East Room of the White House. Below is reaction and reporting from Capitol Hill and the White House, providing analysis from our correspondents and contributors.
Read more about the president's speech here.
11:06 p.m. ET - Tonight the president "stopped some Democratic bleeding" of votes in Congress, Sen. Graham said. When asked if it would lead to enough votes, he said "maybe." Personally, Graham said he "likes the president," but also said he'll "continue to trash him."
11:04 p.m. ET - Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on CNN said the president has "painted himself in a corner," adding that if diplomacy he will have to act militarily.
Washington (CNN) - A bipartisan group of eight senators is working on an alternative resolution on Syria that would set key benchmarks that must be met to avoid a military strike in the war-torn country.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week passed a resolution granting authorization to the president for U.S. military action in Syria, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday decided to delay holding a full Senate vote due to unfolding developments for a potential diplomatic solution.
Washington (CNN) – The man who replaced John Kerry, who left the Senate to become secretary of state, will not support the military strike against Syria that his predecessor has been advocating.
Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey voted "present" last week when the Senate Foreign Relations committee passed a resolution authorizing the president to take military action in Syria.
Washington (CNN) - The top Republican in the Senate says he'll oppose a resolution to authorize U.S. military action against Syria.
"I will be voting against this resolution. Our vital national security risk is clearly not at play," said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky Tuesday.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. John McCain expressed exasperation with the White House's handling of Syria Tuesday morning while saying that a potential handover of chemical weapons needs to be considered.
The longtime senator from Arizona, a leading Republican voice in calls for military action against Syria, told CNN that he was extremely skeptical of the intentions of the government in Damascus to hand over or destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles, as well as Russia's intentions to facilitate such a move. But he didn't dismiss it out of hand.
Washington (CNN) - What the United States and its allies should do about Syria is taking shape as President Barack Obama prepares to give a prime-time address to the nation, a senior administration official involved in Syria policy said Tuesday.
Consultations are going on with France and others about how to move quickly - at the United Nations and otherwise - to test whether Russia and Syria are serious about a proposal for Damascus to have Syria hand its chemical arsenal over to international control, the official said.FULL STORY