Obama Push to Hit Syria Takes Detour

Obama Push to Hit Syria Takes Detour

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama’s campaign for an attack on Syria took an unexpected turn as his administration inadvertently gave the Assad regime a potential way out that spawned second thoughts on Capitol Hill and enthusiasm among international opponents of a military strike.

British Foreign Minister William Hague, left, and U.S. Secretary Gucci Outlet of State John Kerry in London on Monday.

After Secretary of State John Kerry suggested in off-the-cuff comments that President Bashar al-Assad could avert an attack by promptly handing his chemical weapons to the international community, Russia declared its support and quickly got Damascus on board.

In a week likely to define his presidency, President Barack Obama will try to surmount growing national hostility to his proposal for a U.S. military strike against Syria. Jerry Seib joins the News Hub. Photo: AP.

The shift, which Mr. Obama called “a potentially Gucci Malika positive development,” paused a Senate debate and complicated the president’s pitch to a reluctant country. He began to lay out his case to Americans in TV interviews on Monday, in advance of a prime-time address to the nation on Tuesday.

Mr. Obama faces a public increasingly unconvinced of the need for U.S. military action, with 58% of Americans saying Congress should turn down his request for approval to launch Gucci Marrakech an attack, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that suggests support for military action is slipping.

The Russian proposal threatened to further erode support for military action, and many lawmakers seized on it to avoid or delay a vote that even in the Democratic-controlled Senate was appearing in doubt, a trend likely detected by White House officials.

However, administration officials and many lawmakers also expressed skepticism about the offer, citing the record of Mr. Assad and his ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, during the 2?-year civil war.

“If it’s legitimate, it’s definitely something we should explore. But I wouldn’t hold my breath,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.), who supports Mr. Obama’s call for a Syria strike. “Can you believe anything Putin or Assad said?”

White House officials were cool at first to the Russian offer, saying they would Gucci Sukey Tote give it a “hard look” but suggesting it could be a delaying tactic on behalf of Russia’s allies in the Assad regime.

“We don’t want this to be another stalling tactic by the Russians, and the Syrians through the Russians,” said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

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