August 19, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is conditionally endorsing a Russian offer for international inspectors to seize and destroy deadly chemical weapons in Syria as efforts to avert retaliatory U.S. missile strikes shift from Washington to the United Nations.
In a nationally televised address Tuesday night, Obama offered a rationale for greater U.S. intervention in Syria's sectarian civil war while acknowledging that winning the hearts and minds of Americans to back another Mideast conflict remains a struggle.
The continued erosion of support in Congress for military strikes and the American public's resistance underscored Obama's challenge. The president said he had asked congressional leaders to delay a vote on a resolution authorizing limited military strikes, a step that gives the Russian offer crucial time to work and avoids a potentially debilitating defeat for Obama.
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