Barack Obama tells US people: 'Syria is not another Iraq or Afghanistan'

President makes appeal to 'war weary' Americans

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The Independent Online

Ahead of intensive lobbying on Capitol Hill next week Barack Obama has made a radio broadcast to the US saying military action taken in Syria would be “limited” and “designed to deter”.

“This would not be another Iraq or Afghanistan," the US President said in his weekly radio and internet address, forecasting the arguments in favour of military intervention in Syria that he is expected to make on a nationally televised address on Tuesday 10 September.

“Any action we take would be limited, both in time and scope - designed to deter the Syrian government from gassing its own people again and degrade its ability to do so,” said Mr Obama.

“I know that the American people are weary after a decade of war, even as the war in Iraq has ended, and the war in Afghanistan is winding down. That's why we're not putting our troops in the middle of somebody else's war,” the President added.

Mr Obama is expected to meet both Republican and Democrat lawmakers this week in an attempt to convince those undecided on the vote pending in Congress.

In his address, Mr Obama said Bashar al-Assad’s regime was responsible for the death of hundreds of children and more than 1,400 people in total. He also said letting the Assad regime go unpunished would threaten US national security by increasing the likelihood of chemical attacks from Syria, terrorist groups and other nations.

“We are the United States of America. We cannot turn a blind eye to images like the ones we've seen out of Syria,” he said.

Mr Obama’s statement follows on from a bitterly divided discussion on Syria at the G20 conference in St Petersburg. A statement backing his efforts to ““to reinforce the  prohibition of the use of chemical weapons” was signed by 11 nations, including Australia, Canada, France and the UK, but rejected by others including Russia, China, India and Germany.