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President Barack Obama acknowledged Friday at a press conference in St. Petersburg that he was elected by the American people "to end wars," but emphasized that the grave nature of the purported chemical attack in Syria has left his administration with no choice but to take action.
"You know, over 1,400 people were gassed. Over 400 of them were children," Obama said. "This is not something we've fabricated. This is not something we are looking or using as an excuse for military action."
"As I said last night, I was elected to end wars, not start 'em," he continued. "I've spent the last four and a half years doing everything I can to reduce our reliance on military power as a means of meeting our international obligations and protecting the American people. But what I also know is there are times where we have to make hard choices if we are going to stand up for the things we care about. And I believe that this is one of those times."