President Barack Obama said Tuesday that “limited, proportional” military strikes against Syria would degrade President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons capabilities and allow that nation to “free itself” from political conflict.
“The key point I want to emphasize to the American people, the military plan that has been developed by our joint chiefs and that I believe is appropriate is proportional, it is limited, it does not involve boots on the ground,” Obama said before a meeting with lawmakers at the White House. “This is not Iraq and this is not Afghanistan.”
The president added that those strikes would “fit into a broader strategy” to strengthen the Syrian opposition and bring stability to that nation.
“At the same time, we have a broader strategy that will allow us to upgrade the capabilities of the opposition, allow Syria ultimately to free itself from these kinds of terrible civil wars and death on the ground,” he said.
Obama also said he was confident that he’ll get a congressional vote in favor of military action, which may come as early as next week.
This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.