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US President Barack Obama said that he has not yet decided whether to attack Syria in the aftermath of the Assad regime allegedly using chemical weapons against its own people on August 21.

"We have not yet made a decision, but the international norm against the use of chemical weapons needs to be kept in place.Hardly anybody disputes that chemical weapons were used on a large scale in Syria against civilian populations," Obama said. "We have looked at all the evidence, and we do not believe the opposition possessed nuclear weapons - or chemical weapons of that sort.

"We do not believe that, given the delivery systems, using rockets, that the opposition could have carried out these attacks. We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out. And if that's so, then there need to be international consequences," Obama asserted in response to a question. As such the US is consulting its allies. We're consulting with the international community. And you know, I have no interest in any kind of open-ended conflict in Syria, but we do have to make sure that when countries break international norms on weapons like chemical weapons that could threaten us, that they are held accountable," he said.

"I have not made a decision, but I think it's important that if, in fact, we make a choice to have repercussions for the use of chemical weapons, then the Assad regime, which is involved in a civil war, trying to protect itself, will have received a pretty strong signal, that in fact, it better not do it again," he said.

Obama hoped that ultimately, a political transition can take place inside of Syria. "We are prepared to work with anybody - the Russians and others - to try to bring the parties together to resolve the conflict," he said.

Story first published on: August 29, 2013 07:58 (IST)

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