Sept. 6 - U.S. President Barack Obama declined to speculate whether he would go ahead with a military strike in Syria if the U.S. Congress voted against such a move. Mana Rabiee reports.
U.S. President Barack Obama declined to speculate on Friday whether he would go ahead with a military strike in Syria - IF the U.S. Congress votes AGAINST authorizing such a move. Speaking during the final day of the G20 global economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Obama said a strike IS justified - but for much broader, global, security interests. (SOUNDBITE) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "I put it before Congress because I could not honestly claim that the threat posed by Assad's use of chemical weapons on innocent civilians and women and children posed an imminent, direct threat to the United States." And THAT was precisely the point Russian President Vladimir Putin, who hosted the summit, tried to make earlier in the day, calling unilateral military action "above the law". (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN SAYING: "Let me remind you that the use of force against a sovereign state is possible only if done in self-defense, and as we all know Syria is not attacking the United States." Now the "heavy lift" by Obama to convince the American people - and the U.S. Congress - that military action is necessary. He'll try to make his case again during an address to the nation on Tuesday.