President Barack Obama repeated on Friday that he has not made a final decision about a military strike against Syria, but added he is considering a limited action in response to a chemical weapons attack that he says Syria's government carried out last week.
Speaking before meeting at the White House with three Baltic leaders, Obama said the chemical weapons attack in Syria threatened Israel and Jordan and was also a threat to U.S. national security.
He said that while his preference would have been for the international community to move forward on a response to the chemical attack, he was in the planning process for a response to the chemical weapons use in Syria.
Obama said he was looking at a limited action against Syria that would not involve an open-ended commitment or a major military operation.
The comments came after the U.S. released an intelligence assessment that found with "high confidence" that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's government carried out a chemical weapons attack last week.
The U.S. says the attack killed more than 1,400 people.
Before Obama’s statement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke about the chemical attack, calling Assad “a thug and a murderer.”
Kerry said that U.S. intelligence had concluded that the Syrian regime was behind the attack and urged the world to take punitive action.
British lawmakers have rejected any involvement in military action in Syria, but French President Francois Hollande gave a boost on Friday to U.S. hopes of forging an international coalition for possible strikes against Syria, saying the British vote would not affect his government's stance.
"France wants firm and proportionate action against the Damascus regime," he said in an interview with Le Monde newspaper, hinting an attack was possible by Wednesday.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)