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Obama: "This is not Iraq. This is not Afghanistan."

Anita Kumar

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that any military action in Syria would be "limited" and "proportional" and doesn't involved "boots on the ground."

"This is not Iraq. This is not Afghanistan," he said. "This is a limited, proportional step that will send a message not only to the Assad regime, but to other countries that may be interested in testing these international norms, that there are consequences."

Obama said he wants Congress to hold a "prompt vote... early next week" authorizing the use of force in Syria, and that he expects lawmakers to approve the measure. When asked whether he was confident Congress would authorize the measure, he said "I am."

Obama is meeting with leaders of the national security committees at the White House today. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also attended.

Obama said he had "high confidence" the Syrian government used chemical weapons in "indiscriminate fashion" killing thousands of people, including 400 children. That, he says, poses a "serious national security threat to the United States and the region."

Obama declined to answer a question from a report about whether he would support changing the resolution that he sent to Congress this weekend. But several lawmakers say the resolution is too broad and must be narrowed.


Anita Kumar
McClatchy Washington Bureau