Obama faces growing calls to act over Syria gas attack claims

August 22, 2013 20:28

WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Thursday faced growing calls at home and abroad for forceful action against the Syrian government over accusations that it carried out a massive deadly chemical weapons attack.

While the White House said it was "appalled" by reports of hundreds of people gassed near Damascus on Wednesday, it made clear that any US response must await confirmation of the attack and again demanded that Syrian President Bashar Assad give UN inspectors immediate access to the sites of the alleged attacks.

The Obama administration's cautious response underscored a reluctance by Washington to intervene in Syria since the country's civil war erupted 2-1/2 years ago.

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