WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday defended his deliberate approach to determining whether Syria used chemical weapons and pointed to the fates of Osama bin Laden and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as evidence that "we typically follow through on our commitments."
Obama has drawn some fire for going it slow on Syria amid large casualties there in the country's two-year civil war. At a news conference with visiting South Korean President Park Geun-hye, however, he pushed back against the criticism.
Obama said he has to make decisions based on hard-headed analysis, not on "a hope and a prayer," and that he cannot make a decision or organize international coalitions on the basis of simply "perceived" evidence of Syrian transgressions.
The United States is currently investigating charges that Syria used chemical weapons and is seeking more evidence to support the allegations.