May 16 - U.S. President Barack Obama says U.S. diplomatic and military options remain open in the Syria crisis. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Standing side by side with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged that there was some evidence that chemical weapons had been used in Syria but those findings need to be fully confirmed. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "I preserve the options of taking additional steps, both diplomatic and military, because those chemical weapons inside Syria also threaten our security over the long term as well as our allies and friends and neighbors." He also made it clear that the US would not go it alone. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "It's not going to be something that the US will do by itself. And I don't think anybody in the region including the Prime Minister would think that US unilateral actions in and of themselves would bring about a better outcome inside Syria." He said the sooner Syrian President Bashar al-Assad leaves the better. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "We would have preferred Assad go two years ago; last year; six months ago; two months ago." Erdogan had been expected to push Obama, at least in private, for more assertive action on Syria, days after car bombs tore through a Turkish border town in what may have been the deadliest spillover of violence yet.