Obama administration still deciding on Syria plan
There’s a sense of urgency at the White House about the ongoing issues in Syria. NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.
Now to NBC's Kristen Welker at the White House where the administration is struggling to find some kind of international collusion. Kristine good evening to you.
Carl, good evening to you. The Obama administration is trying to build an international coalition as it determines how to respond. Sectary of State John Kerry worked the phones today. President Obama spoke with the president of France just hours ago. The urgency here at the White House is palpable. As protesters rally outside the white house urging the Obama administration to help Syria.
The people of Syria is uprising for freedom.
reporter: Top officials continue to huddle inside to determine how to respond. According to one administration official based on the number of victims , witness accounts and other evidence, there is very little doubt at this point that a chemical weapon was used by the Syrian regime against civilians in this incident. The administration remains skeptical about the Assad regime decision to granting UN inspectors access to the site, saying evidence may have been destroyed. One official called the move, too late to be credible. The British foreign secretary also has doubts.
We have to be realistic now about what the UN team can achieve.
reporter: Defense secretary Chuck Hagel says he is getting ready for the next steps.
President Obama has asked the Defense Department to prepare options for all contingencies. We have done that.
reporter: Right now four guides missiles are in the mediterranean. Two of them remain in fire range of Syrian target. Also at least one US navy nuclear submarine is nearby. On the table, limited air strikes, most likely cruise missiles targeting key Assad military command posts.
At home, pressure is mounting.
I hope the president as soon as we get back to Washington will ask for authorization from congress to do something in a very surgical and proportional way.
We have to move and we have to move quickly. I think congress need to be involved. But perhaps not initially.
reporter: But some lawmakers continue to urge caution.
We have to verify that it was directed by the Assad regime. Because that will allow us to build an international coalition which actually necessary to take any further steps in Syria.
reporter: Former sectary Collynn Powell warned that extremist figures are gaining ground inside the country which is already being chaos.
I am less sure of the resistance, what do they represent? and is it becoming even more radicalized with more Al Qaeda coming in?
reporter: Now despite all of the pressure to act the Obama administration remains wary about getting engaged in the prolong conflicts, especially in the vague of Iraq.