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Obama hints at military action in Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama signaled Tuesday he would consider U.S. military action against Syria if "hard, effective evidence" is found to bolster intelligence that chemical weapons have been used in the 2-year-old civil war. But Obama made clear he would prefer to have the backing of the international community before escalating American involvement.

In a White House news conference, Obama appealed for patience, saying he needs more conclusive evidence about how and when chemical weapons detected by U.S. intelligence agencies were used and who deployed them. If those questions can be answered, Obama said he would consider potential actions the Pentagon and intelligence community have readied for him in the event Syria has crossed his chemical weapons "red line."

"There are options that are available to me that are on the shelf right now that we have not deployed," he told reporters packed into the White House briefing room. Those options include setting up a protective "no-fly zone" over Syria, creating a humanitarian corridor at the Turkish border or providing weapons directly to the rebels.

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