Obama: 'No Interest' in 'Open-Ended Conflict in Syria'

The president told PBS that he plans to send a strong message to Bashir Assad.
2:45 | 08/29/13

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Transcript for Obama: 'No Interest' in 'Open-Ended Conflict in Syria'
grow. So many developments right now, as that deadline looms for the u.N. Inspectors to leave syria. There they are. They're leading from their hotel this morning, to a site near damascus. They are expected to finish their work tomorrow in syria and leave the country on saturday. The u.N. Secretary-general is saying the team needs time to finish its investigation. And this, of course, as the white house says it will brief members of congress later today on plans for a possible strike. We have full coverage from the middle east, to washington, starting with abc's jim avila at the white house. Jim, good morning to you. Reporter: Good morning, elizabeth. It is a huge day here. The obama administration makes its case to congress, the nation and the world, that a military attack on syria is justified. The president, shutting himself in the west wing today. No public events, no public appeara appearances. Just laser focus before he meets with his national security team. President obama has a big decision to make. His intelligence team has decided syria has done the unthinkable, killed its own people and threatened the rest of the world, including america's national security with deadly, poisonous gas. You are not only breaking international norms and standards of decency, but you're also creating a situation where u.S. National interests are affected. And that needs to stop. Reporter: The president telling pbs, in his first extensive comments on the syrian attack, that he plans on sending a strong message to bashar al assad -- I have no interest in an open-ended conflict in syria. But we do have to make sure, when countries break international norms on weapons like chemical weapons that could threaten us, that they're held accountable. Reporter: The white house is expected to release to congress today or tomorrow, a comprehensive intelligence report from the cia and nsa, justifying american military action. But some members of congress, including speaker of the house, john boehner, who wrote a letter to the president, demanding answers, believe that obama would be overstepping his power, if he launched an attack without consulting them. They're allied to known terrorist organizations, that in the past have targeted the united states. Then, there is a prospect, a possibility, in which chemical weapons that can have devastating effects, could be directed at us. Reporter: Because most of congress is still on recess until labor day, this teleconference -- this briefing will happen by teleconference, at 6:00, as abc news has learned. And the president says, any attack, any military option, will be limited.

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