Obama has not decided on military action in Syria: U.S. official

WASHINGTON Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:03am EDT

A Free Syrian Army fighter holds his weapons as he peeks at an alleyway in al-Jdeideh neighbourhood in the old city of Aleppo August 27, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

A Free Syrian Army fighter holds his weapons as he peeks at an alleyway in al-Jdeideh neighbourhood in the old city of Aleppo August 27, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Ammar Abdullah

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has not made a decision to order military strikes against the Syrian government in response to last week's alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.

The assertion by the U.S. official, which echoed the White House's comments on Monday, came amid mounting signs that Washington and its allies are edging toward a limited use of force against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's loyalists.

Western powers have told the Syrian opposition to expect a strike against Assad's forces within days, sources who attended a meeting between envoys and the Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul told Reuters earlier on Tuesday.

"The president has not made a decision to undertake military action," the U.S. official in Washington told Reuters.

(Reporting By Matt Spetalnick; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

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