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Obama: U.S. troops in Syria not a good option

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

San Jose, May 4 (EFE).- U.S. President Barack Obama said the possibility of deploying American troops to Syria is an option that is not in the interests of the United States nor the people of that Arab nation.

Any measure taken by the United States to address the crisis in Syria will be based "on the facts on the ground" and on "what's in the interests of the American people and our national security," Obama said in a press conference during a visit to Costa Rica on Friday.

"As a general rule, I don't rule things out as commander-in-chief because circumstances change," the president said.

"Having said that, I do not foresee a scenario in which boots on the ground in Syria - American boots on the ground in Syria - would be good for America but would also be good for Syria."

Accompanied by Costa Rican counterpart Laura Chinchilla, Obama said his country remains committed to seeking a solution to the Syrian civil war, which has claimed more than 70,000 lives since March 2011.

The White House said last week that it was very likely that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government had used chemical arms against rebel groups.

Addressing that issue at Friday's press conference, Obama said that if the United States has sufficient evidence that such unconventional weapons have been used, it will present it to the international community.

To date, the United States has been providing non-lethal aid to Syrian opposition forces and has resisted arming them for fear that weapons might fall into the hands of terrorist groups.

Obama, who has demanded that Assad relinquish power, has called the suspected use of chemical weapons by his government a "red line" that would make him reconsider taking military action against Syria.

But on Tuesday he urged prudence and said he would wait until having all the facts before making a decision.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130504/obama-us-troops-syria-not-good-option