WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has said it would be a "mistake" to think that America could take unilateral military action in Syria, and that there was a simple solution to the crisis there.
"For us to take military action unilaterally as some have suggested, or to think that somehow there is some simple solution, I think is a mistake," Xinhua quoted Obama as saying Tuesday at a press conference at the White House.
Rejecting a parallel with Libya, where NATO air raids helped the opposition topple the Muammar Gaddafi government, Obama said that for Libya, the US and its allies mobilised the international community, won a UN Security Council mandate and had the "full cooperation" of the Arab states.
"And we knew that we could execute very effectively in a relatively short period of time," Obama said.
He described the situation in Syria as "a much more complicated" one. He said Washington will continue to work with key Arab states and international partners towards a resolution of the Syrian conflict.
"But the notion that the way to solve every one of these problems is to deploy our military, you know, that hasn't been true in the past and it won't be true now," Obama stressed.
Terming what was happening in Syria "heartbreaking and outrageous", Obama said it was not a question of whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad leaves but rather "it's a question of when".