Nightly News   |  April 26, 2013

Questions remain over Syria's chemical weapons

Although there is evidence of chemical weapons in Syria, Obama said Friday it's still unknown when or how they were used and emphasized the need to obtain strong evidence and work with the  international community. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.

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>>> president obama today called the alleged use of chemical weapons by syria a potential game -changer. our political director, chief white house correspondent chuck todd is with us for more on this. chuck, what to do about it now in a nation not looking for yet another foreign conflict?

>> reporter: absolutely. look, the first time personally the president acknowledged that, yes, they have -- we have evidence, the united states government -- evidence of chemical weapons being used in ser i can't. but in a meeting and the oval office with the king of jordan he made that acknowledgment with a lot of caveats. take a listen.

>> knowing that potentially chemical weapons have been used inside of syria doesn't tell us when they were used, how they were used, obtaining confirmation and strong evidence. all of those things we have to make sure we work on with the international community and we, ourselves, are going to focus on this.

>> reporter: their intelligence, they believe, is spot on. they believe they foe chemical weapons were used. they don't know who ordered it. did assad himself do it? is it a rogue agent? that's the evidence the president was talking about, the facts they want to gather before they make their case, and before they decide if the red line has been crossed to do a military response. as for a potential response the key word is limited. we are not talking about thousands of troops. you talked about the public wouldn't have a big appetite for that. it would look spg akin to libya in 2011 . some sort of international coalition. the only boots on the ground , i'm told, would be special forces whose sole job would be to secure chemical weapons . by the way, brian, we are talking about a decision that could be weeks away, not days.

>> chuck todd at the white house lawn this friday night. chuck, thanks.