Nightly News   |  September 01, 2013

Some Syrians critical of Obama's delayed action

After President Obama announced he’d seek congressional approval before acting in Syria, the Syrian army began shelling rebel-held suburbs. One newspaper mocked the president while the Syrian deputy foreign minister said Obama’s delay was laughable. Bill Neely reports.

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>>> the president's decision to delay military action inside syria seems to have empowered the assad regime. today, syria 's president mocked the white house for what it called america's retreat. correspondent bill kneelly is on the ground in damascus .

>> reporter: well, the first reaction here to president obama 's decision came i'd say two minutes after he finished speaking at the white house , when syria 's army began shelling rebel-held suburbs here in damascus after a day of quiet. after that came the mocking. one newspaper headline saying, "the american retreat starts here." the deputy prime minister saying obama 's delay was "laughable." and today, i spoke with syria 's deputy foreign minister, who said he wasn't surprised by obama 's decision because he said obama and the administration are lost them don't know what they are going to do and he said he hopes the wise people in the u.s. congress would do what the mps in britain's house of commons have done and vote against military action . if they voted for, he said, syria 's army is absolutely ready. but to the opposition here and the rebels, this feels like a betrayal, one leader of syria 's national council said obama was a weak president and a rebel here in damascus said only one person was smiling at the end of this week, and that was president assad . certainly, he will feel emboldened as the british have pulled back, the americans have delayed. he will feel he has weakened his enemies and heavy shelling as i have been speaking here in damascus . so president assad , as ever, undeterred and defiant.