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Syria says US delaying strike because it lacks evidence

A US Air Force plane takes off from the Incirlik airbase, southern Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama said he has decided that the United States should take military action against Syria in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack, but he said he will seek congressional authorization for the use of force. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

A US Air Force plane takes off from the Incirlik airbase, southern Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013. U.S. President Barack Obama said he has decided that the United States should take military action against Syria in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack, but he said he will seek congressional authorization for the use of force. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) - A top Syrian government official is dismissing the Obama administration as confused and hesitant, even as Secretary of State John Kerry says Washington has evidence of sarin gas use by Syria and that the case for a military attack is getting "stronger and stronger."

Deputy foreign minister Faysal Mikdad claims President Barack Obama stepped back from his threat to strike Syria because his administration lacks evidence of Syrian government involvement in the suspected poison gas attacks.

Meanwhile, a state-run newspaper struck a gloating tone on its front-page, saying Obama's decision to seek congressional authorization before conducting a strike signaled an "American retreat."

As for Syria's opposition, some who had put great hope in U.S. strikes reacted with despair at the postponement, saying it prolonged the torment of when - and if - Washington will act.

Other opposition activists say Obama's choice was business as usual from a country that "was never a friend."


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