WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama says he has decided that the United States should take military action against Syria in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack.
But he says he will seek congressional authorization for the use of force.
He says congressional leadership plans to hold a debate and a vote as soon as Congress comes back in September.
Obama says he has the authority to act on his own, but believes it is important for the country to have a debate.
Military action would be in response to a chemical weapons attack the U.S. says Syrian President Bashar Assad's government carried out against civilians. The U.S. says more than 1,400 Syrians were killed in that attack last week.
Senior administration officials say Obama planned to take military action against Syria without congressional authorization, but told aides Friday night that he changed his mind.
Obama announced to the public Saturday that he wanted to launch a military strike, but that he first would seek approval from lawmakers.
The administration officials described a president overriding all his top national security advisers, who believed Obama had the authority to act on his own.
But these officials say the president spent much of the week wrestling with Congress' role in authorizing force and made the decision Friday night after a lengthy discussion with his chief of staff, Denis McDonough.
The administration officials requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Obama's decision-making by name.