DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) --Syria's deputy foreign minister is dismissing the Obama administration as confused and hesitant.
He claims President Barack Obama has stepped back from his threat to strike Syria because his administration lacks evidence of Syrian government involvement in suspected poison gas attacks.
Some opposition activists say Obama's decision to present his case to Congress first is business as usual from a country that "was never a friend."
Meanwhile, the main Western-backed opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, says the army is moving troops as well as rocket launchers, artillery and other heavy weapons inside residential neighborhoods in cities nationwide. The coalition says President Bashar Assad has ordered detainees to be moved to military targets for use as human shields against U.S. strikes.
Merkel, challenger: no German part in Syria strike
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her challenger in Germany's upcoming election have both said they wouldn't participate in military action against Syria.
Merkel said that "Germany will not participate" in a military strike as she faced center-left rival Peer Steinbrueck during a televised debate Sunday before the Sept. 22 vote.
Merkel says that there needs to be "a collective answer by the U.N." to the use of chemical weapons in Syria. She says she is "very glad that we have a few days" to revive efforts to secure U.N. action - a reference to President Barack Obama's decision to seek authorization from Congress for military action.
Steinbrueck said he wouldn't participate in military action as chancellor and would "greatly regret it" if the U.S. strikes alone without an international mandate.
Syrian opposition urges US Congress to back military action against Assad's forces
Syria's opposition has urged the U.S. Congress to approve military action against President Bashar Assad.
"Dictatorships like Iran and North Korea are watching closely to see how the free world responds to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people," the Syrian opposition coalition said in a statement Sunday. "If the free world fails to respond to such an outrageous breach of international norms, dictators around the world will be encouraged in their efforts to follow the example set by Assad."
On Saturday, President Barack Obama said he would seek congressional approval for a military strike against the Syrian government in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack.
The opposition also said a U.S. attack should be accompanied by more arms being sent to the rebels.