US President Barack Obama said he is "not itching for military action" in Syria but added he cannot see many alternatives.
He added that he has a "well-deserved reputation of taking seriously the idea of military action."
The G20 summit in St Petersburg exposed stark divisions between host Vladimir Putin and US President Obama over Syria.
War emptied the suburb of Yarmouk in southern Damascus of its people. Assad's army holds it, but their prize is a ghost town.
Even in the President's heartland of Baltimore, 95% of voters are against his policy on military intervention in Syria.