Merkel, German election challenger say won't participate in Syria strike; call for UN action

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.