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Obama's red line "a mockery"

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White House condemns Syria's chemical weapons use

Updated 0203 GMT (1003 HKT) August 26, 2016


Washington (CNN) The White House is condemning the Syrian government Thursday after having announced that a year-long UN-backed investigation found that both the Assad regime and ISIS had used chemical weapons.


"It is now impossible to deny that the Syrian regime has repeatedly used industrial chlorine as a weapon against its own people," US National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement Wednesday.


The NSC statement went on to accuse the regime of violating the Chemical Weapons Convention and a UN resolution.


The investigation, led by the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention, was launched a year ago at the behest members of the UN Security Council with the aim of identifying the perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks in Syria.


Because chlorine has non-military uses, its removal was not mandated by the US-Russian arrangement in 2013, governed by UN Security Council Resolution 2118. However, weaponized chlorine is still considered a chemical weapon and its use is banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention that the US-Russia deal compelled Syria to be a party to, thereby making Syria's use of the substance against civilians a violation of the agreement.


There have been many such attacks using chlorine alleged after the resolution took affect, but the UN report is the first definitive international declaration of a Syrian breach.


The findings of the new UN report is sure to revive Republican opposition to President Barack Obama's handling of the issue of Syrian chemical weapons.


In August 2012, Obama had described the use of such weapons as constituting a "red line" that, if crossed, would force the US to consider intervening.


But following reports that Syria had used sarin gas in 2013, Obama -- in the face of Republican and Democratic opposition -- delayed in authorizing military action.


Instead, Russia brokered an agreement, codified in Resolution 2118, to have Syria turn over its chemical weapons as part of a process overseen by the OPCW.


Though the Obama administration embraced the process as a victory, Republicans charged that it was a display of weakness as the White House didn't enforce its red line.


The UN's confirmation this week that the resolution has been violated has revived the political dispute.


The Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, said in a statement Thursday that Assad's use of chemical weapons had made "a mockery" of Obama's red line.


"The White House says it is now 'impossible to deny' the regime repeatedly launched gas attacks against the Syrian people in 2014 and 2015. Just a few weeks ago, the regime dropped more barrel bombs on a neighborhood in eastern Aleppo," he said. "So what's the president going to do about it?"


When asked by reporters whether the Obama administration had done enough to address Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians, White House spokesman Josh Earnest pushed back, citing the US intervention in Iraq in 2003.


"We've got a test case just over the border in Iraq about what the consequences are for the United States implementing a regime-change policy and trying to impose a military solution on the situation," Earnest said.


Earnest also defended the Moscow-orchestrated agreement.


"Because of the tough diplomacy of the United States and Russia," he argued, the US was able to get Assad to surrender his stockpile of chemical weapons like sarin gas.


"Unfortunately, that has not prevented the Assad regime from taking a compound like chlorine and weaponizing it," Earnest acknowledged.


ISIS is also reported to have used mustard gas against civilians in August 2015, according to the report.


The administration on Wednesday also condemned that attack and highlighted its efforts to curb ISIS' chemical weapons activities, including targeted airstrikes and the capture of an ISIS chemical expert in March.


"We continue to remove leaders from the battlefield with knowledge of these weapons and will target any related materials and attempts to manufacture such chemicals going forward," Price of the NSC said.


UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon submitted the report to the members of the Security Council Wednesday.


While State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau would not preview what actions the US would take at the Security Council, she told reporters Thursday that "the administration will continue to pursue all appropriate legal and diplomatic options" to hold the responsible parties accountable.


The UN said that the Security Council will meet to discuss the report Tuesday, but it's unlikely that Syria's primary backer, Russia, will countenance any effort to formally punish Damascus.


Russia's permanent representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said that Moscow would need to study the UN document before taking further steps.


"It is a very complicated report which needs to be studied by experts," he said.

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In August 2012, Obama had described the use of such weapons as constituting a "red line" that, if crossed, would force the US to consider intervening.




Force us to consider ...


What a maroon.




"I left my brain in San Francicso."



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But, but, we made a deal with Putin after Assad and Putin laughed in oblameo's face after his Red Line in the sand statement. Putin was supposed to take delivery of WMD stock from Assad and everything would be OK. Assad still uses WMD and now Putin is bombing Peshmerga who we back with Special Forces and Navy Seals. oblameo and hilarity foreign policy was a joke right from the Reset button and apology tour.

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He already said he "bomb the shit out of them" He was right AT THAT TIME. Oblameo picked up the number of strikes after that. Believe it or not (I BELIEVE IT) oblameo's half ass coalition is kicking ass on the ground. The Iraqi Army is slowly advancing to Mosul. Peshmerga is capturing villages surrounding one side of Mosul. The Kurds want a country. Mosul is going to be the end of ISIS in Iraq. ISIS will try to breakout, probably through the Kurds. Peshmerga digs in with heavy equipment as soon as they take a town. Navy Seals are with the Kurds. In Syria Assad's Army and militias are cutting of all supplies to Raqqa. Putin and coalition air strikes are killing ISIS fighters. Putin is bombing from Iran just to show up oblameo. The Kurds took Manbij which was a supply hub for supplies on the way to Raqqa. Kurds kill lots of ISIS fighters The Kurds are north of the city and Assad is coming from the south. The battle at Raqqa should be the end of ISIS in Syria. Oblameo strategy worked and he owes Putin. Oblameo has inserted a LOT OF SEALS and ARMY Special Forces with the Peshmerga. Many American Veterans, Brits, and Aussies are fighting alongside Peshmerga. The YPJ is all women and they are tough. I give credit where it is due and oblameo pulled this one off.


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Overall oblameo strategy against ISIS looks like a winner. It is taking longer than it should have. oblameo should have had more airstrikes. He did not want to help Assad even by killing ISIS fighters. Another reason for the delay cannot be blamed on oblameo. Iraqi and Syrian Generals are a complete bunch of idiots. It is no wonder the Jew constantly kicks their asses. The Kurds are much more competent because US Special forces have been with them since the 1st Gulf War. A USA Army Supply Bn. Is over there led by full colonel. The unit is about 25 miles from Mosul. HE IS THERE TO SHOW THE IRAQI ARMY HOW TO MOVE SUPPLIES. Syrian officers must have been PFC's in the first gulf war. Not on oblameo. Assad officer Corps is unbelievably timid. Putin is flattening everything in front of the A.S.S. and the army stays put. Not on oblameo. Russians have some infantry and armor soldiers with Assad's Army. ISIS should be history as a fighting force by the spring. Not too many American soldiers killed. Not bad.

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