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Published On: Fri, Jun 14th, 2013

White House condemns Syria’s alleged sarin gas use, Putin calls it ‘unconvincing’ and John McCain calls for ‘more decisive actions’

In a statement from the Obama White House yesterday, the administration condemned the alleged Syrian action of chemical weapons use on the opposition saying “that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year.”

 

photo donkeyhotey  donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

The statement, credited to deputy national security advisor for strategic communications Ben Rhodes, noted President Barack Obama has said his strategic approach to the Syrian conflict would change given clear evidence of chemical weapons use.

“Following on the credible evidence that the regime has used chemical weapons against the Syrian people, the president has augmented the provision of non-lethal assistance to the civilian opposition, and also authorized the expansion of our assistance to the Supreme Military Council, and we will be consulting with Congress on these matters in the coming weeks,” the statement reads in part. “ … Put simply, the Assad regime should know that its actions have led us to increase the scope and scale of assistance that we provide to the opposition, including direct support to the SMC. These efforts will increase going forward.”

“We are prepared for all contingencies, and we will make decisions on our own timeline,” he said.

“The intelligence community estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria to date; however, casualty data is likely incomplete,” Rhodes said. “While the lethality of these attacks make up only a small portion of the catastrophic loss of life in Syria, which now stands at more than 90,000 deaths, the use of chemical weapons violates international norms and crosses clear red lines that have existed within the international community for decades.”

photo Skander  Agência Brasil, a public Brazilian news agency via wikimedia commons

photo Skander Agência Brasil, a public Brazilian news agency via wikimedia commons

However, both Syria and their Russian allies see it differently.

CNN reports the Syrian foreign ministry accused Washington of releasing “a statement full of lies regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria”.

A government statement carried by the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency accused the United States of using “flagrant tricks to come up with any possible means to justify the decision of President Barack Obama to arm the Syrian opposition.”

In Russia, Yuri Ushakov, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said information provided by the United States to back up its claims “doesn’t look convincing to us”, the LA Times reports.

Other Russian officials didn’t hold back on their criticism of the Obama announcement. “The information about the use of chemical weapons by Assad is fabricated in the same place as the lie about [former Iraqi leader Saddam] Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction,” tweeted Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the lower house of parliament. “Obama is walking down the same path as Bush.”

2008 photo/Flicker photographer dsb nola

2008 photo/Flicker photographer dsb nola

In the US Senate, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who has criticized the administration’s calling it “disgraceful” and who condemns the “unfair fight”, released a statement with SC Senator Lindsey Graham (R) saying:

“We appreciate the President’s finding that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on several occasions. We also agree with the President that this fact must affect U.S. policy toward Syria. The President’s red line has been crossed. U.S. credibility is on the line. Now is not the time to merely take the next incremental step. Now is the time for more decisive actions.

“The conflict in Syria has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. The United Nations reported today that the death toll in Syria is approaching 93,000. Hezbollah is all in. Iran is all in. Iraqi militant groups are flowing into Syria to fight for Assad. Russia continues to provide military and diplomatic support. Assad is dramatically increasing his use of airpower against civilians and opposition forces in Syria. A report today stated that Assad’s forces conducted at least 5,000 air-to-ground attacks last month alone.

“A decision to provide lethal assistance, especially ammunition and heavy weapons, to opposition forces in Syria is long overdue, and we hope the President will take this urgently needed step. But providing arms alone is not sufficient. That alone is not enough to change the military balance of power on the ground against Assad. The President must rally an international coalition to take military actions to degrade Assad’s ability to use airpower and ballistic missiles and to move and resupply his forces around the battlefield by air. This can be done, as we have said many times, using stand-off weapons such as cruise missiles.

“We cannot afford to delay any longer. Assad is on the offensive with every weapon in his arsenal and with the complete support of his foreign allies. We must take more decisive actions now to turn the tide of the conflict in Syria.”

Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul has a very different view on the situation. In a piece on the Ron Paul Institute of Peace and Prosperity website today, Paul said, “The Administration provided no evidence, no new information, and no explanation of why the intelligence community’s assessment of just three months ago that chemical weapons had not been used by the Syrian government has changed so dramatically.

“What changed? They won’t tell us. The Administration spokesman who made the announcement would only say that they have a “high confidence in that assessment given multiple, independent streams of information.” What are those streams of information? They won’t tell us.”

In response to the administration’s numbers of 100-150 people dying from chemical weapons, Paul asks, “Why would President Asaad, who’s winning the war, use poison gas to kill 100 people knowing full well what would happen if the people thought he was using poison gas? There’s no way, the man is not an idiot.”

Syria

Image/CIA

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Pine 4 Better Daze says:

    See the 6/14/2013 Global Research report by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky,
    “The Forbidden Truth: The U.S. is Channeling Chemical Weapons to Al Qaeda in Syria,
    Obama is a liar and a Terrorist”.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-forbidden-truth-the-u-s-is-channelling-chemical-
    weapons-to-al-qaeda-in-syria

  2. Views on Syria from President Obama and Ron Paul - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] the recent allegations by the White House of Syria’s use of  sarin gas on 100-150 people and the President’s subsequent decision to get the United States […]

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