National Security Desk / August 25, 2016

Those Chemical Weapons Assad Destroyed? He Used Them.

The latest chapter in Obama’s failed Middle East policy.

In August 2012, Barack Obama warned Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, “A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.” By September 2013, Obama was denying he set a red line, saying, “The world set a red line.” Translation: The line was gone. After reports that Assad had crossed that line, Obama simply didn’t want to enforce it. Yesterday, we reported why: Iran was ready to nuke the nuclear deal if Obama messed with mullah-buddy Assad.

Recall also that Secretary of State John Kerry made an offhand remark in September 2013 about how Assad “could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week” in order to avoid a U.S. strike. Assad’s other enforcer, Vladimir Putin, happily took Kerry up on the foolish comment, offering a deal to oversee the destruction of all of Syria’s chemical weapons.

Predictably, that didn’t work out as Obama and Kerry might have hoped. Yesterday, a UN investigation concluded that the Syrian military conducted chemical weapons attacks on at least two occasions — after those weapons were supposedly destroyed. There were other attacks as well, but the UN couldn’t conclusively determine the perpetrators. Now Syria faces possible sanctions from the UN Security Council, though Russia has veto power. “It is essential that the members of the Security Council come together to ensure consequences for those who have used chemical weapons in Syria,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said in a statement. “We strongly urge all states to support strong and swift action by the Security Council.” Assad should stay tuned for a strongly worded letter of rebuke.

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