Mr. Obama notices the red line
As of early this morning, Assad has agreed to let UN inspectors in and the article has been updated to reflect that.
Fox News reports that President Obama is preparing for all contingencies in the war in Syria. We have sent warships to the region.
Back in June, he said that chemical weapons would be the red line that Syria must not cross.
Assad is alleged to have crossed the red line in June but President Obama pulled back on his original statement and is exercising caution.
“President Obama has asked the Defense Department to prepare options for all contingencies. We have done that and we are prepared to exercise whatever option — if he decides to employ one of those options,” Hagel said.
Syria’s government has warned that any U.S.-led military action would be “no picnic,” as Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi told the country’s official news agency, SANA. Zoabi added “U.S. military intervention will create a very serious fallout and a ball of fire that will inflame the Middle East,” according to Reuters.
The Syrian government has agreed to allow inspectors on the scene of any site of a purported chemical attack. The rebels accuse the Syrian government and Assad accuses the rebels of deploying the weapons.
Iran has assured Italian TV that Assad did not use the weapons.
Iran warned the United States Sunday not to cross the so-called “red line” or intervene militarily in Syria or the US would suffer “severe consequences,” the Fars news agency reported.
“America knows the limitation of the red line of the Syrian front and any crossing of Syria’s red line will have severe consequences for the White House,” said Massoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, reacting to statements by Western officials regarding the possibility of military intervention in Syria.
Israel’s “finger is on the pulse” following the situation in Syria, and – if needed – will also be on the trigger, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday in his first public comments on reports that hundreds of Syrian were killed last week by chemical weapons, the Jerusalem Post reports.
What is happening in Syria is both a horrible tragedy and crime, Netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting.
“Our heart goes out to the women, children, babies and citizens killed in such a cruel way through the use of weapons of mass destruction,” he added.
He said that this cannot continue, the most dangerous regime in the world cannot be allowed to have the most dangerous weapons in the world, and it will be expected to end.
The war is spilling over into neighboring countries and threatens to topple Jordan and other Arab states while endangering Israel.
There was an opportunity at the beginning of the war for the US to intervene on behalf of the normal Syrians. Unfortunately, the ranks of the rebel fighters are now infested with al Qaeda, many who came in from Iraq and Afghanistan which the US has abandoned.
Mr. Obama had left the fate of Syria to the UN which has failed to act. His new UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, did not attend an emergency meeting of the UN to discuss the matter last week because she was away on a private trip.
Mr. Obama’s foreign policy is unclear and constantly changing. It is hard to know what he will do. Does he feel he has to back up his original statement that the red line was chemical warfare? Will he lob a few missiles and nothing else, making us look weaker? Now that inspectors are being allowed in, he will likely stand down, but who knows. The Obama doctrine is to keep everyone guessing.