Obama 'proud' didn't bomb Syria over claimed chemical arms use

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, where, two and a half years ago, he decided to call off airstrikes against Syria. (Photo by Ruven Afanador)

US President Barack Obama has said he is “proud” that he stood up to intense pressure in 2013 and refused to order airstrikes against Syria on allegations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons near Damascus.

The pro-war rhetoric against Syria intensified after foreign-backed militants accused the President Bashar al-Assad government of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21, 2013.

Damascus had denied the accusations, saying the attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation.

In mid-September 2013, the UN investigation team confirmed the use of sarin in the Ghouta attack. The team's mandate did not include assigning blame for the attack.

Later on, US military officials confirmed that Daesh (ISIL) terrorists – many of whom were trained by the CIA to destabilize the Assad government – have chemical weapons facilities in Iraq and Syria.

In an interview published by the Atlantic magazine on Thursday, Obama commented on his decision to step back from planned military strikes against the Syrian government of President Assad.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (SANA photo)

"I'm very proud of this moment," Obama was quoted as saying. "The overwhelming weight of conventional wisdom and the machinery of our national-security apparatus had gone fairly far.”

"The perception was that my credibility was at stake, that America's credibility was at stake. And so for me to press the pause button at that moment, I knew, would cost me politically," he added.

"The fact that I was able to pull back from the immediate pressures and think through in my own mind what was in America's interest, not only with respect to Syria but also with respect to our democracy, was as tough a decision as I've made -- and I believe that ultimately it was the right decision to make,” he continued.

This was the moment, Obama told the Atlantic magazine, he believes he finally broke with the “Washington playbook.”

Since March 2011, the United States and its regional allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have been conducting a proxy war against Syria. The years-long conflict has left somewhere between 270,000 to 470,000 Syrians dead and half of the country’s population displaced.

In September 2014, the US and some of its allies started conducting airstrikes inside Syria against Daesh terrorists. However, observers say the attacks did little damage to the terrorists; rather, they targeted the country’s infrastructure.

A frame grab taken from footage released by Russia's Defense Ministry on December 25, 2015, shows airstrikes carried out by Russia's air force hitting militants' vehicles, which, according to the ministry, carried oil, at an unknown location in Syria. (Reuters photo)

In September of last year, Russia launched its own air offensive against the terrorists who were still wreaking havoc in Syria. The Russian campaign, analysts say, has broken the backbone of ISIL and other militants, and has provided the Assad government an opportunity to defeat the foreign-sponsored terrorist onslaught.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:



Press TV News Roku